REGIONAL- The release of the Section 7A basketball tournament brackets sets up a Saturday reboot of a hotly-contested matchup between area rivals, but they’ll first have to take care of …
REGIONAL- The release of the Section 7A basketball tournament brackets sets up a Saturday reboot of a hotly-contested matchup between area rivals, but they’ll first have to take care of business on Thursday when they open tournament play.
No. 3 seed North Woods squandered a big lead and lost 63-60 to No. 6 seed Ely on March 5, and the little doubt the Grizzlies would welcome a chance to redeem themselves from a second-half collapse against the Timberwolves.
North Woods, with its 12-5 record and riding a three-game win streak, will host No. 14 seed Hill City, a team the Grizzlies didn’t play during the regular season, on Thursday, March 18. The Hornets come into the tournament at 4-12.
Ely (11-6) opens the tourney at home on Thursday against No. 11 seed Lakeview Christian, a team the Timberwolves thumped 88-56 just last week.
If the Grizzlies and T-Wolves win, they’ll face off on Saturday at North Woods.
Nashwauk-Keewatin nailed down the No. 1 seed with a 15-2 overall record and went 11-0 against sectional opponents.
No. 10 Ely, No. 12 North Woods, and No. 15 Northeast Range all drew road trips against higher seeds for opening games scheduled Wednesday, March 17.
The Timberwolves didn’t play No. 7 Floodwood in the regular season. Both teams enter the contest with three-game winning streaks.
The Grizzlies (5-10) also drew an unfamiliar foe in No. 5 Chisholm (11-7). North Woods will try to end a five-game losing skid.
The Nighthawks (2-12) began the regular season with a 70-14 home loss to Cherry, and will meet the No. 2 Tigers again on Wednesday.
Mt. Iron-Buhl claimed the No. 1 seed despite having the third-best record among Section 7A teams. The 13-4 Rangers came out on top by virtue of the Quality Results Formula (QRF) used to calculate seedings.
All sectional tournament games will be played on the home court of the higher-seeded team this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Regular season spectator limitations remain in effect for the tournament. Only individuals on a school’s preapproved spectator list will be admitted to games. Most schools have options for watching games online via YouTube, Facebook, or the NFHS Network.