2013 CLASS AA STATE BOYS BASKETBALL QUARTERFINAL PREVIEW
GAMES PLAYED MARCH 20
AT TARGET CENTER
6:00: Perham vs. Minnehaha Academy (Seed 1)
8:00: Annandale (Seed 5) vs. Byron (Seed 4)
AT WILLIAMS ARENA
6:00: Redwood Valley vs. Litchfield (Seed 2)
8:00: Esko vs. Hayfield (Seed 3)
Examining the field: If you're looking at the pairings and you're wondering "Where are all the top teams?" The top five teams, according to Minnesota-scores.net Melrose, Hawley, Maple River, Fairmont and St. Peter were eliminated as well as defending champion Plainview-Elgin-Millville. But fortunately there will still be exciting action in the Class AA bracket.
Starting the evening session at Target Center will be the Perham Yellowjackets, who won the Class AA title in 2011 facing the top seeded Minnehaha Academy Redhawks. The Yellowjackets were the story of the tournament two years ago when Zach Gabbard had heart trouble. Will he be back to help cheer on Perham to their second state title?
The evening concludes withe second Wright County Conference team, the Annandale Cardinals as they hope to wreck the maiden tournament voyage of the Byron Bears. The Bears ended P-E-M's championship reign with an overtime win and they have been on a roll, winning five straight games and got off to an 18-1 start before falling to the Hayfield Vikings. Keep your eye on Byron. They could be one of the favorites.
Over at The Barn, The Redwood Valley Cardinals make the return trip from Redwood Falls to take on last year's runner up the Litchfield Dragons. The Dragons join Delano and Annandale from the Wright County Conference as they have a veteran team returning. John Carlson has built a solid program in the town along Highway 12 and the Dragons have to keep breathing fire to their opponents to earn a return trip to the championship game.
The Esko Eskomos will head down I-35 to go against the Hayfield Vikings. It's been 10 years since the Eskomos last trip to state, and fans (probably none named Quinn) will jump for joy if they can beat the Vikings in the quarterfinals. Hayfield overcame a three game losing streak and has now won five in a row.