Showdown time for boys prep basketball

It's showdown week for area high school boys basketball squads this week as they enter the final two rounds of section play to determine the makeup of the state tournament.

It's showdown week for area high school boys basketball squads this week as they enter the final two rounds of section play to determine the makeup of the state tournament.

The Section 8A finalists will be determined tonight.

At the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls, Stephen-Argyle and Kittson County Central clash at 6:30 for the west half title, while Clearbrook-Gonvick (21-4) meets Grygla-Gatzke at 8 for the east title.

Those winners are back Friday at 7 for the title game won by Marshall County Central in 2005.

Grygla won the regular-season game from the Bears 93-86 and another shootout is predicted tonight.


Stephen-Argyle is the only team to beat Cass Lake-Bena this year.

The Section 8-2A North title will be decided at Minnesota-Crookston tonight at 8 when East Grand Forks goes against Red Lake.

At Concordia College in Moorhead at 8, Breckenridge and Pelican Rapids clash for the south crown. The title game will be at UMC in Crookston Friday at 8. Red Lake and East Grand did not meet this year.

The Warriors, who trailed Cass Lake and Walker in the Northland Conference race, take an 18-8 mark into tonight's game after bouncing Mahnomen 66-50 Saturday. EGF ousted top-seeded Bagley 63-52 after the Flyers had downed defending champion Crookston in the opening round.

The Section 8-3A race is down to Rocori and Willmar, a pair of Central Lakes Conference rivals.

That game is at 6 Thursday at St. Cloud State.

Rocori won a slowdown game with Detroit Lakes 34-18 Saturday while Willmar ended the Fergus Falls season 69-47,

Rocori is the defending champ.


The Section 8-4A crown goes on the line Thursday at 7 at a site yet to be determined.

It will pit Elk River against Alexandria.

The winner will succeed Maple Grove, which has been shifted to Section 5 and was ousted by Armstrong in the semifinals 85-69.

The Section 6A semifinals pit Cass Lake-Bena (27-1) against Verndale tonight at 7 at Park Rapids. The west crown will go to New York Mills or Norman County East, who clash at Concordia tonight at 7.

Cass Lake-Bena and Verndale did not meet this year, though the Pirates beat Laporte 66-50. CLB defeated Laporte in the semifinals 108-59, their 10th trip past the century mark. They also have 12 games in the 90s.

They are also the defending champions and third-place finisher at the 2005 state tournament. NCE and NYM did not meet this year.

East beat Ada 64-46 Saturday while NYM won over Moorhead Park Christian 67-63.

Section 7 play


To the east, the Class 7A meet shifts to Hibbing for semifinal action Thursday with the title game Saturday at 7:30.

Thursday's games will cross bracket Cook and Chisholm from then north against Onamia and AlBrook from the south.

Last year the two northern teams reached the final with MIB beating Tower-Soudan for the title. MIB fell to Chisholm Saturday 57-55.

In 2A, the tournament shifts to UMD for a Wednesday-Friday finish.

Wednesday will likely pair Virginia with Duluth Marshall and Crosby-Ironton with unbeaten Pequot Lakes.

Virginia beat Marshall 80-57 in December and brings the highest scoring attack to the semifinals with five games over 100 and six more in the 90.s

A Pequot-Virginia final would be a classic.

Grand Rapids challenges Duluth East tonight at Hibbing for the 3A title. East won both regular season meetings 82-57 and 91-77 behind Corey John son.


The 6-7 Iowa State bound forward will be a major problem again for the Hawks.

Section 7 has no Class 4A teams.

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