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One last run: Woodbury’s Ambriz, Swansson picked for all-star game

Woodbury senior guard Matt Ambriz was chosen for the 32nd annual Minnesota High School All-Star Basketball Series. (Bulletin file photo)1 / 2
Longtime Woodbury boys basketball coach Scott Swansson was chosen for the 32nd annual Minnesota High School All-Star Basketball Series. (Bulletin file photo)2 / 2

Woodbury’s Scott Swansson and Matt Ambriz will hit the hardwood one more time before they cap their storied high school basketball careers.

Swansson, the longtime coach of the Woodbury boys basketball team, and Ambriz, a sharpshooting Woodbury senior guard, will compete in the 32nd annual Minnesota High School All-Star Basketball Series.

Swansson, who is retiring from Woodbury High School - where he collected a 240-165 record as head coach of the Royals’ boys basketball program, will coach the Gold team in the four-team all-star tournament. Woodbury assistant coach Greg Schmitz will share the sidelines as Swansson’s assistant one more time with the Gold squad.

Ambriz, who averaged a team- and Suburban East Conference-best 25.8 points per game to go along with 4.0 rebounds per game, will play for the Green team, which will be coached by Upsala’s Vern Capelle. St. Paul Johnson’s Vern Simmons will coach the Maroon team and Chisholm legend Bob McDonald will coach the Blue team. Like Swansson, McDonald is also retiring, after 59 years and over 1,000 victories.

At Woodbury, Swansson helped lead the Royals to four section championship and four state tournaments. Woodbury reached the big dance in 2006, 2007, 2012 and 2013 under Swansson. In addition to coaching basketball, he has also been a longtime assistant football and baseball coach for the Royals.

This past year, Woodbury wrapped the year with a 17-8 regular season record and a 2-1 record in section play, falling 90-78 to Tartan in the Section 4AAAA final.

At the All-Star Basketball Series, doubleheaders will be played Friday, March 28 at Halenbeck Hall on the campus of St. Cloud State University and Saturday, March 29 at Leonard Center on the campus of Macalester College in St. Paul.

Friday’s event will be tipped off by a contest between the Gold and Green teams at 7:00 p.m. The Blue and Maroon teams will culminate the evening’s activities at 8:45 p.m. Saturday’s schedule will include games at 2:15 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Dunk contests will precede each of the games and 3-point shooting contests will be conducted at halftimes on both dates. Tickets at the door are $8 for adults and $6 for senior citizens and students. Kids 5-and-under get in free. For more information regarding the all-star series go to

-Patrick Johnson

Patrick Johnson
Patrick Johnson has been the South Washington County Bulletin’s sports editor since 2008. He reports on and oversees coverage of high school and amateur sports in south Washington County and Woodbury. Prior to joining the Bulletin, Johnson worked for other Twin Cities suburban newspapers. He is a University of Minnesota graduate.
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