Here's Part Two of a four part girls basketball section preview. Next up to be examined is the eight Class AAA sections.
For the second straight year, the top ranked Class AAA team is the top seed in Section 8 the Fergus Falls Otters. But Brad Strand's bunch has a tough road ahead with a couple of outstanding teams who look to keep the Otters from boarding a bus down 1-94 to Target Center. The second seeded Albany Huskies, whose only was to the Foley Falcons has only three seniors but keep an eye out for a possible section final with the Otters in Moorhead. Don't count out the third seeded Thief River Falls Prowlers. They only lost two games, one to Fergus Falls. The fourth seeded Alexandria Cardinals are also in the mix. Who will come out of this section? Take a drive to the MN State Moorhead campus March 14. The section final could be a dandy.
If you go to mshsl.org and look at the Section 3 pairings, you'll probably be wondering "What happened to DeLaSalle?" The three time state champions were hit hard by graduation and they are seeded third behind a team that could end the Islanders section dominance, the Park Center Pirates. The Brooklyn Park school, led by Kayla McMorris, has had an outstanding season. There's also the hot second seeded Totino-Grace Eagles, winners of seven straight. Can the Islanders go for four in a row or will PC end DLS' reign?
THE REST OF THE FIELD
In Section 1, the Kasson-Mantorville KoMets are the top seed and have the best record of any team in the section. Two of their five losses were to Class AA power Kenyon-Wanamingo. The second seeded Winona Winhawks are also a contender.
The top seed in Section 2 is the Marshall Tigers. Can they parlay their success in volleyball toward a state tournament berth in basketball? First they will have to get past the second seeded Worthington Trojans. The Trojans are back in Class AAA after a stint in AA. Their only two losses were to Marshall. Round three between the two section powerhouses could be in the works.
Section 4 has the looks of another super section, led by the top seeded New Prague Trojans. But wait, there's more as the second seeded Hill-Murray Pioneers, under the veteran leadership of Erin Herman and the third seeded Simley Spartans. Hill-Murray has a solid future with six sophomores. Can Ron Gunderson lead New Prague to a trip down I-35 to Minneapolis?
Roll up for the Magical Mystery Tour in Section 5, with the top seeded Monticello Magic, the second seeded Orono Spartans and the third seeded Delano Tigers who have won five straight games. Watch for the fourth seeded Zimmerman Thunder, looking for their first trip to state.
This season, the Minneapolis Washburn Millers have moved up from Class AA to the top seed in Section 6. Can Chase Coley, an outstanding shot blocker who will play for Iowa next season lead the Millers to a second consecutive trip to Target Center? First, they will have to beat the second seeded Benilde-St. Margaret's Red Knights.
The Section 7 pairings have not yet been posted but look out for the Chisago Lakes Wildcats, led by 6'5" center Bryanna Fernstrom to get the top seed.
Who's left in Class AA? Ffind out next.