Road playoff opener awaits Huskies

The strength — or lack thereof — of its regular-season schedule hurt the St. Anthony Village High School boys basketball when it came time to dole out seeds for the Section 4AAA playoffs. The Huskies tied for the best overall record of the eight teams in the section but are seeded only fifth.

St. Anthony (19-7) opens the post-season on Wednesday with a 7 p.m. section quarterfinal at fourth-seeded Totino-Grace (11-15). 

No team in Section 4AAA has more victories than the Huskies this season. St. Anthony and top-seeded Mahtomedi both went 19-7 this winter.

St. Anthony was 12-2 against Class AA teams, 5-5 against Class AAA squads and 1-0 against Class AAAA teams. Of the five Class AAA teams the Huskies beat, two are seeded eighth in their respective sections, one is seventh, one is sixth and one is second.

The Huskies enter the post-season on a decent roll. They went 7-2 over their final nine games and the losses were to St. Croix Lutheran, the No. 1-ranked team in Class AA.

St. Anthony ended the regular season in the middle of the pack in the section in offense but leads the section in defense. The Huskies gave up 52 points per game to lead the section. Columbia Heights, the third seed, was second at 54.8 points per game.

Nick Peterson leads the team in scoring with 13.3 points per game. Rhys Langums (11.8), Nick Knutson (11.3) and Aaron Smith (11.1) also average in double figures.

Totino-Grace earned a home playoff despite having a losing record. The Eagles play in the rugged Northwest Suburban Conference, which had as many as five teams ranked in the top 10 this season. Totino-Grace went only 5-14 in conference play but was 6-1 outside the Northwest Suburban.

The St. Anthony/Totino-Grace winner advances to Saturday’s semifinals and a match-up against either top-seeded Mahtomedi or eighth-seeded Hill-Murray. Mahtomedi beat Hill-Murray by 19 and 36 points during the regular season so it’s a good bet Saturday’s game will be against Mahtomedi.

In the quarterfinals in the other half of the bracket, second-seeded St. Paul Johnson hosts seventh-seeded St. Paul Como Park and third-seeded Columbia Heights hosts sixth-seeded Fridley.

The section championship is scheduled for March 3 at 7 p.m. at St. Paul Washington High School.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

Section 4AAA boys basketball playoffs

Seed, record in parentheses

Quarterfinals, Feb. 24, 7 p.m.
Game 1 – Hill-Murray (8, 5-20) at Mahtomedi (1, 19-7)
Game 2 – St. Anthony Village (5, 19-7) at Totino-Grace (4, 11-15)
Game 3 – St. Paul Como Park (7, 11-14) at St. Paul Johnson (2, 14-12)
Game 4 – Fridley (6, 10-13) at Columbia Heights (3, 16-8)

Semifinals, Feb. 27 at St. Paul Washington
Game 5 – Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 6 – Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 7:45 p.m.

Championship game, March 3, 7 p.m. at St. Paul Washington
Game 7 – Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner

 

 

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here