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Class 3A story lines
1 Island paradise
DeLaSalle has established itself as the pre-eminent basketball power in Class 3A, with the girls’ recent three-peat to go with the boys’ 2012 state title. Junior forward Reid Travis, the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year, is being recruited nationally, but the Islanders also have depth with elite sophomore guard Jarvis Johnson, outside shooting threat Luke Scott and athletic wingman James Lawson.
2 Austin’s best?
Twenty-seven previous appearances and three championships (most recently in 1958) make it difficult to say that this is Austin’s best team ever. But with a gaudy 28-0 record and three future college players in senior cousins Joe Aase (Davidson) and Tom Aase (Sioux Falls) and junior Zach Wessels (uncommitted), this group of Packers has fans dreaming about the team’s first state title in 55 years.
3 Grand Rapids: Basketball town?
Most regard Grand Rapids as hockey territory, but there is mounting evidence of exceptional basketball talent in the area, too. The Thunderhawks are making their sixth consecutive state tournament appearance and 12th overall. The boys’ hockey team has made 14 trips, but none since 2007. More proof? Alex Illikainen, a 6-9 sophomore swingman with 1,000 career points, has offers from seven Division I schools, including Minnesota.