The bracket for the State Class AAA girls’ basketball tournament has been released, and the Austin Packers, who won the Section 1AAA title last Wednesday with a 45-30 win over Albert Lea at Ove Berven Gym will tangle with Section 4AAA champion Hill-Murray Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. at Rochester Mayo High School.
Austin will be making its fifth appearance in school history in the state tournament and their second in the last three years. The Packers will head into state tournament play with an 11-4 record and the number four seed in the south half of the Class AAA bracket. Due to COVID-19, the State High School League implemented a different format for this year’s tournament by splitting the eight qualifying teams into four northern and four southern schools, and Austin will take on the No. 1 seed from the south in Hill-Murray, who enters the tournament as the No. 1 team in the state in Class AAA in the last AP poll with a record of 19-1. The Pioneers only loss of the season was in their opener to Class AAAA Minnetonka, who finished the season with a record of 15-4 and ranked number six in the last AAAA poll.
The winner of Tuesday night’s game in Rochester will advance to the state semi-finals at Target Center on April 6th against either Section 8AAA champion Alexandria Area, the No. 3 seed in the north with a record of 17-4 or Section 5AAA champion Becker, the No. 2 seed in the north with a record of 16-3. Those two teams will square off in Perham at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday evening. The other quarterfinal matchups will include Grand Rapids, the champions of Section 7AAA and the No. 4 seed from the north with a record of 18-3 against the No. 1 seed from the north, Holy Angels Academy from Richfield, the champions of Section 6AAA with a record of 18-3. Those two teams will meet at St. Cloud Tech High School at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday evening. The winner of that game will advance to play at Target Center on April 6th against either Marshall, the No. 2 seed from the south and the champions of Section 2AAA with a perfect 20-0 record or St. Croix Lutheran, the No. 3 seed from the south and Section 3AAA champion with a record of 14-5. Those two teams will play at Mankato East High School Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m.
The Class AAA championship game will be played at Target Center at 6:00 p.m. on April 9th. Another caveat with this years’ tournament because of COVID will be no consolation brackets. A reminder that you’ll hear all of the action between Austin and Hill-Murray Tuesday evening on AM 1480 KAUS, with the Austin Packers pre-game show coming your way at 6:30 p.m., and tip-off from Rochester Mayo High School at 7:00 p.m. You’ll also be able to listen to the game worldwide on our webpage at myaustinminnesota.com, and also on the I Heart Radio and Radio.com apps.