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State Girls' Basketball Tournament: All four 2012 champions return to defend titles

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All four teams return to defend their 2012 titles: Maranatha Christian Academy of Brooklyn Park in Class A, Providence Academy of Plymouth in Class AA, DeLaSalle of Minneapolis in Class AAA, and Hopkins in Class AAAA.

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Coaches of the Class AAA and Class AAAA teams voted and seeded the top five teams of each class, choosing Richfield as the top seed in Class AAA and Hopkins as the top seed in Class AAAA.

Three teams are making first appearances: Upsala, Pine Island, and BOLD of Olivia.

This is the 17th year of the four-class format and the 10th year with all games being played in Minneapolis. This is also the seventh year that the Class AAA and Class AAAA tournaments were seeded by the participating coaches.

Class A

(Sec. 5) Upsala (26-4) vs. (Sec. 1) Bethlehem Academy, Faribault (24-4): Upsala is making its debut appearance in the state tournament. Bethlehem Academy is making its second appearance, its first since 1998.

(Sec. 7) Mountain Iron-Buhl (28-2) vs. (Sec. 3) Minneota (27-2): The Mountain Iron-Buhl Rangers are making their third consecutive and fourth overall appearance, with a runner-up finish in 2012. The Vikings of Minneota are also making their third consecutive and fourth overall tournament appearance.

(Sec. 4) Maranatha Christian Academy, Brooklyn Park (26-4) vs. (Sec. 6) Ada-Borup (26-3): The Maranatha Mustangs are the two-time defending champions. This is their fourth consecutive and overall tournament appearance. Ada-Borup is making its sixth overall and second consecutive appearance, taking third place in 2012. (Sec. 2) Mankato Loyola (26-3) vs. (Sec. 8) Win-E-Mac, Erskine (26-2): The Crusaders of Mankato Loyola are making their second tournament appearance and first since 1981. The Win-E-Mac Patriots are making their second appearance and first since 1989.

Class A Quarterfinal Schedule — Thursday, March 14

11:00 — Upsala vs. Bethlehem Academy at Williams Arena, U of M

1:00 — Mountain Iron-Buhl vs. Minneota at Williams Arena, U of M

3:00 — Maranatha Christian Academy vs. Ada-Borup at Williams Arena, U of M

5:00 — Mankato Loyola vs. Win-E-Mac at Williams Arena, U of M

Class AA

(Sec. 5) Providence Academy, Plymouth (24-4) vs. (Sec. 1) Pine Island (26-5): This is the third consecutive and overall appearance for the Providence Academy Lions. The Panthers of Pine Island are making their first tournament appearance.

(Sec. 7) Braham (30-0) vs. (Sec. 3) BOLD, Olivia (26-3): The Braham Bombers return to make their fifth consecutive and sixth overall appearance. The Warriors of BOLD are making their first state tournament appearance.

(Sec. 4) Minneapolis Washburn (22-7) vs. (Sec. 6) Sauk Centre (27-2): The Millers of Minneapolis Washburn are making their fifth appearance, but first since 1984. The Mainstreeters of Sauk Centre are making their fourth consecutive and overall appearance.

(Sec. 2) New Richland-H-E-G (29-1) vs. (Sec. 8) Pelican Rapids (21-7): The Panthers of New Richland-H-E-G are making their second consecutive and third overall appearance. They placed third in 2012. Pelican Rapids is making its second appearance. The Vikings made their one previous appearance in 2001.

Class AA Quarterfinals Schedule — Wednesday, March 13

6:00 — Providence Academy vs. Pine Island at Target Center

8:00 — Braham vs. BOLD at Target Center

6:00 — Minneapolis Washburn vs. Sauk Centre at Williams Arena, U of M

8:00 — New Richland-H-E-G vs. Pelican Rapids at Williams Arena, U of M

Class AAA

(Sec. 4) Hill-Murray School, Maplewood (19-10) vs. (No. 1 Seed-Sec. 6) Richfield (26-3): Hill-Murray is making its fourth consecutive and 13th overall tournament appearance. No. 1-seeded Richfield is making its second consecutive and overall tournament appearance. Richfield was Class AAA runner-up in 2012.

(No. 5 Seed-Sec. 1) Red Wing (21-7) vs. (No. 4 Seed-Sec. 2) New Prague (22-6): Red Wing returns for its fifth overall and third consecutive state tournament appearance. New Prague returns to the tournament for the first time since 2010, seeded No. 4 this year.

(Sec. 7) Chisago Lakes Area, Lindstrom (22-7) vs. (No. 2 Seed-Sec. 3) DeLaSalle, Minneapolis (25-4): Chisago Lakes Area is making its second consecutive and overall appearance in the state tournament. The Islanders of DeLaSalle are the two-time defending Class AAA champions making their fourth consecutive and seventh overall tournament appearance.

(Sec. 5) Monticello (24-5) vs. (No. 3 Seed-Sec. 8) Fergus Falls (29-0): Monticello is making its second consecutive and overall tournament appearance. The undefeated Otters of Fergus Falls, seeded No. 3 this year, look to improve on their third-place finish in 2012. It is the team's second consecutive and third overall appearance.

The Class AAA Quarterfinal Schedule — Wednesday, March 13

10:00 — Hill-Murray vs. Richfield at Williams Arena, U of M

12:00 — Red Wing vs. New Prague at Williams Arena, U of M

2:00 — Chisago Lakes Area vs. DeLaSalle at Williams Arena, U of M

4:00 — Monticello vs. Fergus Falls at Williams Arena, U of M

Class AAAA

(Sec. 8) St. Michael-Albertville (24-5) vs. (No. 1 Seed-Sec. 6) Hopkins (28-1): The Knights of St. Michael-Albertville are making their second consecutive and sixth overall appearance. The two-time defending champions from Hopkins return for their third consecutive and eighth overall appearance.

(No. 5 Seed-Sec. 4) St. Paul Central (26-4) vs. (No. 4 Seed-Sec. 5) Osseo (21-8): The Minutemen of St. Paul Central return to tournament action after a four-year absence. They are making their 10th appearance and they won previous championships in 1976, 1979, 2007 and 2008. The Osseo Orioles return for their second consecutive and 14th overall appearance. They won previous titles in 1989 and 2000 and placed second last year.

(Sec. 7) Anoka (20-9) vs. (No. 2 Seed-Sec. 2) Bloomington Kennedy (26-3): The Anoka Tornadoes are making their second tournament appearance, but first since 2011. The Bloomington Kennedy Eagles are making their third tournament appearance, but first since 2006. They are looking for their second title, having won previously in 2005.

(Sec. 1) Rochester Mayo (21-7) vs. (No. 3 Seed-Sec. 3) Eastview, Apple Valley (27-2): The Spartans of Rochester Mayo return for their 10th appearance, but first since 2011. Eastview returns for its second consecutive and sixth overall appearance.

The Class AAAA Quarterfinal Schedule — Wednesday, March 13

10:00 — St. Michael-Albertville vs. Hopkins at Target Center

12:00 — St. Paul Central vs. Osseo at Target Center

2:00 — Anoka vs. Bloomington Kennedy at Target Center

4:00 — Rochester Mayo vs. Eastview at Target Center

Television and Webcast Coverage

All semifinal and championship games will be televised live by KSTC-TV, Channel 45 and also streamed live and free on the Web at Prep45.com. Live statistics of all games will also be displayed on the League website (www.MSHSL.org).

Ticket Information

Tickets will be available at Target Center and Williams Arena. Quarterfinal tickets cost $14.00 for adults and $9.00 for students. Quarterfinal wristbands, which are good at both venues on Wednesday only, are $19.00 for adults and $12.00 for students. Semifinal and championship tickets will be available at Target Center and cost $14.00 for adults and $9.00 for students per session. Third-place tickets will be available at Concordia University and cost $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for students.

A visit to any participating Wells Fargo metro location can yield you a $2 discount coupon for students 13 and younger.

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