08-09 Section Final Previews

Hopkins is in after beating Wayzata. 10 more finals to play, 8 of them on Friday, 1 tonight and 1 on Saturday. I went 16-0 in semifinal games on Tuesday where I had the chance to be right (Apple Valley was the one wrong answer and I had Lakeville North so no chance there). All 11 section winners in the metro still alive in my picks. Let's take a closer look at the games.

Thursday's 6AAA final Washburn vs Holy Angels
Washburn won the regular season meeting 78-49 on January 20th. But that was part of the 1-13 AHA start thru January 27th. Since then the Stars are 8-6 with close losses to Northfield, Delano and Farmington and wins over New Prague and the 2 tourney wins over Waconia and De La Salle. I picked AHA to win the 1st 2 games, but I can't pick them here as Washburn is just too talented. This one could get ugly if Washburn shows up. The lackluster 1st half performance against BSM in the semis may have been a much needed wakeup call.

Friday's 8 Championships:
  • Section 4A MTS vs SW Christian. This is the 1 matchup that gives somebody else in the section a chance. MTS won the regular season meeting at SWC 112-93 on February 6th via a 20 point halftime lead. Kevin Noreen with 41 and 17 for MTS. Caleb Palkert with 29 and 17 for SWC. Ryan Cummings blew up for 34 for SWC to keep it interesting. Keep a spare scoreboard handy in this one. If it gets close, will MTS be prepared? Will Palkert get critical touches? MTS is the pick.
  • Section 4AA St. Bernard's vs Holy Family. Not the matchup for ratings. Jordan's bigs would have been very interesting to watch in this one. St. Bernard's has way too much and it gets out of hand very quickly.
  • Section 3AAA: Spring Lake Park vs Columbia Heights. Tons of guard play here. Jacob Thomas with 34 on February 24th in a 82-73 win to offset 29 from Shaun Jensen. Good matchup for the Hylanders. I take them in the upset in a fast paced game.
  • Section 4AAA: Johnson vs Mahtomedi. Mahtomedi may be able to crash the glass in this one, but Johnson is way too quick and way too deep. They win easily.
  • (Czar's Note, 3/19/09 I mistakenly wrote the original preview with Edina when I should have used Jefferson, I've removed the mistake) Section 2AAAA Jefferson vs Eden Prairie. Eden Prairie's defense holds down Jefferson and Wragge is too tough. Ugly defensive struggle with Eden Prairie moving on.
  • Section 3AAAA Eastview vs Apple Valley. Eastview won both regular season games (last meeting 73-55 on Feb 6th) and their back to full strength. Fun matchup of point guards with AV's Varmah Sonie against EV's Vinard Birch. City bragging rights on the line in this one so throw out the records. Drew Johnson and/or Drew Bjordal need to make shots in this one. I think they will for the trip to state.
  • Section 4AAAA Tartan vs Henry Sibley. Sibley's just too big and there's no good answer for Mike Bruesewitz. Sibley won both regular season meetings easily and I don't see that changing.
  • Section 5AAAA Osseo vs Cooper. These teams meet for the 3rd straight year in the tourney and 2nd straight year in the final. Sam Dower is a tough matchup, but Cooper is so athletic. As I said in my preview. Cooper is the same team as last year, Osseo doesn't have the X factor that was Carrington Tankson.
Saturday's 7AAAA Championship Forest Lake vs Blaine
Tough to figure this game. Forest Lake won the regular season meeting 57-40 in Forest Lake on December 22nd. Zach Riedeman with 16 and 11 in the win. Billy Giddings with 16 in the loss. But that was part of a dismal 1-10 stretch for the Bengals. Blaine is 10-4 since then with a close loss to Osseo and a bad loss to Andover where they were up by double digits at the half. The Rangers held down Dylan Rodriguez in the 1st meeting. If they do that again, they win. A slow pace favors Forest Lake. A fast pace favors the 3 scorers (Giddings, Rodriguez and Jesse Briggity) for Blaine. The pick is Forest Lake.

1 comment:

  1. 4AA, Jordan wasn't athletic enough to hang with StB
    4A, I agree MTS is too much for SWC


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