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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Panthers seeded 4th, will face unbeaten Hayfield in state opener

The Panthers were seeded No. 4 in the Class A field and will meet fifth-seeded Hayfield in the first round. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. Thursday, March 17, at Maturi Pavilion at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

031622.S.BP.CLBGBB Bench.jpg
The Panthers cheer from the bench in the second half of the Section 8A championship game against Warren-Alvarado-Oslo on Friday, March 11, 2022, at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls.
Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer

CASS LAKE -- A day after earning a state tournament berth, the Cass Lake-Bena girls basketball team has mapped its path to a state championship.

The Panthers were seeded No. 4 in the Class A field and will meet fifth-seeded Hayfield in the first round. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. Thursday, March 17, at Maturi Pavilion at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

CLB (28-2) hasn’t played the Section 1A champion Vikings this year. Hayfield enters the matchup 32-0. They’re ranked No. 3 in the Class A QRF, just a sliver ahead of Cass Lake-Bena at No. 4.

The winner will face either top-seeded Mountain Iron-Buhl (27-3) or unseeded Minneota in the semifinals at noon on Friday, March 18, at Williams Arena. The loser drops to the consolation bracket for either a 10 a.m. or noon tipoff on Friday at Concordia-St. Paul.

The Class A state championship game is set for noon on Saturday, March 19.

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On the other half of the bracket, second-seeded Mayer Lutheran meets unseeded United Christian Academy in the first round, and third-seeded Hancock faces unseeded Nevis.

On Friday night, the Panthers secured the program’s fifth section championship by defeating Warren-Alvarado-Oslo 71-53 in the Section 8A title game. CLB’s win marked back-to-back section championships for the first time in program history.

Class A state tournament pairings

No. 4 Cass Lake-Bena vs. No. 5 Hayfield

No. 1 Mountain Iron-Buhl vs. Minneota

No. 2 Mayer Lutheran vs. United Christian Academy

No. 3 Hancock vs. Nevis

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