Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Boys State Tournament Preview--Class AAA and Overall

Now this is a sorry state of affairs. In 16 years of 4 class ball, teams from Greater Minnesota have won exactly 1 Class AAA state title. Just 8 of 32 championship game slots have been filled by such teams. They are:

1997--New Prague 47 Simley 61
1999--Rocori 48 St. Paul Highland Park 56
2002--Red Wing 44 Mpls. Henry 61
2003--Sauk Rapids-Rice 55 Mpls. Henry 69
2004--Mankato West 50 Red Wing 42
2009--Mankato West 45 Mpls. Washburn 58
2010--Grand Rapids 55 St. Paul Johnson 59

The metro teams have out-scored the Greater Minnesota teams in these games by an average of 61-48. And the opportunities (appearances in the final) have become more scarce as time goes by.

All of this is prelude to this year's Class AAA tournament. DeLaSalle, of course, looms, and it only takes 1 team to win it. But it seems like there's a lot of talent in Greater Minnesota this year.

Section 1--Austin 23-0 #1 QRF would seem to be a shoo-in. That is not to say that their #1 rating in QRF is not the subject of some debate.

Section 2--Wide open. Waconia 19-5 #4 is favored, but Mankato West 13-9 #17 and Marshall 21-2 #21 are highly regarded. One might say that the Big 9 is overrated by QRF, however.... Personally I like Marshall.

Section 3--DeLaSalle 19-1 #2. Will be the #1 seed (and should be the #1 seed) if they go in with 1 loss, regardless of Austin's record.

Section 4--St. Paul Johnson 13-7 #10 should win easily in a weak section.

Section 5--Delano 20-3 #7 should still win easily in a weak section despite their loss to Holy Family the other night.

Section 6--Wiiiiiiiiiddddeee ooooopennnn! Holy Angels is 16-6 #3. I don't know why they rate so highly. I guess it's the Missota Conference talking.' But Blake 16-6 #13 is there, too, Chaska 11-12 #18 or Richfield 13-10 #9 or Mpls. Washburn 12-9 #33 or even Holy Family 10-14 #35 could surprise. I like Blake.

Section 7--Alex Illikainen's injury opens the door to Hermantown 20-3 #8.

Section 8--Wide open. Fergus Falls 13-9 #15 is the highest rated team but East Grand Forks 18-5 #37 has the best W-L record and has won 11 straight. Thief River Falls 16-6 #36 is 2nd in wins, while Sartell-St. Stephen 12-10 #23 has the 2nd highest rating, and Alexandria 10-11 #27 is 2nd in current winning streak (4). Little Falls is 15-7 but they of course opted out of the venerable Central Lakes in favor of the Granite Ridge where they mostly play AA opponents. It's hard to respect that.

EGF has beaten Thief and Sartell in its current win streak, but also a bunch of A and AA teams. But Fergus and Alex have the guts to play the toughest competition in the region in the Central Lakes, and that makes them the favorites. And Fergus beat Alex 52-51 and 57-52, close enough that, as they say, it's tough to beat somebody 3 times. So I like Alex.


1. DeLaSalle
2. Austin
3. Delano
4. Marshall
5. St. Paul Johnson--forget their record, have you seen their schedule?

1st Round Wednesday March 20 Williams Arena

10 a.m. #1 DeLaSalle versus random draw, I'll say Alexandria. No contest there.

Noon #4 Marshall versus #5 St. Paul Johnson. A very tough call. Both great TEAMS regardless of the kind of talent they have. By which I mean they're well coached, they play the game the right way. I hate to see either of them lose. But I'll take Johnson.

2 p.m. #2 Austin versus random draw, I'll say Blake. Austin, but in a surprisingly close game.

4 p.m. #3 Delano versus random draw. Who's left? Hermantown. Delano over Hermantown in another good ball game.

Semis and Later

DeLaSalle defeats Johnson easily, Delano upsets Austin. DeLaSalle keeps the small towns winless in AAA since 2004, while Austin takes 3rd place.


C- Joe Aase, Austin
F- Reid Travis, DeLaSalle
F- Pierre Conwell, St. Paul Johnson
G- Jarvis Johnson, DeLaSalle
G- Zach Wessels, Austin

Overall All-Tournament 4 Classes

C- Ian Theisen, Osseo
F- Reid Travis, DeLaSalle
F- Scottie Stone, Melrose
G- Tyus Jones, Apple Valley
G- Graham Woodward, Edina

Second Team

C- Joe Aase, Austin
F- Aaron Lien, Moorhead
F- Anders Broman, Lakeview
G- Jarvis Johnson, DeLaSalle
G- Zach Wessels, Austin

Third Team

C- Conor Voss, St. Cloud Cathedral
F- Devon Pekas, Hawley
F- Khare Kirkland, Tartan
G- Bridge Tusler, Osseo
G- Dustin Fronk, Apple Valley

Fourth Team

C- Brody Jackson, Tartan
F- Dennis Austin, Apple Valley
F- Reggie Lynch, Edina
G- Zach Checkal, Delano
G- Brian Goodwin, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa

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