Hey, high school sports fans, guess what week it is?
It’s girls’ basketball section finals week. By week’s end, the state’s 462 girls’ basketball teams (per the MSHSL) will have been whittled down to a final 32 across four classes.
So much drama and passion, so many thrilling finishes and amazing performances to look forward to.
Will Paige Bueckers and undefeated Hopkins get past Wayzata for a third time this season when they meet Thursday in the Section 6, 4A final?
Can Stillwater extend its 20-game winning streak when it faces White Bear Lake on Thursday in the Section 4, 4A championship?
Can Spring Lake Park, which upset top-seeded Park Center in the Section 5, 4A semifinals, keep the magic going against Centennial on Thursday in the section final?
It will all set the stage for the state tournament, March 13-16 at Williams Arena and the University of Minnesota’s Maturi Pavilion. There will be no games at Target Center this year because of a Disney ice show that weekend.
Aside from that, the section playoffs for boys’ basketball will be in full swing. In one of the more notable first-round games, East Ridge (24-2), the No. 1 seed in Section 4, 4A, takes on intradistrict rival Woodbury (6-20) in a section quarterfinal game Wednesday. There’s a big difference in the teams’ records, but it’s a worthy rivalry nonetheless. The Raptors struggled to put the Royals away in their previous meeting, a 67-60 victory at home.
Also worth watching is the talent in Section 2, 4A, which features Prior Lake, Eden Prairie, Edina, Shakopee and Chaska as its top five seeds, meaning at least one state-tournament caliber team isn’t going to make it out of the section quarterfinals.
One more thing. There’s a little get-together at Xcel Energy Center called the boys’ hockey state tournament, which runs Wednesday through Saturday.
But we have a feeling you already knew that.