After the Class 1A and 2A schools got section tournament season kicked off last week, the larger schools jump into the tournament series this week. While both Class 3A and 4A feature top-ranked teams that have spent a good portion of the season- if not the entire season- atop the rankings, DeLaSalle and Apple Valley will both have to look out for quality teams that can get hot and pull off the upset that the month of March is so well known for.
For DeLaSalle, their season has been nothing but total domination. They finished the regular season with a 23-1 record with their one loss coming to Kansas City’s Blue Valley Northwest, the undefeated and #1-ranked team in Kansas’s large-school division. Since that loss, the Islanders have rolled off 18 straight victories; the closest of which was a 17-point win over then-#5 in 4A Eden Prairie. Last year they won the 3A state championship in one of the most memorable title games in recent memory, a buzzer-beating 57-56 overtime victory over Minneapolis Washburn.
Apple Valley, the #1 team in the 4A poll at the start of the season as well as the end of the season, put together quite an impressive regular season as well, winning 25 games against just one loss. That loss, a two-point loss to Park Center in the second game of the season, cost the Eagles the #1 spot for a time, but an undefeated run through the South Suburban Conference helped propel the Eagles back to the top of the heap. As Apple Valley turns their attention to the postseason, they’re looking to avenge a four-point loss to Eastview in the Section 3AAAA finals and return to state for the first time since 2009.
While each section across the state promises high drama and off-the-charts intensity, here are a few sections that promise to have some of the best matchups in the two largest divisions.