2010 Class AAAA Section Final Keys

Here's some thoughts on the 7 class AAAA finals to be played the next 2 nights.

Section 1: Hastings vs Owatonna (at Rochester)
Owatonna is stingy defensively giving up 50.4 points per game, 2nd in AAAA  Hastings will need to get their forward due of Shane Monjeau and Nick Gmiterko (34.7 PPG) going.  If 1 of those guys has an off night, Hastings could be in trouble.  Based on common opponents Rochester Century and Rochester John Marshall, this one could should be close.

Section 2: Chaska vs Eden Prairie (at Chanhassen)
Perfect site right between both schools which is rare in class AAAA.  With Ross Travis, EP won handily at home.  Without Travis, Chaska took EP to the wire at Chaska. Strange.  Strong front lines for each team.  Brett Ervin has come up big for Eden Prairie in both games with 49 total points.  Jake White with a pair of respectable games but no body else for Chaska has cleared 10 points.  Not surprising since Eden Prairie is #4 in AAAA allowing just 51 points a game.  If I'm Chaska, I take a wash from the guard play and a wash from White/Ervin.  That leaves Ross Travis to come up big.  Max Watts was injured for Chaska in the regular season finale 2 weeks ago, his shooting would come in handy in this one.  Grant Soderburg can knock down shots for Eden Prairie so Chaska will need to find him.

Section 3: Eastview vs Lakeville South (at St. Olaf)
The only section where a 1 seed doesn't make the championship game.  This matchup guarantees the Lake Conference a second team in the state tournament.  Once Joey King returned, Eastview was the best team in the league going 8-1 down the stretch.  Eastview won a tight one at home against South 64-61 on February 23rd.  While King and Vinard Birch are difficult matchups for South, Alex Richter is a tough matchup for Eastview.  South needs to take care of the ball and find a second scorer behind Richter.  The battle of Riley West and Birch at the point is critical.  Both are quality defenders and second scorers for their teams.  That battle could go a long way in determining who wins as I see King and Richter getting their points.

Section 4: Sibley vs Cretin-Derham Hall (at East Ridge)
Hopefully we get the most intriguing matchup of the playoffs, Mike Rostampour against Seantrel Henderson.  2 beasts down low laying the lumber would be a site to see.  More likely we'll see some of Jake Kreuser using his length against Henderson.  Cortez Tillman likely out at the point guard spot for CDH with a sprained foot.  That means Raijon Kelly moves over to play point.  He did it last year but he's been a scorer this year, tough balancing act for him.  For Sibley, you have to be prepared for the high/low set with Henderson and the 2-3 zone trap from CDH.  Guys like Jimmy Ryan will need to make shots against that zone.  For CDH, keep Jordan Jackson under control with Elliot Owusu and Taylor Montero.  Henderson and Rostampour are both monsters on the offensive glass, those numbers have to be limited.

Section 5: Champlin Park vs Robbinsdale Cooper (at Rogers)
Discussion here has to begin with Calvin Godfrey of Cooper.  If he goes nuts for 30+ like he did in the semis vs Mounds View, then Cooper wins easily.  If he's in foul trouble and on the bench, then things even out and Cooper becomes an up and down team and the game becomes about tempo.  Cooper has plenty of guys who can score in Terrance Averyheart and Darry Jones just to name 2 double figure guys.  Elijah Swen and Terry Glass have also come up big at times this year for the Hawks.  Defensively they matchup well with the Rebels too with athletes and bigs like Brandon Harrison to play against Kyle Zimmerman. 

Section 7: Forest Lake vs Duluth East (at Elk River)
Forest Lake has a monkey on their back losing the section title game the last 2 years and lost both regular season meetings with Duluth East.  The third time is for all the marbles.  Duluth East won by 4 at Forest Lake and 6 in the Granite City tournament over the holidays.  Dyami Starks has had a monster year and he leads a high powered offense.  Soph Johnny Woodard not only can fill it up but he also gets the toughest defensive assignment and a tough one it is.  Zach Riedeman has lit the Greyhounds up for 30 and 34 in the 2 games but with minimal help.  Hard to figure Duluth East with 2 wins (road and neutral) over the Rangers but a really bad home loss to Bloomington Jefferson.  Both teams had tough semifinal games.   Duluth East's defense is the key.
Section 8: Buffalo vs St. Cloud Tech (at St. Cloud State)
A real battle here.  Tech has enough offense to win this with Scott Nystrom and Alex Hanks.  But besides those 2 and Thomas Korf, they got nothing in their semifinal win.  Buffalo is tough as nails and won the regular season meeting.  Brent Kettenacker can knock down shots and Aaron Duske is an effective inside outside threat.  If Tech can get out and run that will be to their advantage.  Buffalo grinds it out and really lock you down defensively.

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