by: Brian Peterson
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — Homefield advantage, indeed.
First-day leaders Kobie Koenig and Alex Keranen, of Grand Rapids, added to their comfortable advantage on the second and final day to pull away and win the 2018 Minnesota Junior Bass Nation State Championship, held Saturday and Sunday on Lake Pokegama in Grand Rapids.
The duo, which led by nearly 5 pounds after Day 1 with a 23.3-pound bag, finished at 41.89, 7 pounds ahead of runners-up Jack Cleveland and Zach Wilke, also of Grand Rapids (34.88), who were second after the first day, too. Yet another Grand Rapids team – Easton Fothergill and Nick Dumke – finished fourth at 29.63.
Ethan Vanden Busch and Patrick McMurry, of Lakeville, placed third at 31.34 pounds, and Tyler Strombeck and Logan Brecht, of Rogers, rounded out the top five at 27.64 pounds.
Hutchinson’s Paul Nass landed the big bass of the tournament, a 6.57-pound smallmouth on Sunday.