1A STORY LINES

1. Returning teams seek better outcomes

Five teams are back from the 2018 field, looking to improve on their finish a year ago. They are No. 1-ranked Minneota, No. 5 Menahga, No. 6 Ada-Borup/Norman County West, No. 8 Heritage Christian of Maple Grove and unranked Mountain Iron-Buhl. Minneota, Mountain Iron-Buhl, Ada-Borup/Norman County West and Heritage Christian, finished third through sixth, respectively, last year. Menahga lost both of its games. The only two back that meet in the quarterfinals are Ada-Borup/Norman County West and Heritage Christian.

2. Heritage Christian, BOLD bring balance

BOLD and Heritage Christian each have four players averaging between 11.4 and 18. 4 points per game. Each also has a 2,000-point career scorer: Senior Makenna Steffel of BOLD and senior guard Taylie Scott of Heritage Christian. They are their programs’ all-time leading scorers.

3. Mountain Iron-Buhl state run continues

Coach Jeff Buffetta and the Rangers are returning for the ninth consecutive year. They have two runner-up and two third-place finishes during that span, and a fourth-place finish a year ago. The Rangers aren’t as potent offensively as in the past, but will cause plenty of problems on the defensive end of the court. They allow 43 points per game, but only gave up 11, 28 and 31 in three of their four Section 7 games.

RON HAGGSTROM