Class AAAA State Final: Oturu MVPs a Classic

High School

Posted On: 03/26/18 12:00 PM

With early season wins over Hopkins and Apple Valley, the Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders earned the status of “favorite” for the Class AAAA title.  Thirty-Six hours ago the favorites became champions and Daniel Oturu become State Tournament MVP.

Top 40 prospect Daniel Oturu not only earned his team a state championship with a game winning buzzer beater, his finish earned himself national attention with the #1 play on Sportscenter. It was an amazing season finished off by an amazing play.

With ten minutes to go Tre Jones put a fourth foul on Oturu resulting in Daniel having to sit for five crucial game minutes. It was the third time in the game Jones tried to bait Oturu into a foul. The first time Jones flopped to the floor pretending Oturu ran into him, and Jones was called for a travel. The second time Jones demolished Oturu’s arms right before the half but somehow a foul wasn’t called. In anger Oturu shoved Jones out of bounds and yelled at him. Oturu received a technical foul. The third time Jones was able to get Oturu on the bench using a clever fake.

The Gopher commit definitely had the last laugh. With ten seconds to play and his team down one, Tre Jones attacked attempting a game winning shot but Oturu earned his sixth block of the game. However, with Oturu helping over (Tre Jones shot 13 of 30, made six triples, scored 35 points, and was often amazing) there was nobody around to box out Zach Korba who looked to have won the game with six seconds left.

After a timeout the Raiders used a screen to get the ball to Sy Chatman who quickly passed to Ryan Larson who then sent the perfect lob to Daniel Oturu for the game winning dunk with less than a second remaining. Nathan Macho played Chatman on the opposite side resulting in a catch for Chatman after a screen. With Macho now behind the play Tre Jones gambled to steal the ball from Chatman leaving Larson – the lone Raiders ball handler – an open catch and run to the rim. Larson’s attack drew Oturu’s man – Spencer Rolland – over to his drive and there was no way backside help was going to stop Oturu from catching and winning the game. Which he did.

Prep Hoops talked with Oturu on Sunday to discuss the play which was drawn up by Coach Jerry Kline Jr:

“That last play was drawn up in the huddle, we had not ran a play like that ever,” Oturu said. “But I’m happy Sy was able to get a hold of the ball and Ryan had the presence of mind to throw the ball up to me. The feeling is amazing. I feel like you can’t really write a better ending than that.”

No you can not. Especially considering that Oturu posted an all around game of 17 points (5 of 10 field goals, 7 of 9 at the foul line), six rebounds, six blocks, and five assists in 31 minutes of play leading a balanced effort (Chatman had 14, Larson had 11, Southern Miss football signed Jacob Prince had 16, and junior Jaeden King had 19).

Daniel dominated Eden Prairie in the semi-final with 24 points on 10 of 15 shooting with a dozen boards and five blocks. He was unstoppable against Wayzata with 24 points on 12 of 14 shooting with nine boards and eight blocks in the quarterfinal. He was the unquestionable MVP of the state tournament but all Daniel really cared about was winning the first state tournament at CDH in 25 seasons.

“It feels amazing, we worked all season to achieve this goal and we did it. I just give thanks to God!”