10-11 Section 4AAA Preview

This is the 16th 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 4AAA.  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

Defending Champion: St. Paul Johnson

Predicted Seeding
  1. St. Paul Johnson
  2. St. Thomas Academy
  3. Hill-Murray
  4. Mahtomedi
  5. St. Paul Highland Park
  6. South St. Paul
  7. St. Paul Harding
In the St. Paul City vs Classic Suburban tournament, the Classic Suburban is stronger top to bottom, but Johnson is the defending state champs and still loaded.  Johnson rolls through most of their schedule with only a couple of tests.  The Classic Suburban falls into line next though I flip Hill-Murray and Mahtomedi due to Justin Pahl leaving Mahtomedi for East Ridge.  Highland Park falls to 5th thanks to the weak St. Paul City and they have to play at Hill-Murray and Mahtomedi.  As to the bottom 2 teams, the number of their seed will be greater than their number of wins.

Section Winner: St. Paul Johnson.  With the star perimeter trio of Tyler, Scott and Marshall back, no way I can pick against the champs. Hill-Murray vs St. Thomas will be an interesting semifinal but I think St. Thomas wins a close one.  St. Thomas is very disciplined and will keep the title game with Johnson close for a while.  But on city turf at Arlington (practically Johnson's backyard) and with all that depth, Johnson pulls away late with defensive pressure and makes another run at a state title. If Hill-Murray falls to 4 they could be looking at a 2nd round rematch at Johnson where they led by 3 at the half last year before falling 70-63.

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