08-09 Metro AAAA section previews

This is part 2 in my series previewing and predicting the metro sections. In part 3, a look at the big boys in class AAAA.

Part 1: Sections 4A and 4AA
Part 2: Sections 3AAA, 4AAA and 6AAA


Section 2AAAA
Quarterfinals: 3/11 (High Seed)
Semifinals: 3/14 at Hopkins
Section Championship: 3/20 at Hopkins

Teams to beat: Eden Prairie, Edina
Contenders: Jefferson, Shakopee

Predictions:
Quarterfinals: Eden Prairie, Chaska, Edina, Jefferson
Semifinals: Eden Prairie, Edina
Section champion: Eden Prairie

Section Thoughts: The Richfield vs Jefferson game will be all about pace. If Richfield can speed the game up they'll be fine. But Jefferson won't let them do that and Moses Alipate is the best inside player in this one. Chaska vs Shakopee should be a rivalry game but they didn't play this season. Shakopee doesn't have enough weapons and Chaska has plenty plus the experience of the Lake Conference schedule. Eden Prairie has to win this section at some point after all the success they've had. Its a good game but I think Eden Prairie's defense will hold Edina's guards down.

Section 3AAAA
Quarterfinals: 3/11 (High Seed)
Semifinals: 3/17 at St. Olaf
Section Championship: 3/20 at St. Olaf

Teams to beat: Lakeville North
Contenders: Eastview, Burnsville

Predictions:
Quarterfinals: Lakeville North, Lakeville South, Burnsville, Eastview
Semifinals: Lakeville North, Eastview
Section champion: Eastview

Section Thoughts: AV barely won at home 2 weeks ago, I think Lakeville South pulls the 4 vs 5 upset in a very good game. Eastview knocked off Burnsville both times and Lakeville North in the last meeting. I like the Lightning here as they finished up 7-3 despite a bad loss to Rosemount to end the regular season. If Burnsville shoots it well, they're very dangerous.

Section 4AAAA
Quarterfinals: 3/13 (High Seed)
Semifinals: 3/17 at St. Paul Arlington
Section Championship: 3/20 at St. Paul Arlington

Teams to beat: Henry Sibley
Contenders: Tartan

Predictions:
Quarterfinals: Henry Sibley, Stillwater, Central, Tartan
Semifinals: Henry Sibley, Tartan
Section champion: Henry Sibley

Section Thoughts: Stillwater defeated CDH by 70-65 scores in both games and the teams just played to end the season. Stillwater and their juniors have won 11 of 13 to end the season while CDH and their juniors have stumbled home. This could be a preview of the top 2 teams in the league next year. Woodbury at Central will be fun to watch but Central has too much inside. I expect a big night from Jordan Larson there. Sibley has already blown out Tartan twice, I can't see anything different in the section final.

Section 5AAAA
Quarterfinals: 3/11 (High Seed)
Semifinals: 3/17 at Rogers
Section Championship: 3/20 at Rogers

Teams to beat: Cooper, Osseo
Contenders: Mounds View

Predictions:
Quarterfinals: Cooper, Champlin Park, Mounds View, Osseo
Semifinals: Cooper, Osseo
Section champion: Cooper

Section Thoughts: Centennial lost 4 out of 5 down the stretch including a bad blowout loss to Elk River. Then again, the Elks finished the season by blowing out Champlin Park. The Rebels finished 4-5 after a 12-5 start. Very evenly matched teams, but I'll take Champlin Park at home. Watch out for that 3 vs 6 game with Roseville at Mounds View. Roseville won at home by 2 and lost by 7 at Mounds View with Mike Muscala putting up 36. Even if Mounds View gets past that game, I can't see how they deal with Sam Dower. Cooper has the same team that beat Osseo last year and Osseo isn't as good as they were last year so I'll take Cooper to win the best AAAA section final out there.

NOTE: for these last 2 sections the MSHSL site doesn't have the brackets posted so these are educated guesses

Section 6AAAA
Quarterfinals: 3/10 (Top 2 seeds, Hopkins and Wayzata)
Semifinals: 3/13 at Osseo
Section Championship: 3/17 at Osseo

Teams to beat: Hopkins
Contenders: Wayzata

Predictions:
Quarterfinals: Hopkins, Minnetonka, Wayzata, Armstrong
Semifinals: Hopkins, Armstrong
Section champion: St. Louis Park! (NOT, just seeing if you're paying attention), Hopkins

Section Thoughts: I'm interested to see Minnetonka and what they're doing to get Cole Stefan some more looks. They'll have no answer for Kevin Thompson of North in that 4 vs 5 game, but I think Stefan and Nick Latzke combine for double-digit triples in this one. I just have a feeling that Armstrong gets it done on a neutral court against Wayzata with their shooters. This section is all about Hopkins, but with the Star Trib article and Hopkins putting up 119 on Armstrong to end the season, there's more to a Hopkins/Armstrong final than might meet the eye.

Section 7AAAA
Quarterfinals: 3/13 (High Seed)
Semifinals: 3/17 at Elk River
Section Championship: 3/21 at Elk River

Teams to beat: Forest Lake, Blaine
Contenders: Cambridge-Isanti

Predictions:
Quarterfinals: Forest Lake, Blaine, Cambridge-Isanti, Andover
Semifinals: Forest Lake, Blaine
Section champion: Forest Lake

Section Thoughts: Not sure what the 3-7 seeds here will be, but Forest Lake is clearly the 1 seed and Blaine has more talent than anybody else in the section. Coon Rapids finished 2-9 but they have a couple of scorers who are dangerous. Cambridge-Isanti went 1-4 against the section including losses to Blaine, Andover, St. Francis and lowly Anoka. Duluth East has Dyami Starks and a future star in frosh Johnny Woodard. They took Forest Lake to double OT earlier in the year. Very open section.

1 comment:

  1. johnny woodard is the BEST freshman in the state of minnesota. He will lead his team to state in 2 years something starks cant get done.

    ReplyDelete

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