2013 STATE CLASS A GIRLS BASKETBALL QUARTERFINAL SCHEDULE
GAMES PLAYED THURSDAY, MARCH 14 AT WILLIAMS ARENA
11:00: Upsala vs. Bethlehem Academy
1:00: Mountain Iron-Buhl vs. Minneota
3:00: Maranatha Christian Academy vs. Ada-Borup
5:00: Mankato Loyola vs. Win-E-Mac
Examining the field: Thursday's opening quarterfinal game is a "Battle of the Cardinals" as Upsala embarks on their maiden state tournament voyage. They have won their first 14 games before losing to Maranatha and have won eight of their last nine. Bethlehem Academy, based in Faribault is coached by former Carleton coach Tammy Filzen. Two of their four losses were to NRHEG and this should be an interesting matchup viewed by lots of red clad fans.
In the second game, the states top ranked Class A team, the Mountain Iron-Buhl Rangers take on the Minneota Vikings. Last year, the Rangers lost to Maranatha in the championship game. This season, they beat the Mustangs in regular season play and hope to get another rematch in the finals. Here's a player to watch for, eight grader Chelsea Mason. She averages over 15 points a game and has a season high of 31 in their section game against Northeast Range. This is a team that's on the rise and could be a threat to Maranatha's championship reign. Minneota is led by sophomore Taylor Reiss. They have not lost a game since they lost to Marshall on January 15 and they have the momentum to make MI-B MIA.
As for Maranatha, they begin their quest for their third straight Class A title against the Ada-Borup Cougars. The Cougars also have an outstanding tournament history, winning two Class A titles in 2008 and 2009. They also have one of the most dynamic pep bands in Minnesota, under the leadership of Richard Tuttle. The Mustangs are led by Madison Lee and Onye Osemenam and they have the experience to go for the threepeat.
Wrapping up the quarterfinals are two teams who return to state after lengthy hiatuses. The Mankato Loyola Crusaders make their first trip to Minneapolis since 1981 and the Win-E-Mac Patriots are back for the first time since 1989. Win-E-Mac, which stands for the towns of Winger, Erskine and Macintosh lost both their games to Ada-Borup and only had one close game this season when they beat Fosston in the Section 8A final by five. They have an outstanding freshman in Madison McKeever, averaging 17.8 points per game.
That's the state tournament preview. Get set for four days of exciting girls basketball action.