2015-16 Final Section Previews

This is the 26th preview in my 2015-2016 season preview series.  This final section preview covers miscellaneous metro teams not yet mentioned but we'll do it in brief form.  We'll focus on sections 1AAAA and 8AAAA with a couple small schools thrown in for completeness.  For a list of all the season previews and how they are generated, click here.

Lakeville North (1AAAA)
The Panthers are one of the favorites in the section thanks to their versatile forward duo of Carter Brooks and Nate Reuvers.  Their toughest test will come from likely Big 9 champ Rochester John Marshall.  Minnesota commit Michael Hurt and younger brother Matthew (a national level 2019 player) lead the way for the Rockets.  Add in Albert Lea transfer Dedoch Chan to fill the middle and take away some of the banging for the Hurt brotthers.  Coach Kirk Thompson has experience getting to the big dance from his days at Plainview-Elgin-Millville.  If there's any year for the Rockets to beat their Lakeville North curse, this is it.

Prediction: 1 seed and Section Champs

Lakeville South (1AAAA, moved from 2AAAA)
The Cougars have a couple of talented pieces to build around in junior point guard Jack Sorenson and soph Shae Mitchell.  But they have a new inexperienced head coach in Nick Gruhlke.  They should have a fun seeding battle with New Prague.  New head coach Bryce Tesdahl has Augustana commit Lucas Walford to build around this season.  The tough South Suburban 4A schedule gives Lakeville South the nod over the tough 3A Wright County East schedule.  Also don't discount Northfield with forward Luke Harris returning.  (Czar's Note 11/4: Northfield has moved to section 1AAA)

Prediction: 3 seed

Maple Grove (8AAAA, moved from 5AAAA)
The Crimson are stacked with their entire group from last year returning plus the addition of Cooper transfer Taron Pickford.  Moving to a section where no other team will be ranked means Maple Grove is the clear favorite.  Defending champ St. Michael-Albertville and traditionally strong Buffalo are both down.

Prediction: 1 seed and Section Champs

Elk River (8AAAA)
The Elks have a couple of nice building blocks in shooter Matt Keller and post Trent Pink to make a run in the section.  I think they battle with Rogers for the 2nd seed.  But Rogers has 3 quality wings in Steffan Musoke, Will Alexander and Allen Wilson.  Moorhead has a couple of guys returning including Matt Bye to put them in the next group behind Maple Grove discussion as well.

Prediction: 3 seed

Christian Life (1A West Subsection, moved from 4A)
Christian Life has a ton of guys to replace and no major star returning.  That's going to make the long trip south for the opening pigtail game more painful.  As MN State Academy for the Deaf has shown in this section, no respect for the EMAC.  Those schools get the bottom 2 seeds. 

Prediction: Subsection 11 seed (MSAD gets 10 seed due to higher EMAC finish)

Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity (2A North Subsection)
The Bulldogs should be in the same spot as last year where they barely avoided having to play a pigtail game.  I think they don't avoid that fate this year.

Prediction: Subsection 7 seed

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