by Bob San
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
Maple Grove received the fourth seed in what promises to be a very hotly contested Section 5 boys’ basketball tournament.
As expected, Park Center and Osseo are the top two seeds, followed by Champlin Park in third, Maple Grove fourth, Robbinsdale Cooper fifth, Centennial sixth, Irondale seventh and Coon Rapids eighth. The Crimson will host Cooper Thursday, March 7. The winner advances to the semifinal at Rogers Tuesday, March 12. The section final is Friday, March 15, at Rogers at 7 p.m.
Osseo split with Park Center during the regular but the section is wide open with several teams very capable of winning it. Champlin Park and Maple Grove both played Osseo and Park Center tough during the regular season. And Cooper won the North Suburban Conference with a 15-0 record and has one of the most highly recruited players in the state in Rashad Vaughn.
The Crimson ended the regular season with a bang, routing Andover 106-78 Feb. 24 behind 32 points and 10 assists from Jake Wieneke and beating Blaine 84-51 March 1. Wieneke had 22 points, Erik Olson 19 and Brycen Wojta dished out 11 assists to break Greg Martin’s single season assist record.
Maple Grove finished 13-7 in the conference and 16-9 overall. Wojta and fellow seniors such as Wieneke and Olson experienced the thrill of playing in the state tournament when they were sophomores and they would like to end their career playing at Target Center again.
“I would love to get back to state and our team believes we can too,” Wojta said. “There’s no question I feel that our team has a legitimate chance to make a run and get to state. We have proven we can be competitive with those teams and every time our teams meet it’s a tough, hard-nosed game to the end. Anything can happen when a team comes together and leaves everything they have on the court every game.”
Contact Bob San at [email protected]