10-11 Section 3AAA Preview

This is the 15th preview in my 2010-2011 season preview series.  In this preview, I continue my look at the metro area sections with a look at Section 3AAA.  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

Defending Champion: DeLaSalle

Predicted Seeding
  1. DeLaSalle
  2. Columbia Heights
  3. Minneapolis Henry
  4. St. Paul Central
  5. Totino-Grace
  6. St. Paul Como Park
  7. Fridley
  8. St. Anthony
It should be another very competitive season in section 3AAA.  DeLaSalle's non-conference schedule will give them every opportunity to top the section standings.  Columbia Heights will have to take the North Suburban crown to take the top seed.  Henry has games at DeLaSalle and hosting Columbia Heights.  Henry's guards traditionally give DeLaSalle fits but Henry doesn't have the guards of years past.  Totino-Grace is dangerous in the 5 slot as they're good enough to beat a Central team and they took out Henry last year in the tourney (and barely lost in another game).  Como Park looks like a lock for the 6 seed with their talent and St. Paul City schedule.  A possible Fridley/St. Anthony matchup in the Fridley holiday tourney likely determines the last 2 spots.  But that game will look much different than the 66-65 OT gem these 2 played last December at St. Anthony.

Section Winner: DeLaSalle.  They barely took out Columbia Heights in the section final last season and I expect another classic this season.  2 keys to that game will be pace and the turnover battle.  If a slow pace and sound defense forces Heights into frustration turnovers trying to generate offense, that's a big tilt to DeLaSalle.  If pressure on a DeLaSalle team that hasn't shown a true point guard force turnovers and allow an up and down helter-skelter kind of game, then Heights will be tough to deal with.  Ultimately, while DeLaSalle has players like Melvin Collins and Riley Dearring to match up with Zach Lofton and Ben Glover, Heights really doesn't have a good answer inside for Jonah Travis who's too quick for Andrew Hanson and too big and strong for the rest of the Heights roster.

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