As the winter sports season is winding down to medals and trophies being presented in boys hockey and girls basketball, it time to examine the eight sections in the four boys basketball classes. Leading off will be Class AAAA.
In Section 1, the top seed is last year's Class AAAA runner up, the Lakeville North Panthers. What a winter season it's been for the South Suburban Conference school. Can the Panthers make another trip down I-35 to Minneapolis? Not so fast. They'll have to contend with the second seeded Rochester John Marshall Rockets and the third seeded Owatonna Huskies.
Heading to Section 2, the top seeded Eden Prairie Eagles return a player who also excelled on the gridiron, Grant Shaeffer. Can he help the Eagles win a championship trophy on the court? But first, they'll have to contend with the second seeded Prior Lake Lakers and the third seeded Shakopee Sabres.
The top seed in Section 3 could be one of the favorites to win the state title, the Apple Valley Eagles, tThe Eagles are led by one of the top juniors in the nation Tyus Jones. The second seededEast Ridge Raptors hope to keep Jones and company away from Target Center as well as the third seeded Eagan Wildcats.
A pair of Suburban East Conference schools are the top two seeds in Section 4, the Roseville Raiders and the Woodbury Royals. The two teams spilt during the regular season. Could a rubber game be in the works.
The best of the Class AAAA sections in Section 5. The top seeded Park Center Pirates, led by Quinton Hocker were number one for a few weeks. There's also the defending Class AAAA champion Osseo Orioles seeded second, the third seeded Champlin Park Rebels and the fourth seeded Maple Grove Crimson. Another team to watch for is the fifth season Cooper Hawks, led by Rashad Vaughn. Who will come out of this section? An interesting one to watch.
The Section 6 pairings have not be released yet, but keep your eye on the Minnetonka Skippers and the perennial power Hopkins Royals to land one of the top two seeds. Keep your eye on the St. Louis Park Orioles, the all senior squad could be the darkhorse.
The top seed in Section 7 is the St. Francis Fighting Saints. Look out for the second seeded Duluth East Greyhounds and the third seeded Forest Lake Rangers. It's wide open.
Wrapping up the AAAA preview is Section 8, where the Brainerd Warriors are the top seed. Also contending are the second seeded Elk River Elks and the third seeded Moorhead Spuds.
Class AAA is up next.