After a crazy regular season the playoffs are set to begin. Let's take a look at where each team ended up.
Section 5A East Boys Basketball
1. East Central 13-3
The Eagles started the season as hot as any team in the state. Winning their first eight games, including a win over Pine City at home. The Eagles looked like the favorite to capture the Great River Conference crown. But Rush City gave them their first loss, and put a dent in those hopes. Though the Eagles would win over Rush City in their rematch, they still had work to do. Because Pine City avenged their loss against East Central at home, and beat Rush City, the Eagles and Dragons split the GRC title. Despite losing their final game of the season, the Eagles look like the favorite to make it to state out of their section. They will host the winner of #9 Ogilvie vs #8 St. John's Prep on Thursday.
3. Braham 12-6
Braham faced some of the best teams on their schedule early, which lead to a 3-3 start to the season. The Bombers went on a four game win streak before their next loss, and after that would go on a three game win streak. The Bombers are a tough team no one in the section will take lightly. They will host the winner of #6 Hinckley-Finlayson vs #11 Isle on Thursday.
6. Hinckley-Finlayson 7-10
The Jaguars had an up and down season. They faced some very good teams throughout the season. This team is a lot better than their record shows. They gave many of the top teams in their conference a run for their money. Don't be surprised if the Jags are able to pull off a couple of upsets on their playoff journey. The Jaguars will host #11 Isle tonight.
9. Ogilvie 4-11
The Lions had to pause their play for a couple weeks due to covid. Because of this their team may not have found a full rhythm. Though the Lions will be at the bottom of the bracket, they won't be an easy out. The Lions will play St. John's Prep tonight.
10. Onamia 2-16
The Panthers season has not gone the way they'd hoped. They were not able to get their first win on the season till the 13th game on the schedule. With only two wins on the season the Panthers are near the bottom of the playoff bracket and will have an uphill battle on their hands. The Panthers will travel to Swanville to face the #7 Bulldogs tonight.
2. Mora 15-1
The Mustangs went on a tear this season. They only had two games where they won by less than 10 points. Mora was in a position to possibly be the #1 seed, but a loss to Albany in the final game of the season prevented that. The Mustangs will prove to be one of the better defensive teams in the playoffs. They will host the winner of Long Prairie-Grey Eagle and St. Cloud Cathedral on the 18th.
7. Pine City 13-5
The Dragons graduated a big senior class last year. Despite that they still had close to the same production. Though they lost five games, they were top 2 in scoring offense. Pine City is coming into the post season as the team to watch for. They have shown to be dominate on both sides of the ball. The Dragons will host #10 Sauk Centre on the 18th.
8. Rush City 12-5
The Tigers started the season 4-0. But lost two straight games, one in overtime. They were able to keep pace with East Central and Pine City for the race for the conference crown until the very end. Rush City ends the regular season on a three game win streak. Their defense is one of the top in the section, and don't sleep on their offense. The Tigers offense scored over 75 points in 6 games this year. They will host Kimball area on the 18th. Rush City has only one loss at home this year.
12. Foley 7-11
In each of their seven wins this season, the Falcons were able to hold their opponents under 60 points. In all of the teams losses they failed to reach the 60 point mark. The key for the Falcons entering play will rely on their defense. They will play #5 Eden Valley-Watkins on Thursday.
14. Milaca 5-13
The Wolves had one victory in their first 14 games. But they ended the season on a four game win streak. The Wolves will for sure look to their offense in the playoffs as they finished the regular season giving up the most ppg in the section. Milaca will play #3 Annandale in the first round.
7. North Branch 2-15(Unofficial)
The Vikings faced a very tough schedule this season, and faced some injury trouble as well. North Branch faces an uphill battle in their section playoffs. They look to take on #2 seeded Hibbing in the 1st round, a team they lost to earlier in the season.
6. Cambridge-Isanti 3-14
The Bluejackets graduated a big senior class last year, that along with playing in a tough section proved to make it a difficult season. Although it wasn't the season they'd hoped for, they were competitive in every single game. It felt like they were one or two possessions away from turning their record around. It wouldn't be a surprise if this team was able to make a deep playoff push. The Bluejackets will play #3 Forest Lake on Saturday.