12-13 Section 7AAAA Preview

This is the 24th preview in my 2012-2013 season preview series.  In this 2nd to last preview in my 5 week long look at the metro area conferences and sections, I finish my look at sections with predictions in section 7AAAA.  Tomorrow's final preview will be a list of players, teams and games to watch this season.  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

Defending Champion: Duluth East

Predicted Seeding
  1. Duluth East
  2. Forest Lake  
  3. Anoka 
  4. Blaine
  5. St. Francis 
  6. Andover
  7. Cambridge-Isanti
There are teams and sections that have down years.  Then you have this section which has fallen off a cliff and will be the weakest in class 4A.  Based on my predictions this section includes 7th in the Suburban East, 8, 9 and 11 in the NW Suburban, 9th in the N Suburban and a possible last place finisher in the Mississippi 8.  At the top by default is Duluth East who lost 3 stars (Woodard, Stafford and Manyang) but still has enough to be my pick to win the section.  Guard Shaq Coleman and Forward Mat Lochner give new coach Rhett McDonald some punch.  Forest Lake returns sharp shooting center Noah Davis but has to find pieces around him.  Anoka, Blaine and Andover are all in rebuilding years as I think they are 3 of the bottom feeders in the NW Suburban.  Anoka returns guard Malcolm Seals which gives them the nod for the 3 seed.  St. Francis beat Andover and Cambridge-Isanti last year.  With the improved Jake Johnson back, I think they can stay off the bottom of this section.  Cambridge-Isanti has youth coming up but lost their top 2 scorers from a team that won only 3 games.  This section could provide the always difficult father vs son matchup if the Bluejackets can somehow draw Duluth East.

Sleeper: As down as this section is you could make a case for just about anybody, but I'm going to take St. Francis.  Jake Johnson inside gives them an advantage over most in the section.

Section Winner: Duluth East.  They have a couple of solid starters back from last year's club.  The rest of the section is down and the 1 seed gets a nice advantage with the bye.  At least the Greyhounds will have a chance to get some more fans to the section semis and finals.  Those games this year have been moved to North Branch.  That makes far more sense than the recent site Elk River did.

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