Section 3AAA Preview
The Playoffs are right around the corner. With small-school section tournaments set to begin in the next few weeks, it’s time to turn our attention to the postseason. Here’s a look at Section 3AAA Favorite: Richfield The Spartans…
The Playoffs are right around the corner. With small-school section tournaments set to begin in
the next few weeks, it’s time to turn our attention to the postseason.
Here’s a look at Section 3AAA
The Spartans have flown under the radar this season but have the kind of firepower and high-end talent to go a long way in the postseason. They average nearly 80 points per game, playing an up-and-down style of basketball that allows their athletes to shine. The perimeter trio of Lamar Grayson, Ryan Miles and Mitchell January is tough for teams to match up with because all three are capable of dominating stretches of a game. The three combine to average 50 points per game and all three guys are capable of scoring from the perimeter, getting into the paint, creating for their teammates and drawing fouls. Senior forward Jeff Moore has played well in recent games and averages 11 points per game. And the forward tandem of Jaden Wollmuth and Isaiah Casey Hammond gives the Spartans some size up front. Richfield can pile up points and dictate the tempo of games – which makes them hard to match up with.
Contender: Holy Angels
The reigning section champs, Holy Angels returned two starters from last year in Matt Banovetz and Emmet Johnson and those two have been the leaders all year for a Stars team that has state tournament potential. Banovetz has taken his game to new heights this year, averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds. He’s a tough cover because of his ability to finish around the rim, create his own shot in the post and step away and knock down shots. Johnson has taken on greater offensive role as a sophomore and is developing into one of the top point guards in the section. He’s raised his scoring to 14.5 points per game and leads the team in assists while providing plus defense at the point of attack. Bryce Boyd has had a breakout season, averaging 11 points and four rebounds and Conor O’Rourke is a solid complementary ball-handler.
Watch Out For: South St. Paul, St. Croix Lutheran
The Packers won 17 games during the regular season and beat Richfield early in the year, so there’s no question that they are talented enough to do damage in the section. They’ve struggled with consistency – especially on the defensive end of the floor – throughout the season, but they’ve got the high-end talent to beat anybody. Alonzo Dodd is one of the best players in the section. The sophomore guard is averaging 25 points per game and better than four assists. He gets to the free throw line nine times per game, he can shoot from deep and he’s nearly impossible to keep out of the paint. Freshman guard MaxSamus Wilson joins him to form a dynamic backcourt that can control the game. Marquise Gleb and Marcus Brown provide solid frontcourt production. The Packers have the pieces to win the section.
St. Croix Lutheran has been mostly middling all year but the Crusaders have a terrific trio of guards to lean on in Zach Longueville, Owen Bushaw and Xavier Garcia. The three combine to average nearly 50 points per game. The Crusaders don’t have great depth or size, so they are reliant on those three guards to be great – and they are capable.