12-13 Section 4AAA Preview

This is the 17th preview in my 2012-2013 season preview series.  In this preview, we 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. Hill-Murray
  3. St. Paul Central
  4. St. Thomas Academy
  5. St. Paul Highland Park
  6. Simley
  7. St. Paul Harding
  8. South St. Paul
Johnson has won this section 4 consecutive years.  Last year the Govs were down and still won the section.  This year Central returns a talented group.  Hill-Murray has solid guards and adds Marshawn Wilson from Tartan.  Guard play is important against Johnson to handle their pressure defense.  I expect the section once again to see a repeat of recent classics between Hill-Murray and Johnson.  Johnson has gotten the upper hand in all of those.  I see this year as Johnson's biggest challenge to return.  St. Thomas Academy has shooters but not athletes.  Highland Park is solid but they too are a notch down.  Simley is improved but I can't put them above 6.  Harding loses a ton.  South St. Paul sees another year in the cellar.

Sleeper: St. Paul Central.  I said in my season preview that they have enough talent to challenge Johnson in the St. Paul City and I still believe that.  Markus Taylor-Knighten is talented enough to be the MVP of the section.  Malik Durant-Haines gives them a post presence that is hard to find.  Plus they have plenty of athletes.

Section Winner: St. Paul Johnson. I can't pick against the champs until beaten.  The winning tradition is in full force at Johnson and without a no-brainer better team, they have to be the team to beat.  Jalen Mobley and Quashingm Smith-Pugh give them a pair of standouts to lead the way,

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