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Laker girls' basketball to face No. 2 Totino-Grace in Class 3A state playoffs

Sixteen coaches sat at their computers Sunday morning (March 15) and voted to determine the top four seeded teams in Class AAA and Class AAAA for the 2009 State Girls' Basketball Tournament. When the tabulation was complete, New Prague was chosen No. 1 in Class AAA and Minneapolis South was chosen No. 1 in Class AAAA.

The coaches logged onto a special page of the League Web site. Each coach ranked the other teams 1 through 7. The highest and lowest rankings for each team were discarded, leaving five rankings for each team. From those rankings, the top four seeds were selected. In conference calls with all eight head coaches of each class, League Associate Director Lisa Lissimore announced the top four seeds. Coaches association representatives Pat Barrett and Erin Herman then blindly drew the names of the four remaining teams to establish the opponents for the seeded teams.

The quarterfinals of the 2009 Class AAA State Girls' Basketball Tournament are scheduled Wednesday, March 18 at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus. The opening game features No. 1 seed New Prague (25-4) vs. Worthington (24-2). The noon game will have No. 4 seed Minneapolis North (18-7) vs. Grand Rapids (20-8). At 2 p.m. No. 2 seed Totino-Grace, Fridley (26-3) takes on Detroit Lakes (16-10). The final matchup will pit No. 3 seed Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis (27-2) against St. Michael-Albertville (22-7).

The Class AAAA quarterfinals will also be played that same day on the identical time schedule at Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. The opening game has No. 1 seed Minneapolis South (28-2) playing Blaine (15-14). The noon contest has No. 4 seed Eastview, Apple Valley (21-8) vs. White Bear Lake Area (22-7). The 2 p.m. game features No. 2 seed Centennial, Circle Pines (27-2) against Buffalo (16-13). The final quarterfinal will have No. 3 seed Eden Prairie (20-9) playing Rochester John Marshall (23-5).

The coaches of Class A and Class AA teams chose not to seed their tournaments. A cyclical pairing schedule is employed to match opponents in those two classes.

This year's pairings for Class A: Section 7 Bigfork (26-2) vs. Section 1 Goodhue (17-10); Section 2 Cedar Mountain/Comfrey (27-2) vs. Section 4 New Life Academy, Woodbury (25-4); Section 8 Red Lake County Central, Okleee (27-1) vs. Section 6 Ada-Borup (28-1); and Section 3 Adrian (28-1) vs. Section 5 Barnum (30-0). All Class A games will be played at Williams Arena at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the order listed above on Thursday, March 19.

This year's pairings for Class AA: Section 7 Braham (24-6) vs. Section 1 Caledonia (28-0); Section 2 Blue Earth Area (17-11) vs. Section 4 Jordan (26-2); Section 8 East Grand Forks (28-2) vs. Section 6 New London-Spicer (29-1); and Section 3 Pipestone Area (21-5) vs. Section 5 Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (27-3). The first two games listed will be played Wednesday, March 18, at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively, at Target Center. The last two games will be played Wednesday, March 18, at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively, at Williams Arena.