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It’s lonely at the top: LAEM girls are the only 2020 NDHSAA basketball state champions

The LAEM Cardinals were the only team to win a basketball state championship this year in North Dakota. (Courtesy: @NDHSAA/Twitter)

LANGDON, N.D. (BVM) — Timing is a large part of sports. In the case of the Langdon Area/Edmore/Munich Cardinals, timing allowed them to have a perfect season. 

After losing in the first round of the state tournament in 2019, the Cardinals began the 2019-20 season with a purpose. They went undefeated during the regular season and entered the state tournament as the No. 1 seed. They continued their run all the way to the championship, earning their last win of the season against Grafton. The Cardinals were the 2020 NDHSAA girls basketball Class B state champions.

A 27-0 season is impressive, but what makes this accomplishment stand out more than usual is the date of their championship win — March 7, the Saturday before the whole sporting world was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

That included the North Dakota boys Class A state tournament, which was canceled before the semifinals began. The boys Class B tournament didn’t even start and the girls Class A tournament was postponed prior to the finals. 

For a time, there was a hope that the suspended tournaments would be able to finish. Teams waited for an announcement and they finally got it in mid-May.

The NDHSAA’s Board of Directors voted to cancel the winter sports postseasons and all spring sport seasons — a heartbreaking but necessary sacrifice during a difficult time.

That makes the Cardinals the only 2020 high school basketball state champions for the state of North Dakota. It was also head coach Rob Scherr’s 400th career win.

Timing in sports will always be important. Timing for LAEM this year made history.

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