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Prep Basketball: Playoff dreams in peril

New London-Spicer's Amanda Radel, left, and her Wildcats teammates lost to Litchfield's Shelbie Walsh, right, and the Dragons on Tuesday in the Section 6AA South Sub-Section title game.

By Tom Larson

Prep playoff basketball is a cruel endeavor. Less than two weeks ago, all 19 west central Minnesota girls basketball teams were getting ready for their respective tournaments, some with realistic dreams of a section championship and a state tournament trip.

Today, 18 of those teams are gone.

Litchfield is the lone girls team remaining which can still harbor that dream, and the Dragons (20-7) still face the tall task of beating a 24-4 Sauk Centre team in the Section 6AA final on Friday.

Area boys teams are beginning to feel the squeeze, too.

The boys playoffs began late last week and already six of 19 have seen their seasons end, and by the end of today, regardless who wins, at least two more will be taking off their uniforms for the last time this season.

Among tonight's games, Dawson-Boyd (24-2) and MACCRAY (21-6) appear headed for a sub-section showdown in Section 3A. The Blackjacks play Lincoln HI in tonight's semifinals while the Wolverines play Ortonville.

BOLD (14-10) and Montevideo (21-5) face tough semifinals tests in Section 3AA, as does ACGC (16-9) in Section 2A.

In 6AA, Paynesville and Litch play each other, as do Minnewaska and New London-Spicer, in tonight's sub-section openers. Benson and Morris/Chokio-Alberta also play tournament openers tonight.

Hancock catches a tough Ashby team in the second round of the 6A South playoffs.

And on Saturday, the Willmar Cardinals (19-6) travel to play Section 2AAA's top-seed, Manakto East (22-4).

Tom Larson

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

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