March is my favorite time for high school sports. You have section tournaments for both boys and girls basketball and wrestling. I love the section basketball tournament no matter who is playing. I covered both Section 3A Basketball Championship games this week. Of course this year was different because of the pandemic.
I really missed being in Montevideo for the Super Saturdays and at the RA Facility in Marshall covering the basketball games. This year the games were played at the higher seeds. With both LQPV teams getting higher seeds I didn’t have to travel far. Because of COVID restrictions only so many people were allowed in the gyms. The atmosphere was not quite as exciting because the gyms weren’t full of screaming fans. However, I was surprised at how loud the few fans got at times during the games. It still was a fun time.
I did a few games at LQPV during the section tournament. The boys hosted Dawson-Boyd, Minneota and Central Minnesota Christian. All three games were fun to watch. The Minneota game went down to a buzzer shot that was missed, that would have won it for the Vikings. The CMCS game was intense, with the Bluejays winning. The LQPV girls ended their season in Minneota, playing the undefeated Vikings tough, especially during the first half when they were only down by two points at halftime.
I was in Pipestone on Thursday with the Minneota Vikings girls basketball team for the championship game. They beat Southwest MN Christian for the fourth year in a row. I had a front row seat at courtside, sitting next to the Minneota bench. Morgan Hennen made her basketball radio debut with me. Morgan was the only senior last year on the Vikings team. Her season was cut short at the state tournament last year when the pandemic hit. She did a great job doing commentary.
I was in Redwood Falls Friday night for the boys Section Championship game between Central Minnesota Christian and Southwest MN Christian. The Central Minnesota Christian Bluejays won a close game, it was fun watching them celebrate when the buzzer went off. After the awards ceremony, both teams went to the center of the gym floor and said a prayer. I wish more teams would do that. Brad Greenwaldt is a good friend and he has helped me on the air in the past, his son Blake is a senior and a big part of the team. I enjoyed watching them celebrate the Section championship.
The state tournaments will be very different. The Minnesota High School League has a number of COVID restrictions as to how many radio stations can attend and how many broadcasters you can have. The quarterfinals will not be in the cities just the semi-finals and finals. There are lots of changes. It has been a difficult year with all the changes, but I am happy that the teams are able to play and especially play in a state tournament.