Prepping for another run

Prologue
We stick with a St. Paul theme for the early part of the week with a trip to St. Paul Johnson.  The Govs hosting one of favorites in section 4AA, St. Croix Prep, in the season opener for both teams.  It was in this game 2 years ago where Daniel McCarrell broke out with 10 3s.  Now last night I was cheated out of a walking taco at Edison (concession stand wasn't open), so I was all over it tonight.  The salsa bottle was too stubborn so I didn't give the meal enough kick.  But high grade none the less.  A friendly AAU referee crew on hand as well.

Song of the Day: Walking in Memphis - Marc Cohn

Number of Teams I've Seen: 20 (10 games, 5 buildings, 0 online)

Beverage Ticker: 82.7 ounces (1010 calories)
  • Coke: 16.9 ounces (200 calories)
  • Dr. Pepper: 20 ounces (240 calories)
  • Pepsi: 1 Liter (430 Calories)
  • 7-Up: 12 ounces (140 calories)
Food Ticker:
  • Hot Dogs:1
  • Pizza:1
  • Walking Tacos: 1
  • Extras: 0
Game Time:
Season opening jitters were abundant early on with very sloppy play from both teams.  Addison Metcalf finally breaks the ice by putting back his own miss.  Andrew Howard knocks down 3 on a skip pass plus another a jumper.  St Croix Prep out to a 10-2 lead just over 5 minutes in.  Metcalf and Howard each add another bucket and the margin grows to 19-5 at the 8:08 mark.  Johnson cuts the margin to 6 thanks to a couple of Jesse Foster hoops.  Metcalf with a putback and a triple on the weakside thanks to hi/low action. Then his 2nd nasty block of the night leads to 2 Daniel McCarrell free throws.  Metcalf finishes the run by dunking a turnover.   SCPA 33-17.  But Johnson rallies with 3 late bombs. They also add 2 free throws as SCPA hangs on the rim on a missed dunk which results in a technical.  35-30 SCPA at the break, or so we thought.  An extra bucket given to Johnson and the table misses a SCPA FT.  So we get a correction during the break for 36-28 Lions.

Larry Harris with a hoop and a Foster putback and all of a sudden its a 4 point game.  So in just 3 minutes, 12 come off the margin.  Prep responds with a McCarrell triple, Metcalf with a free throw and a pair of 3 point plays. Then a major blood delay with 10:19 left and Prep leading 49-38.  Foster runs the floor and Johnson finds him for a dunk.  Johnson within 57-48 with 7:30 left.  They would try to turn up the defensive pressure but St. Croix Prep doesn't fold. St. Croix Prep wins 68-54.

Post Game:
St. Paul Johnson falls to 0-1 with the loss.  They'll get another stiff home AA test on Saturday vs #5AA Esko.  The Govs get 3 in double figures with Larry Harris leading the way with 13.  Jesse Foster good work inside to end up with 12.  Soph Rickhi Graham adds 11 off the bench.  As has been the case in recent years, you wonder how they'll score in a half court scenario if teams make them knock down shots.

For St. Croix Prep, Addison Metcalf leads the way with 26 points.  He also added a couple of really athletic blocks.  He's got some surprising bounce.  Daniel McCarrell with a quiet night of 13 but did hit a couple momentum busting shots.  Andrew Howard adds 14 running the show.  But with the exception of some blocked shots (4 on the last Johnson possession), the bigs struggled all night which was a surprise.  Loose balls and rebounds were also a problem as Johnson was just tougher on those.  So a W is good, but they'll look at plenty to build on.  The Lions host White Bear Lake this Friday.  On the horizon, they have a big test against #4AA Minneapolis North 1 week after that.

2019 Big 12 Classic Review

The 2nd annual Big 12 Classic was held at Champlin Park.  9 ranked teams participated in the 6 games.  Here are some of the highlights.

Game 1: Edina 61 Osseo 49
Scoring was difficult for both sides for a large portion of the 1st half.  Edina not helped by star center Jacob Hutson having 2 early fouls.  But the Edina bench broke the ice with 10 points from Chandler Reeck and 2 late bombs from Marcus Crawford.  That would push the Hornets to an 8 point halftime lead.  Edina withstands late pressure to win.  Jacob Hutson and soph PG Sammy Presthus 14 points each to lead Edina.  Josh Ola-Joseph showed off his freakish athleticism for Osseo with 12 of his game high 17 points in the 2nd half.  Tariq Henry added 12.  The Osseo future is very bright as they used 7 sophomores in the rotation.  They'll struggle to score in the halfcourt but I can see them adding in more of their run and jump pressure to generate offense.

Game 2: #2AAA De La Salle 65 #1AA Waseca 49
This rematch of last year's class AAA title game looked somewhat similar to that game.  De La Salle's defense kept Waseca out of their offense.  Andrew Morgan with 24 to lead Waseca with a couple of 3s included.  Kyreese Willingham added 11.  For De La Salle, big story of the day was Cade Haskins with 6 3s and 26 points to lead the way.  A couple of those shots just rising up over smaller defenders.  Jalen Travis cleaned up the glass inside and added 17 points of his own in the battle with Morgan.  Waseca with 7 juniors and a sophomore for their rotation.

Game 3: #2AAAA Park Center 85 #6AAAA Hopkins 70
This one was a surprise in that it was basically all Park Center.  They jumped out to 12-2 lead that grew to 44-23 at the break.  Kerwin Walton battled thru what appeared to be a bum ankle to try to keep Hopkins close.  But Hopkins really couldn't find any other offense besides him (no Cornell Richardson in the lineup).  Dain Dainja huge day with 28 points and 21 points to lead Park Center.  Hopkins went with a small lineup and that didn't succeed against the bigger Pirates.  Josh Brown adds 4 triples and 18 points for Park Center.  Kerwin Walton 5 triples and 32 points to lead Hopkins.  Lanky wing Xavier White is a new name in the junior class to know.  He knocked down 4 triples for 12 points for Hopkins.

Game 4: #4AAAA Prior Lake 76 #5AAAA East Ridge 60
The individual matchup of Wisconsin commit Ben Carlson vs Marquette commit Dawson Garcia didn't disappoint.  Garcia got the better of the 1st half matchup as Prior Lake opened up a 12 point halftime lead.  Carlson would return the favor early in the 2nd half.  That plus a spurt from soph Kendall Blue would allow East Ridge to cut the lead to 1 with 10 minutes left.  Soph Malcolm Jones with big shots off the Prior Lake bench.  He hit a big jumper to break the momentum and then a triple to push the lead back to 2 possessions.  Garcia with a slow 2nd half start but would score 11 points in the last 6:30 thanks to a putback and a couple post buckets plus a couple of late dunks vs the press to extend the final margin.  Dawson Garcia finishes with 30 points and 10 boards on my sheet for Prior Lake.  Forward Malcolm Jones was a big extra option with 17 points off the bench.  Tyree Ihenacho with a quiet 12 points.  Ben Carlson with 19 points and 12 rebounds.  Really good game from soph Kendall Blue as well with 19 points.

Game 5: #3AAAA Eden Prairie 56 #1AAAA Cretin-Derham Hall 47
The pace in this one was all Eden Prairie. J'Vonne Hadley with early foul trouble saw him sit for the majority of the half and go scoreless.  CDH held Drake Dobbs scoreless in the 1st half.  Hadley would go for 4 FTs and a triple to start the 2nd half.  That was part of a 12-4 CDH run that would give them a 33-26 lead with 12 minutes left.  Dobbs with 7 straight points for EP to bring them back to even.  Hadley with a 3 point play for a 43-40 CDH lead with 6:58 left.  Eden Prairie closes it out from there with a 16-4 run to end the game.  Dobbs with a deep 3 off an offensive board to take the lead for good with 4:40 left. 8 free throws close it out.  Austin Andrews with 19 points to lead Eden Prairie.  Drake Dobbs with all 17 of his points in the 2nd half.  Tre Holloman with 17 points to lead CDH.  J'Vonne Hadley with all 10 of his points in the 2nd half.  Cretin-Derham Hall going with a John Beilein style 2-3 high shuffle offense that generated nothing.  It slows the pace and doesn't fit their personnel at all.  Very surprised they don't do more to let their stars make plays.  Insert Kevin Garnett burning Craig Sager suit here.

Game 6: #8AAAA Eastview 82 Champlin Park 50
Eastview got out to a 17-6 lead and it was a blowout the entire way.  52-23 at half, 81-35 at running time and only a 15-1 run vs the 3rd string keeps it under 35. Champlin Park didn't empty the bench at all which was incredibly strange.  Steven Crowl and Ryan Thissen outstanding for Eastview.  Crowl with 28 points and 7 rebounds on my sheet.  Thissen adds 25.  I continue to love his game.  Nothing like seeing a flare screen for 3 for Crowl and he knocked down 2 of those.  Fun set with Crowl getting ball at the elbow and then flaring after a DHO.  Francis Nwaokorie was the only bright spot for Champlin Park with 16 points.  Eastview quickly decided that they had to double team him in the post even with Crowl guarding him.  His strength was too much.  When Crowl sat, the big Champlin Park front line did beat up Eastview on the glass.

2019-20 Season Tipoff

Prologue
Its a friendly Minnesota season opener as I venture back to Minneapolis Roosevelt for another opening night.  Howard Pulley coaching pals Willie Braziel and Mike Walker sit on opposite benches as coach Braziel brings his Columbia Heights squad into the city for game number 1.  Its a fully recognized AAU crew on duty for the evening.  For those of you wondering, despite it being Pulley guys, we don't get The Reverend though.  Roosevelt closing the opposite bleachers and swapping the scorers table and benches to that side.  Made for a much cozier feel.  The 500 ml bottle of Coke beverage option goes with a basic hot dog on a slightly stale bun.

Song of the Day: Downtown Train - Rod Stewart

Number of Teams I've Seen: 4 (2 games, 2 buildings, 0 online)

Beverage Ticker: 16.9 ounces (200 calories)
  • Coke: 16.9 ounces (200 calories)
Food Ticker:
  • Hot Dogs:1
  • Pizza:0
  • Walking Tacos: 0
  • Extra: 0
Game Time:
Its a slow start on both ends.  Heights not happy with their start and coach Braziel takes time just over 2 minutes and his Hylanders down 3-2.  That inspires a 14-4 spurt over the next 5+ minutes.  But a couple of sloppy turnovers and a bad triple trigger a Roosevelt 5-0 mini-run.  16-12 Columbia Heights as we reach the midpoint of the first half.  Jordan Jones with a pair of tough triples and 12 points already.  Heights opens the game up from there with a 16-0 run over the next 6:45.  Elijah Williams with a free throw and bucket to start it.  Star soph Muja Burton with a triple, a nice cut for a 3 point play and a jumper to finish it.  36-20 Columbia Heights at half.  They'll turn it into a blowout with a 17-2 run to the midpoint of the 2nd half.  Jones and Burton leading that run to push the lead to 62-31 with 9:02 left.  We quickly get running time and garbage time from there.  Columbia Heights rolls to a 80-43 victory.

Post Game:
Minneapolis Roosevelt falls to 0-1 with the loss.  Dennis Holte leads the Teddies with 9 points off the bench.  Mustafa Salad chips in with 8 and he looks to be their best offensive option.  I had Roosevelt for at least 23 turnovers which didn't help the cause.  It doesn't get any easier with a trip to Cristo Rey on Monday.  They'll then host Bloomington Kennedy on Thursday before jumping into Minneapolis City play the following week.

Senior guard Jordan Jones leads Columbia Heights with 27 points including 3 triples.  Soph wing Muja Burton adds a couple of triples of his own.  He finished with 21 points.  They'll stay on the road next week with trips to Mahtomedi and St. Thomas Academy.  That Mahtomedi game is an important one for position behind Minnehaha in section 4AAA.  That leads into a tough schedule stretch from mid-December into mid-January.

2019-20 Season in a Nutshell

This is the final preview in the 2019-2020 Season Preview series.  Per normal tradition, it concludes with a season overview for the casual fan.  This is a higher level simplified preview for those who don't eat, sleep and breathe hoops like the rest of us.  Its who and what you need to see and when and where to see it.  If you missed any of the 121 team previews over 13 conferences or the 14 section previews, a full list of them can be found here.

10 Local Events
  • Nov 30th - Big 12 Classic at Champlin Park
  • Dec 7 - Boys Tipoff Classic at Hopkins
  • Dec 14 - Southside Showcase at Minnehaha and Hiawatha Academy
  • Jan 3rd and 4th - Sierra Canyon (CA) and Patrick School (NJ) at Minnehaha
  • Jan 11th - Basketball Showcase at Minneapolis Henry
  • Jan 18th - Hall of Fame Winter Classic at Anoka-Ramsey CC
  • Jan 18th - Bragging Rights Classic at Prairie Seeds Academy
  • Jan 20th - Dream Classic at Minneapolis Roosevelt
  • Jan 25th - South Metro Hoopfest at Burnsville
  • Feb 1st - Community Clash at St. Michael-Albertville
As usual the Breakdown Sports USA events kickoff the season with a bang.  A rematch of last season's class AAA title game between De La Salle and Waseca is just one of the notable games on the Big 12 schedule.  Waseca and Mankato East are a couple of outstate teams with tough matchups on the main court in the Tipoff Classic.  All 10 teams in the AAAA Breakdown top 10 will be on the main court along with 4 of the top 6 in AAA and #1AA Waseca.  Lake City and Caledonia are 2 of the top 5 class AA heavyweights playing on the east court.

The Southside Showcase expands to 2 gyms and 14 games.  Minnehaha has all big school games.  Don't sleep on the small school teams just down the street at Hiawatha.  Hiawatha, Cristo Rey, Hope Academy, Blake and Mayer Lutheran plus tradition power Rushford-Peterson are a good group of teams that will all be playing there.

Speaking of Minnehaha, they'll host a monster set of games on the 1st weekend of the new year.  Friday night will feature national powers Sierra Canyon of California and The Patrick School of New Jersey.  Sierra Canyon's roster has Bronny James (Lebron's son) amongst many high profile guys.  The Patrick School is loaded too.  They'll play each other on Friday night along with Minnehaha hosting Park Center.  Then Sierra Canyon sticks around to play Minnehaha on Saturday in the local game of the year.  Rumor says there might be ESPN involvement too.

The usual Tim Williams events dot the rest of the January calendar.  But 1 new event pops up with the Minnesota basketball hall of fame putting on an event at Anoka-Ramsey.  A possible state title preview there with the 2 top preseason favorites, Eden Prairie and Park Center, going at it.  It also includes the best chance for metro fans to catch the Madsen twins in action (Cincinnati commits) as they take on East Ridge.

10 Other Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • De La Salle at North St. Paul - Dec 5th 
  • Minnehaha at Hopkins - Dec 17th 
  • Eden Prairie at East Ridge - Dec 21st
  • East Ridge holiday tourney- Dec 27th and 28th
  • De La Salle at Hopkins - Jan 10th 
  • Prior Lake at Chaska - Jan 30th
  • Eden Prairie at De La Salle - Feb 1st 
  • De La Salle at Cretin-Derham Hall - Feb 15th
  • Eden Prairie at Minnehaha - Feb 18th
  • De La Salle at Minnehaha - Feb 22nd
There's nothing like a good grudge match and the first 2 games fit that bill.  North St. Paul went to the island and got everybody's attention with a win there last season.  Minnehaha has lost 3 straight to Hopkins over the last 2 years including their only 2 losses last season.  A tough trio of games for Ben Carlson and East Ridge to end the calendar year.  AAAA favorite Eden Prairie comes calling to start the holiday break.  Then Ben Carlson goes head to head with future Wisconsin teammate Steven Crowl to start their holiday tournament.  They finish that tourney against Minnehaha.  State contenders and powerhouses Hopkins and De La Salle have a return game to start the new year.  Prior Lake's only major solo non-conference matchup is a tough section battle at Chaska right in the middle of the South Suburban season.   De La Salle gets in a couple of rivalry games in February with CDH and Minnehaha.

10 Conference Games to Watch
  • Prior Lake at Shakopee - Jan 7th
  • Tartan at North St. Paul- Jan 14th
  • Eden Prairie at Hopkins - Jan 16th
  • Champlin Park at Park Center - Jan 28th
  • Cristo Rey at St. Croix Prep - Jan 28th
  • Shakopee at Prior Lake - Feb 7th
  • Hopkins at Eden Prairie - Feb 11th
  • North St. Paul at Tartan - Feb 14th
  • St. Croix Prep at Cristo Rey - Feb 18th
  • Cretin-Derham Hall at East Ridge - Feb 28th
The beauty in this list of games is not just the conference implications, but also the section seeding impacts.  8 of these 10 games are section matchups with the Hopkins vs Eden Prairie games being possible 1 seed matchups and a state title preview.  Great rivalries here too with Prior Lake and Shakopee in the section 2AAAA and a very underrated district rivalry in section 4AAAA between Tartan and North St. Paul.  Cristo Rey and St. Croix Prep had a tight non-conference game last year and are favorites in section 4AA.  Champlin Park vs Park Center is the only meeting between the division favorites in the NW Suburban and 2 of the best teams in section 5AAAA along with Osseo.  The regular season finale between CDH and East Ridge is too good to resist with a league title and top seed in section 4AAAA possibly up for grabs.

10 Upperclassmen to Watch
  • Ben Carlson - East Ridge
  • Steven Crowl - Eastview
  • Dain Dainja - Park Center
  • Drake Dobbs - Eden Prairie
  • Dawson Garcia - Prior Lake
  • J'Vonne Hadley - Cretin-Derham Hall
  • Chet Holmgren - Minnehaha 
  • Jacob Hutson - Edina
  • Jalen Suggs - Minnehaha
  • Kerwin Walton - Hopkins
10 Underclassmen You Need to Know
  • Prince Aligbe - Minnehaha
  • Kendall Blue - East Ridge
  • Braeden Carrington - Park Center 
  • Chase Carter - Minnehaha Academy
  • Taison Chatman - Totino-Grace
  • Camden Heide - Wayzata
  • Tre Holloman - Cretin-Derham Hall
  • Emmett Johnson - Holy Angels 
  • CJ O'Hara - Totino-Grace 
  • Elvis Nnaji - Hopkins
10 Local Teams to Watch
  • Cretin-Derham Hall
  • De La Salle
  • Eastview
  • East Ridge
  • Eden Prairie
  • Hopkins
  • Minnehaha Academy
  • Park Center
  • Prior Lake
  • Shakopee
Current 10 Games or More Streaks In Conference Play
  • De La Salle - 40 wins
  • Minneapolis North - 39 wins
  • Minnehaha Academy - 32 wins (23 in a row overall)
  • East Ridge- 23 wins
  • St. Paul Central - 17 wins
  • Park Center - 15 wins
  • Tartan - 14 wins
  • Cristo Rey Jesuit - 12 wins (in EMAC, move to Skyline this season)
  • Lakeville North - 10 wins
  • Hill-Murray - 17 losses
  • International School of Minnesota/Eagle Ridge Academy - 14 losses* 
  • Richfield - 13 losses (in Metro West, move to Tri-Metro this season)
* The International School of Minnesota/Eagle Ridge Academy streak ends this year as the programs are no longer doing their co-op.  ISM now combines with Chesterton but that will be under an independent banner this year.  Eagle Ridge joins the new era of the MCAA.
Season Thoughts
Its another quality year in class AAAA thanks to a deep 2020 class.  Park Center and Eden Prairie stand out as immediate favorites but the loss of Ariel Bland leaves a hole inside for Eden Prairie.  Hopkins won't be big either but will have lots of firepower on the perimeter with Kerwin Walton leading that crew.  Cretin-Derham Hall will be similar to that with J'Vonne Hadley filling the stat sheet on the wing and Tre Holloman running the show.  There's also plenty to talk about with big guys too.  Dawson Garcia at Prior Lake, Steven Crowl at Eastview and Ben Carlson at East Ridge will all make their teams forces to be reckoned with.  Can't forget Jacob Hutson of Edina in that group of outstanding bigs either.  I'm also looking forward to how Osseo and Champlin Park reload with young talent. 

Minnehaha moves up to AAA and is the heavy favorite thanks to a roster that may be as talented from top to bottom as we've seen in Minnesota.  De La Salle has talent but lacks experience and an obvious high level guy on the offensive end.  But Cade Haskins may be the guy to fill that role. Don't expect Holy Angels to go away, they were very good at all levels last year and have turned around in a hurry.  Soph Emmet Johnson is a big reason for that.  Totino-Grace has a group of very talented freshmen that will be a fun story to follow in the tough NW Suburban schedule.  St. Croix Lutheran has a nice junior class that can make a run this year and next.

As to the small schools, I think the races in the new Skyline conference and the renewed/revamped EMAC be really fun to watch.  St. Croix Prep and Cristo Rey have outstanding guard play that will make them very dangerous all season.  Those 2 look to be on a collision course in section 4AA.  Section 4A will once again be an entertaining mess figure out with Hope Academy, CHOF and the EMAC elite going after a trip to state.  Thomas Conroy won't put up the same crazy stats he did last year for Liberty thanks to an upgrade in competition but he's still an inside threat to be dealt with.  Hope's Caleb Hoilien will play all 5 spots and have a big year trying to get beyond last year's section final loss.  Hiawatha's freshman make them appealing to follow over the next few years.

So now that all the predictions and off season work are in, its time to let the season play out on the court.  Good luck to all and I hope everyone will #ShockTheCzar.

2019-20 Section 8AAAA Preview

This is the 27th preview in my 2019-2020 season preview series.  This is the final class AAAA preview, a look at section 8AAAA.  Tomorrow the series wraps up with a season overview.  For a list of all the season previews and how they are generated, click here.

Section 8AAAA (7 teams)
Defending Champion: Maple Grove

Tournament Schedule:
Quarterfinals: Tuesday, March 3rd
Semifinals: Saturday, March 7th at St. Cloud Tech
Finals: Thursday, March 12th at Monticello

Predicted Seeding
  1. Maple Grove
  2. Moorhead 
  3. Buffalo 
  4. Brainerd
  5. St. Michael-Albertville 
  6. Rogers 
  7. Elk River
Maple Grove looks to defend their crown as section champs but it could be wild and very wide open.  Moorhead loses star Maleeck Harden-Hayes but with lefty veteran Drew Hagen leading the way from his do everything forward spot and the Walthall twins amongst the returnees at the guard spots, the Spuds will make a run here.  Buffalo despite losing Tony Dahl and Aidan Bowman can't be counted out as they still have Matt Willert to build around.  Tough 3 night section stretch for Maple Grove as they visit Buffalo, host Rogers and then Moorhead on Dec 11th thru 13th.  Brainerd should be very respectable as well.  STMA will get beat up by the Lake Conference schedule but they have a couple of solid pieces as well.  The loss of Sean Buchanan is a hit though.  Rogers and Elk River are both looking at down seasons.

Sleeper: Brainerd. They return a couple of double figure scorers and did pull off a home win vs Wayzata last year.

Section Winner: Maple Grove.  They return quality size and have plenty of options that will step in on the perimeter.  That depth will carry them through to another state appearance.

2019-20 Section 7AAAA Preview

This is the 26th preview in my 2019-2020 season preview series.  The class AAAA previews move on to section 7AAAA.  For a list of all the season previews and how they are generated, click here.

Section 7AAAA (7 teams)
Defending Champion: Cambridge-Isanti

Tournament Schedule:
Quarterfinals: Wednesday, March 4th
Semifinals: Saturday, March 7th at Elk River
Finals: Thursday, March 12th at Elk River

Predicted Seeding
  1. Cambridge-Isanti 
  2. Duluth East
  3. Coon Rapids 
  4. Forest Lake
  5. Blaine
  6. Anoka
  7. Andover
Cambridge-Isanti loses 3 double figure scorers but they still have 2 of the best shooters around in Henry Abraham and Micah Ladd.  Ryan Cox will step into that group as well.  Connor Braaten will fill in nicely for London Williams on the front line.  They have section road games at Duluth East (12/17), Coon Rapids, Forest Lake and Blaine.  They also have Wayzata, Eden Prairie and Edina at home.  Duluth East returns 3 starters and a top reserve from last season.  Will Van Scoy at a guard spot and center Noah Paulson and Mattie Thompson on the wing give them a nice trio for the next 2 years.  Beyond that, its the local teams.  Coon Rapids appears to be the best of the rest with a quality front line.  Forest Lake and Blaine will battle for the last home game.  Anoka will try to jump in that group as well.  Andover will struggle.

Sleeper: Coon Rapids.  They do have good size returning plus that funky 1-3-1 makes you prepare differently.

Section Winner: Cambridge-Isanti. I think the Bluejackets get it done again with their offense.  The matchup zone is another difficulty to prepare for as well.

2019-20 Section 6AAAA Preview

This is the 25th preview in my 2019-2020 season preview series.  The class AAAA previews continue with a look at section 6AAAA.  For a list of all the season previews and how they are generated, click here.

Section 6AAAA (8 teams)
Defending Champion: Hopkins (State Champion)

Tournament Schedule:
Quarterfinals: Wednesday, March 4th
Semifinals: Friday, March 6th at Osseo
Finals: Wednesday, March 11th at Osseo

Predicted Seeding
  1. Hopkins
  2. Wayzata
  3. Robbinsdale Armstrong
  4. St. Louis Park
  5. Robbinsdale Cooper
  6. Minneapolis Washburn
  7. Minneapolis South
  8. Minneapolis Southwest
The usual suspects of Hopkins and Wayzata lead the way again.  Both teams can really fill it up on the wings.  Armstrong is clearly next in line with plenty coming back from an 18 win group last year.  Then its a sea of orange behind these teams.  Metro West members St. Louis Park and Robbinsdale Cooper will battle it out for the final home game.  The Minneapolis City comes in behind them.  Washburn with the most back gets the nod.  South and Southwest battle to stay out of the last seed.

Sleeper: Robbindale Armstrong.  With a solid returning group and a couple of youngsters ready to step into bigger roles, the Falcons have the best chance to surprise in this section.

Section Winner: Hopkins.  Too much offense from the Royals.  Kerwin Walton with a big year leading the Royals back to state.