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Prep week ahead

By Jim Paulsen, Star Tribune, 05/30/11, 7:18PM CDT


A preview of section playoff action scheduled for this week

With the section playoffs in full swing, here’s a look at some of the key metro sections in each sport to see how each stands:


• Section 3, 3A: Burnsville, the defending state champion, has advanced to the section final (Wednesday, 3:30 pm., at Eagan) against the winner of Tuesday’s losers’ bracket final between Bloomington Jefferson and Park of Cottage Grove, the only team to beat Burnsville this season.

• Section 5, 3A: The only knock on No. 1-seed Totino-Grace (22-0) is its schedule. The Eagles will get the chance to put those concerns to rest against three much larger schools: Centennial, Mounds View and Coon Rapids.

• Section 4, 3A: It’s about time that top-seeded North St. Paul, ranked No. 2 in Class 3A, and Stillwater, ranked No. 9 and seeded No. 2, meet. The game is 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at McKnight Fields.

• Section 2, 3A: It has been 31 years since Shakopee has been to the state tournament, but the Sabers appear poised to end that drought. They need to win one more game (against either Prior Lake or Mankato West on Thursday) to qualify for the first time since 1980.


• Section 2, 3A: Top-seeded Eden Prairie is in the driver’s seat after No. 2-seed Minnetonka was shocked by No. 7 Chanhassen 9-5 on Saturday.

• Section 3, 3A: No. 1-seeded Burnsville and No. 2-seeded Eastview are still alive and split a pair of regular-season games. The return of Ty McDevitt from injury could move things in Eastview’s favor.

• Section 5, 3A: Undefeated Maple Grove will be tested in the Section final four. The Crimson faces No. 5-seeded Centennial on Tuesday at Midway Stadium. The other half of the bracket features Coon Rapids and Irondale, which upset Cooper on Saturday.

• Section 4, 2A: Minnehaha Academy is the No. 1 seed, but it’s foolish to overlook No. 2-seeded St. Anthony. The Huskies lost to Minnehaha 4-0 during the regular season but always are at their best in the postseason. Keep an eye on St. Paul City Conference champ Highland Park, the No. 4 seed.


• Section 5: Barring an upset, No. 1-seed Benilde-St. Margaret’s (14-0) and No. 2-seed Blake, which nearly beat the Red Knights during the regular season, will meet in the section final at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Roseville.


• Section 6: Since the MSHSL took over the state tournament, Eden Prairie always has won its section. The Eagles are favored to do so again, but it might not be quite so easy. The No. 2 seed, Minnetonka, features Hilary Duda, the Coaches Association’s player of the year.

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