Class 2A story lines
1 Experience leads top seed
Annandale returns five of its top eight players from last year’s third-place squad. Coach Skip Dolan said six of the team’s top seven players are seniors. “Not a lot of things faze them — they don’t get too high; they don’t get too low,” Dolan said. “There’s no doubt you like the framework of a senior-orientated team that’s been in the state tournament before.” The Cardinals are on a 12-game winning streak. They defeated their first-round opponent, New London-Spicer, twice during the Wright County Conference season.
2 New blood
Only two of last season’s state tournament field are back, but they are the top two seeds, Annandale and Esko, which faced each other in the third-place game last year. Four of the teams haven’t been to the state tournament in the past 15 years. St. Paul Academy is the only team making its first appearance.
3 Unranked presence
Five of the teams in the Class 2A field are unranked: Caledonia, East Grand Forks, New London-Spicer, St. Paul Academy and St. Peter. Esko, which was unranked and unseeded a year ago, is this year’s top seed. Three of the top four ranked teams — Waseca, Crosby-Ironton and St. Cloud Cathedral — missed the state tournament.