The final part of the 2014 boys high school basketball section preview examines who's left standing in Class A.
Starting with Section 1, The Rushford-Peterson Trojans are the top seed in the East Subsection, losing only one game this season to Caledonia. Head coach Tom Vix is in his 29th year and last year the Trojans took third place in the state tournament. Can they hold off the second seeded Spring Grove Lions for state trip number 13? In the West Subsection, the Goodhue Wildcats and the Blooming Prairie Awesome Blossoms are the top two seeds. The Wildcats have won five straight and it could be the start of a successful march in Goodhue basketball since the girls are ranked fourth in Class A. First, they'll likely play Rushford-Peterson for a trip to Minneapolis.
In Section 2, the top remaining seeds are the Mountain Lake Area Wolverines and the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City Falcons. The Wolverines are ranked second in Class A and look to return to state for the third straight year after not returning for 60 years. There are also a couple of hot teams who are on 10 game winning streaks, United South Central and St. Clair. It could get interesting.
Section 3 looks like a tough one since the two top seeds the Dawson Boyd Blackjacks and the defending state champion SW MN Christian Eagles. But wait, there's more. The Canby Lancers and Ellsworth Panthers are also in the hunt. Some exciting basketball coming up in the state's southwest corner.
The top seed in Section 4, Maranatha Christian Academy made it to last year's state final. They look like the team to beat in the section though they have to get by a hot Southwest Christian stars, who have won nine straight.
Over in Section 5, the Browerville Tigers are the top seed in the North subsection but they will have to contend with a pair of hot teams in the south, the top ranked Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Jaguars and the Upsala Cardinals. Last year the Cardinals went to state. Could this be BBE's year?
There won't be much of a battle in section 6 as the unbeaten Battle Lake Battlers look to return to state after losing to Upsala in last year's Class A quarterfinals. Looking to end the battle is Wheaton/Herman Norcross.
Could history be in the making in Section 7? Fond du lac Ojibwe could be the first Ojibwe school to play in a state tournament but first they have to get by a hot South Ridge team that's won 13 consecutive games. Their main section contender is the Ely Timberwolves. An interesting section to watch as Chisholm head coach Bob McDonald hopes to play spoiler with a final trip to state. A great way to wrap up a storied career.
The final section to be examined is Section 8, where the top seeds are the Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Wolves and the Northern Freeze. The Fertile-Beltrami Falcons and Red Lake Warriors could make things interesting.
All roads lead to Minneapolis in mid-March.