Saturday was a day of surprises at the highest class of girls’ basketball.
Wayzata, a team that won its first 23 games, picked the wrong time to have a slump. The Trojans lost three of their past five games and saw a season that held so much promise come to an end in the Section 6, 4A semifinals. Minneapolis South, behind 27 points from Morgan Hill, held off Wayzata for a 52-47 victory.
It was a classic trap game for Wayzata. The Trojans had defeated South 73-55 in the regular-season finale and nearly everyone was anticipating another matchup with high-octane Hopkins in the section finals.
The No. 1-seeded Royals held up their end, rolling over St. Louis Park 81-40, but instead of a rubber game in the season series (Wayzata and Hopkins split during the regular season), fans will get to see if Minneapolis South can maintain its momentum and interrupt Hopkins’ run of six section titles in seven seasons Thursday night at Minneapolis Roosevelt.
Both of the top seeds in Section 5, 4A were knocked out in the section semifinals Saturday. Park Center, a team propped up by four straight state tournament berths, defeated No. 1-seeded Centennial 81-76 in overtime.
The Pirates are a largely different team than a year ago, right down to its first-year head coach, Barb Metcalf. But they leaned on a season of heartbreaking defeats — seven losses either in overtime or by three points or fewer — and outscored the No. 3 team in Class 3A in overtime 11-6.
Park Center will face Roseville in the Section 5, 4A final at 7 p.m. Thursday at Anoka. The Raiders’ 62-58 win over Champlin Park on Saturday in the other semifinal didn’t rate as an upset — The Raiders were ranked No. 9 in Class 4A before the game, just one spot below Champlin Park — but it still raised eyebrows.
Other notable girls’ finals:
Section 3, 4A: Apple Valley (17-11) vs. Eastview (28-0), at Concordia (St. Paul), 7 p.m.
Section 1, 4A: Farmington (19-9) vs. Lakeville North (23-5), at Roch. Mayo Civic Center, 6 p.m.
Section 8, 4A: Maple Grove (23-5) vs. St. Michael-Albertville (25-3), at Buffalo, 6 p.m.
Section 3, 3A: Simley (15-13) vs. Holy Angels (24-4), at Bloomington Jefferson, 7 p.m.
Section 4, 3A: DeLaSalle (18-8) vs. Mahtomedi (25-2), at East Ridge, 7 p.m.
Section 6, 3A: Benilde-St. Margaret’s (19-9) vs. Cooper (25-2), at Chanhassen, 7 p.m.
Section 2, 4A: Prior Lake (15-13) at Minnetonka (17-10), 7 p.m.