Why Section 4A Stinks

On MN Preps I've been ripped for my opinion that Section 4A is the worst section in the state. So here I provide details on my point of view. I'm willing to concede that maybe it isn't the worst section around, but I'm convinced that the section is certainly not worth the best in 1A hype that Breakdown gave it.


Breakdown ranked New Life Academy #9 in their 1A rankings, but they weren't even in the top 5 in the section when the section was previewed. That along with statements like "Richfield will be a good defensive team" cause the Breakdown to lose considerable credibility. Also when the 4th and 5th teams in the rankings are a combined 26-26 with only 2 quality wins (1 of which was on a home floor and later avenged by 17 pts), that's a serious sign of weakness.

I decided to take the QRFs for each team last year and then average those QRFs across this year's sections (where possible). The results were as follows.

Section 1 Average 85.10526
Section 2 Average 94.55556
Section 3 Average 79.71429
Section 4 Average 93.90476
Section 5 Average 84.42105
Section 6 Average 84.05
Section 7 Average 92.77273
Section 8 Average 78.57895

You'll see that section 4 finished 7th with 5 sections being noticeably better. With Maranatha being a lesser team this year and St. Agnes being noticeably worse without Jordair Jett, considerable strength is lost at the top of the section. Not to mention that this section has more teams that finished below 100 and below 150 in the QRF last year than any other 1A section.

Lets look at the top teams in the section in detail

Maranatha: They lose Alex Thomas but return David Hanson so they are still a section contender. The opponents last year that they beat had a record 0f 305-380 with 5 quality wins (2 each over Lester Prairie and SW Christian + a win over Trinity). Still a very good team, but not the powerhouse of years past.

MN Transitions: Their style of play and schedule can make a quick look at them deceiving. The opponents they beat had a record of 202-193, but only 2 of their 19 wins were quality wins (at New Life and a big win at Park Christian, I can find no record of them playing Lester Prairie). One could even argue that the New Life win isn't a quality win as we'll see later, but I give credit for it since it was on the road.

SW Christian: The opponents they beat had a record of 202-285. A quality win at home over MN Transitions was their best win. Also 2 quality wins over New Life (1 road, 1 neutral)

Oh Day Aki: The opponents they beat had a record of 196-241. That includes quality wins over MCA in the tournament, MN Transitions and SW Christian and a win over Minneapolis South.

St. Agnes: The opponents they beat had a record of 228-283 with 5 quality (DLS, Oh Day Aki who they destroyed by 21, Concordia, Minnehaha and SW Christian). But without Jordair Jett, don't expect them to be more than .500. They'll be hard pressed to finish 3rd in the Tri-Metro East.

Now the pretenders:

New Life Academy: The opponents they beat had a record of 135-268, but their best wins were at 15-12 West Lutheran and at 14-12 Heritage who finished 6th and 7th in the MCAA.

West Lutheran: The opponents they beat had a record of 111-206 and they had only 1 quality win (Trinity on a neutral floor in the MCAA tournament).

Heritage: The opponents they beat had a record of 98-185. Of their 14 wins, their top 5 wins came over 10-11 Spectrum (3) and 2 over a bad 11-14 Providence team that was 9th in the MCAA. No quality wins.

CHOF: The opponents they beat had a record of 108-165 and they had only 1 quality win which was at home over MN Transitions. Transitions avenged that loss later in the season on their court by 17 pts to show who really was the better team.

Four Directions was 17-8 but got a 7 seed in their half because they didn't play or beat anyone.

Nobody else was above 100 in the QRF and you have a mess of teams 149 or below (out of 171)

Moral of the story is that most of these teams play weak schedules and/or don't beat good teams.

Maranatha and Transitions are very good teams at the top but not powerhouses like an Ellsworth. SW Christian may be in that mix. Oh Day Aki could easily go 25-5 again or 5-25 based on demographics at the school so we shall see. Everybody else in the section is either OK or miserable. Any section with 20+ teams and only 2-4 of those teams worth mentioning is a fraud.

That said, if section 4A is the best in the state, I'm thankful. It means I get to see a great section final at Holy Angels on March 18th. And if this is the best class A ball in Minnesota, thank god I don't have to see the rest of it because it must be really really awful.


  1. Since the inception of section 4A, no team has been able to win the class A tournament. CHOF had the best chance in 2001 but lost to Hillcrest Lutheran in the title game. MCA's 2005-06 squad dropped a heartbreaker to RP, and last year's Bernard's team couldn't contain Ellsworth.

    Section 4A is the "metro small school section." Due to the availability of better programs, athletes choose to play elsewhere in the metro.

  2. Why are you judging the section by one year. Look at what the section has done over the last three years...!

  3. Thank you John Sherman! Would you like to promote your program in any other way while you're here?

    To have a full understanding of my post and why I wrote it, you need to read the dialog on the MN Preps board ("Why all the Holy Family haters?"). This year Breakdown ranked 4A as the strongest section in class A. The point of my post was to objectively evaluate the section from top to bottom (all 20+ teams), not just the best teams. Those people who are disagreeing with me choose only to look at the top teams in the section and not realize how truly awful the bottom of the section is (which is something you should know well from Metro Lakes play). My post is in no way a historical analysis of the section.

    Besides, I gave Transitions a good review so what is your issue. I will also be giving another charter school a very favorable review in the coming days.

  4. My name is Jeremy Miller. I am the JV coach and school counselor at MTS.
    When you have an advanced degree in psychology, as I do, you deal a lot with stats. All I'm saying is, if you want to make your argument more valid use a larger sampling.

    I enjoy reading your blog, Keep it up.

  5. See, I knew you had to be one of the coaches there. Glad you enjoy the blog. I look forward to seeing you guys play. I hope you saw that I intentionally stayed away from all of the standard negative arguments about your program because they didn't add value to the case that was being made.

    You are right about stats, there are 3 kinds of lies after all, lies, darn lies and statistics. That's the 1st and ONLY thing I learned when I took stats in high school. :)

    Again, my point was to evaluate the section this year only, data from past years wouldn't have added any value to that analysis. That said, it would be interesting to do an analysis of the sections over a period of years.


Have a different take than mine? You can provide your take here.