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Girls basketball: Area teams gear up for section playoffs this week

Section tournament preview for all area teams.

Perham vs Brainerd girls basketball 2.jpg
Perham's Willow Thiel, front, and Olivia Pilgrim defend a loose ball against Brainerd's Meghan Smith Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, at Brainerd High School. Perham earned the third seed in the Section 8-2A tournament and will host DGF on Thursday.
Kelly Humphrey / Forum News Serivce
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DETROIT LAKES – March is a day away, which means section basketball tournaments are ready to roll.

Area girls basketball teams are gearing up to make a run for section championships and a chance to play in the state tournament. Here’s a look at each area team’s section tournament.

Section 8 2-A

Perham (19-7) is having one of its best seasons in over a decade. With its first conference championship in its back pocket since 2008-09, the Yellowjackets are primed for a deep tournament run as the third seed in Section 8-2A.

Perham finished with a section record of 15-2, with losses against top-seeded Fergus Falls (19-5, 3-2) and Hawley (19-4, 13-3).

The Yellowjackets will host No. 14 Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (5-17, 3-11) in the first round on Thursday night. The winner will take on the victory between sixth-seeded Roseau (19-7, 6-2) and 11th-seeded Thief River Falls (11-13, 4-10) on Saturday. The high seeds host the first two rounds before moving to Lakeshirts Fieldhouse in Detroit Lakes on Mar. 9.

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The Frazee Hornets (7-17) have a tough road ahead of them as the 15th-seed in the bracket. They travel to second-seeded Menahga (23-2, 5-2) on Thursday in hopes of pulling off a first-round upset. The Hornets did not play Menahga during the regular season.

Section 8-3A

Detroit Lakes (11-12) will play the first playoff basketball game of the season at Lakeshirts Fieldhouse on Thursday night when it hosts sixth-seeded Little Falls (5-20, 0-2).

In both their overall and section records, the Lakers finished the regular season one game under .500. Top-seeded Willmar (18-8, 7-0) and second-seeded Alexandria (12-12, 5-2) each got first-round byes.

Detroit Lakes takes a 1-2 section record into the postseason, with that one win coming in the season-opener over the Flyers. Detroit Lakes dominated Little Falls 65-15 for its line section win this season. No. 4 Rocori and No. 5 Sauk-Rapids-Rice will play in the other first-round matchup on Thursday night.

If Detroit Lakes takes care of business against Little Falls, it will play Alexandria on Saturday on the road. The Cardinals beat the Lakers 54-41 in the only meeting between the two teams this season. The Lakers have won 5-of-6 games heading into the playoffs.

Section 8A

Mahnomen-Waubun (15-8) is the East’s sixth seed in the Section 8A tournament, and will look to knock off third-seeded Fertile-Beltram (20-6, 16-6) for a second time on Thursday night.

The Thunderbirds picked up the win in the regular-season meeting on Jan. 14 by a score of 59-55. Mahnomen-Waubun is 7-5 in section play this season.

Cass-Lake Bena (24-2, 8-0) earned the top seed in the section, while Fosston (19-4, 14-3) is No. 2. The high seed hosts the first two rounds of the section tournament in each matchup before moving to the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls.

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Section 6A

The Section 6A tournament kicks off on Monday night, where the Lake Park-Audubon Raiders (13-12, 8-8) host Park Christian (7-17, 2-10).

LPA is riding a three-game skid heading into sections but is 2-0 against Park Christian this season. The Raiders picked up a 37-34 win on Dec. 16 on the road before sweeping the season series with a 58-37 victory at home on Feb. 4. LPA is the sixth seed in the North, while Park Christian is No. 11.

The North’s third seed is New York Mills, who earned a first-round bye with a record of 15-9. The Eagles were 6-4 in section play and will take on the winner of LPA and Park Christian. The sub-section semifinals through the section championship will be played in Perham at The Hive and Fergus Falls.

Jared Rubado is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. He moved to the area in September of 2021 after covering sports for the Alexandria Echo Press for nearly three years. Jared graduated from the University of Augustana in 2018 with degrees in journalism and sports managment.
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