by Bob san
SUN PRESS Newspapers
The Maple Grove girls’ basketball team enters its second season when it opens the Section 5 Tournament this week. The Crimson are seeded third and host sixth-seeded Mounds View Thursday, March 6, in the opening round.
Maple Grove finished the regular season 15-11 overall and 11-9 in the conference, good for sixth place. Kaela Jones leads in scoring with 16.3 points per game, Kenzie Barta is next at 8.3, Haylee Barker 7.8 and Cora Bourbonais 7.3. Jones leads in rebounding with 5.1 boards per game.
“I thought the kids played great this season,” Maple Grove coach Mark Cook said. “Our goal at the beginning of the year was to be playing our best basketball by the end of February. I think we are doing that.”
The Crimson went on a five-game winning streak early in February with good wins over Osseo and Anoka, but dropped three of their final four contests.
The section looks wide open. No. 1 seed is Centennial, Champlin Park is second, Maple Grove third, Osseo fourth, Robbinsdale Cooper fifth, Mounds View sixth, Irondale seventh and Wayzata eighth.
“Our section is tough. Top to bottom all the teams have talent and can compete,” Cook said. “I think we have as good of a chance as anyone to compete for a section championship. We are very excited about the opportunity that lies ahead. We know we will have to beat three very good teams in order to get where we want to be. We are excited about the challenge.”
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