11-12 Section 3AAA Preview

This is the 22nd preview in my 2011-2012 season preview series.  In this preview, we look at our final class AAA section.  Its off to the north metro for a look at section 3.  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

Defending Champion: Columbia Heights

Predicted Seeding
  1. DeLaSalle
  2. Spring Lake Park
  3. Columbia Heights
  4. Minneapolis Patrick Henry
  5. St. Anthony
  6. Totino-Grace
  7. St. Paul Como Park
  8. Fridley
Plenty of talent in the top half of this section.  DeLaSalle leads the way in that department and with a whole season to educate the youth, I like them on top.  Spring Lake Park's run and easy schedule in the North Suburban gives them the 2 seed.  Sean Scott very dangerous for the Panthers and they have plenty of experience.  Ben Glover and Columbia Heights can't be discounted with their athletes.  Henry is a huge wildcard with Darius Hill, Shawn Atkins, Wunell Beard and Tim Gill (I'm hearing Deonte Blakemore is no longer there).  The recent coaching search there was botched badly in my opinion.  Hopefully they finally ended up with a quality new coach to lead a program that has taken a huge tumble in recent years.  St. Anthony's Anthony Brama is one of the top scorers in the section.  Totino-Grace fits into the next slot by default.  Como Park and Fridley fill the last 2 slots.  The Fridley tournament has St. Anthony, Fridley and Como Park so keep an eye on that for seed theft. 

Sleeper: St Anthony.  Coach Dave Bratland gets his guys to play as hard as anyone and makes sure his top guys get the shots.  Add in a goto scorer who can get points inside against a section that has very little size and I see a sleeper.

Section Winner: DeLaSalle.  They come out of another tough game to win the section.  But don't ignore the experience at Spring Lake Park.  Columbia Heights is a serious threat with a big time scorer and a ton of athletic bodies.  If they can force opponents to play their frenetic style, they'll have a great shot to return to state.


  1. Hey Czar

    Just curious, where do you think Patrick Henry Would've finished had Love not transferred to Minnetonka, Blakemore not left (reportedly), and they didn't have this coaching carousel going on? How successful and how far do you think they can or could've been?

  2. With all that talent and some stability, a case could have been made for winning the section. But that would have meant the old coach was still there and they were a huge disappointment last year so that would have kept the same issues in place.

  3. Hey Czar,

    Dont you think Blakemoore,Atkins,Hill,Gill,and Love would be able to be on the same team ? To much talent could have been the problem with Henry basketball. With a new coach, and they still have there main back court with Shawn Atkins and Darius Hill; i believe they could make a run light Columbia Heights did last year.


Have a different take than mine? You can provide your take here.