2017-18 Section 4AAA Preview

This is the 18th preview in my 2017-2018 season preview series.  To end week 4 of this 6 week series, I take a look at section 4AAA.  For this 2 year cycle, no changes to the section members.  For a list of all the season previews and how they are generated, click here.

Section 4AAA (8 teams)
Defending Champion: Columbia Heights

Tournament Schedule:
Quarterfinals: Wednesday, March 7th
Semifinals: Saturday, March 10th at St. Paul Washington
Finals: Thursday, March 15th at St. Paul Washington
Predicted Seeding
  1. Columbia Heights
  2. Totino-Grace
  3. St. Anthony
  4. Mahtomedi
  5. St. Paul Johnson 
  6. Fridley
  7. St. Paul Como Park
  8. Hill-Murray
Coach Willie Braziel has his best squad since the Zach Lofton state runner up team during his 1st run with the Hylanders.  So you have to like Columbia Heights at the top as this was the year they built up to.  Totino-Grace has some nice pieces back as well and will be tested in the NW Suburban.  St. Anthony's backcourt and weak schedule will put them 3rd.  Mahtomedi will be inexperienced but solid.  They should battle with Johnson for the last home game.  Fridley looks to jump into that group as well.  Como Park fills 7 and Hill-Murray without Simeon Davis is in a major rebuild in the last spot.

Sleeper: St. Paul Johnson.  The Govs have been the team to beat in this section for many years.  After seeing their 13 year streak of St. Paul City conference championships snapped, they have most of the rotation returning. 

Section Winner: Columbia Heights.  The Hylanders have most of their roster back from last year's state qualifier.  Plus the section isn't as good.  With Wendell Matthews inside, Deaundra Robersonand Christian Kelly on the the wings and point guard Quentin Hardrict running the show from that team, there are quality pieces at all positions.

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