11-12 Section 7AAAA Preview

This is the 14th preview in my 2011-2012 season preview series.  In this preview, I start my look at the metro area sections.  For variety sake, we'll do these in reverse order starting with section 7AAAA.  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

Defending Champion: Duluth East

Predicted Seeding
  1. Blaine
  2. Anoka
  3. Duluth East
  4. Forest Lake 
  5. Andover
  6. Cambridge-Isanti
  7. St. Francis
Thanks to new section realignment, this section is down to 7 teams from 9 last year.   The new combination of Duluth Central/Denfeld was the 8th team here but recently got pushed down to section 7AAA.  This section pretty clearly comes down to Duluth East and Blaine.  The losses in most of the rest of the section are just too big and too much coming back for these top 2.  Biggest wildcard is the health of Johnny Woodard and where the Greyhounds get seeded.  With Woodard out for the 1st half or so of the season and a tough schedule especially while's he out, I think that knocks their seed down (not to mention the NW Suburban coaches possibly ganging up on them unless the section uses the QRF which is another discussion for another time).  I'm already going to upset my conference preview picks as I'm going to take Blaine over Anoka despite my preview having Anoka higher.  The Bengals are deeper than I originally thought.  Cambridge-Isanti at St. Francis on January 28th could decide the last seed in the section.  Andover stays out of the bottom 2 with home wins over Cambridge-Isanti and St. Francis.  Cambridge could really help themselves with a home win over Forest Lake on December 13th.  Forest Lake will get their chances to move up at Blaine on January 12th and at home against Duluth East on February 11th.

Sleeper: Anoka.  The Tornadoes as my 2 seed normally wouldn't qualify here but since Duluth East gets knocked down I'll make an exception.  Quality guard play is never a bad thing come playoff time and Anoka has that.  Malcolm Seals should have a breakout year and be able to run the offense.  Marcus Tyus is talented enough to carry an offense so if he gets it going he could lead them through the section.  

Section Winner: Duluth East.  Assuming Johnny Woodard is healthy for the tournament, him and Taylor Stafford are the best duo in the section.  Just too much for the rest of the section to handle.  Add in 2 straight years in the section final and last year's win and I won't pick against the champs.

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