1A story lines
1. Run, run and run some more
Half of the field — Hinckley-Finlayson, Mahnomen/Waubun, North Woods and Cass Lake-Bena — have reached the century mark in at least one game this season. North Woods has accomplished the feat seven times, most recently with a 136-point effort against Littlefork-Big Falls in section play. The Grizzlies are the most potent team in Class 1A, averaging 87.2 points per game. The scoring onslaught isn't just limited to teams. Mahnomen/Waubun junior guard Jayden Heisler had a 50-point performance while North Woods junior guard Cade Goggleye had a 62-point outing this season.
2. Timing everything for Hinckley-Finlayson
The Jaguars were coming off a 23-5 season in 2016-17 and, with four starters returning, were eagerly awaiting this season. Then they were moved from Class 2A to 1A because of their school enrollment. It paved a much different route to the state tournament, not only in classification but also from Section 7 to Section 5. The Jaguars (26-4) still played most of their schedule against Class 2A schools, games that resulted in three of their setbacks. The fourth was to even a bigger school (Superior, Wis.), which should be beneficial this week. Senior forward Travis Visser averages 22.2 points per game for the first-time state entrant.
3. Heritage Christian making its debut, too
The Eagles also are playing in their first state tournament, with an unusual distinction. They join Hermantown in Class 3A as the only teams with losing records in the four classes. The Eagles won seven of their last nine games to finish 13-17. Winning the next one will be a challenge. Coach Tim Herman's squad draws No. 2-rated North Woods (29-1) of Cook, Minn., the state tournament runner-up a year ago, in the quarterfinals.