1. Athletics looking to extend Section 1 trend A Section 1 team, Goodhue, has won the past two state titles, and Lyle-Pacelli is looking to make it three straight. The Athletics (29-1) have spent most of the season ranked No. 1 by Minnesota Basketball News, and their only setback came at the hands of Iowa’s Class AAA state champion Crestwood 65-55 in the middle of December. All of their victories but one (50-44 over Goodhue) have been by double digits. Goodhue eliminated Lyle-Pacelli in section play each of the previous two seasons. Sophomore forward Olivia Christianson (24 points) and senior center Kristi Fett (20) combined for 44 points in the section final, a 73-63 triumph over No. 3-ranked Hayfield.


2. Mountain Iron-Buhl back in field, again The Rangers will be making their eighth consecutive appearance in the Class 1A field. They have been the runner-up twice, including last year, and finished third on two occasions. No. 2-rated Mountain Iron-Buhl (28-2) has never won the crown. Senior forward Mary Burke averages 25.1 points per game, leading four Rangers in double figures.


3. Heritage Christian earns initial berth The Eagles wound up being the beneficiary of Maranatha’s jump in classification because of growing enrollment. Coach Lori Crellin’s squad will be making its first state tournament appearance. Three-sport all-conference performer Taylie Scott, a junior guard, has scored more than 2,000 points in her career. She also plays soccer and softball.

Ron Haggstrom