The most important part of the season is here. It's playoff time for our area boys basketball teams. Here is a quick preview of the section games:
Hinckley-Finayson has the #1 seed and will take on #9 East Central in the first round. The Jaguars will be the favorites to take the section again as the finished with an 11-0 record against section teams again this year. Their biggest challenge will be the number one team in Section 5A north, Cromwell-Wright. The Cardinals were 21-3 this season only losing to Cloquet, Duluth Denfeld, and Esko.
Braham is the #4 seed in the section and hosts #5 Isle in their first round game. Braham is 13-13 for the year. Braham beat Isle in both of the matchups this year. That means a likely second round match between Braham and Hinckley-Finlayson. The Jaguars beat the Bombers in both regular season games this year.
Pine City is the #5 seed and will host #12 Sauk Centre. The Dragons finished the year 23-3 and Sauk Centre was 12-14. These two teams did not meet this year but did have a couple mutual opponents like Foley who the Dragons beat easily and the Mainstreeters lost too. This is one of the toughest AA sections in the state with the likes of perennial powerhouses St. Cloud Cathedral, Melrose, and Albany holding the top three seeds. Spectrum who is always a wild card has the #5 seed and will likely be Pine City's second round opponent.
The Dragons will be looking to improve off of last season's great run that saw them fall just short of the section championship.
Mora is the #13 seed and will travel to #4 Spectrum.
Rush City is the #15 seed and will travel to #2 Albany.
Cambridge-Isanti defeated Andover in the first round and will take on Duluth East in the second.
Photo Credit to Lance Furber