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Saturday 3:30 p.m. update: Willmar semifinal game on, NLS game postponed

Tribune file photo The No. 4-seed Willmar Cardinals will play No. 1 Waconia for the Section 2AAA semifinals 6 p.m. today at Minnesota State-Mankato.

This evening's Section 6AA South game between New London-Spicer and Morris/Chokio-Alberta at St. John's University has been postponed and is rescheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at SJU.

The Stevens County Sheriff's Office this afternoon reported treacherous road conditions in the Morris area, leaving the Tigers unable to get out of town.

The other 6AA South game pitting Litchfield against Eden Valley-Watkins at SJU is still scheduled to be played. Because of the NLS-MCA postponement, the status of Tuesday's sub-section championship game is uncertain, said John Vraa, NLS Activities Director.

As of 3:30 p.m. Saturday, BBE's Section 6A South game against Wheaton/Herman-Norcross at the University of Minnesota, Morris is still scheduled for a 6 p.m. tipoff.

Willmar plays Waconia at 6 p.m. today at Minnesota State-Mankato in the Section 2AAA semifinals.

In Section 3A South, top-seed Dawson-Boyd defeated No. 2-seed MACCRAY 61-37 on Saturday to advance to the 3A championship game, with a trip to the Class A state tournament on the line.

The Blackjacks will play the winner of the North final, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton or Southwest Minnesota Christian, at 5 p.m. Thursday at Southwest Minnesota State.

Section 2AAA

No. 4 Willmar (13-13) vs. No. 1 Waconia (22-5)

The Cardinals have no recent history against the Wildcats but they are fully aware the task will be difficult.

The Cardinals lost four of five to end the regular season but looked in fine form during a 78-51 win over Hutchinson in the section quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Waconia, the No. 5-ranked team in Class AAA, defeated Dassel-Cokato 58-22 to open the playoffs. The winner gets, most likely, No. 2-seed Marshall, Class AAA’s No.4 team, for the section title. Willmar was one of only two teams to defeat Marshall this season, winning 58-57 on Jan. 15.

Section 6AA South

No. 1 Litchfield (21-5) vs. No. 4 Eden Valley-Watkins (12-13)

The Dragons and Eagles also haven’t crossed paths recently and the Eagles will have to play their best game of the season to advance.

Litchfield, last year’s Class AA runner-up, cruised by Paynesville 64-36 to open the playoffs while the Eagles took out Minnewaska 74-59.

The teams last played in December 2009, with the Dragons winning 67-55 at home.

    No. 2 New London-Spicer (13-14) vs. No. 3 Morris/Chokio-Alberta (19-7)

In contrast to Litchfield-EVW, NLS and MCA have met often in recent years.

This year, New London-Spicer’s Joey Dreier hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds to force overtime and the Wildcats won 69-59 in overtime in Morris.

NLS downed the Tigers 63-56 last year and 78-74 the year before that. In 2009-2010, the year the Wildcats finished 32-2 and won the Class AA state championship, the teams split two games. The Wildcats won 89-68 when they were 19-1 and the state’s top-ranked team and the Tigers were ranked No. 2 and had a 17-0 record.

Section 3A North

No. 1 Dawson-Boyd (21-5) vs. No. 2 MACCRAY (21-5)

This may be the toughest Class A section finals lineup in the state: In the South, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton, ranked No. 5 in Class A, plays Southwest Minnesota Christian, which was the Class A runner-up last season and is ranked No. 3 this year.

Dawson-Boyd is ranked No. 8 in Class A and MACCRAY probably should be. The teams each won on the others’ court this season. The Blackjacks and Wolverines split regular-season games last year and D-B defeated MACCRAY in the sub-section final.

Section 6A South

No. 1 BBE (25-1) vs. No. 5 Wheaton/Herman-Norcross (16-8)

The Warriors have put together a solid season but they will have to put together a great game to hang with the defending champs.

The Jaguars have lost two times in the last three seasons, with one coming in the 2010-11 state championship game. They are 90-2 during that stretch, with the other loss coming this year against Class AA’s top-ranked team, Melrose.

The Warriors haven’t had much luck against BBE in recent years. The Jaguars have won all four of their meetings since the 2004-2005 season, with two of those wins coming in the postseason.

Tom Larson

Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.

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