What to know about this week's Section 1 boys basketball championship games

Three new champions will be crowned in Section 1 boys basketball this week, after the defending champions in 1A, 1AA and 1AAA were knocked out last week in the section semifinals.

Lake City, Stewartville boys basketball
Stewartville’s Henry Tschetter (1) hopes to help the Tigers win their first-ever boys basketball section championship this week. Stewartville meets Winona at 6 p.m. Friday in the Section 1AAA championship game.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo

By Friday night, we’ll know which teams will represent Section 1 at the boys basketball state tournaments next week.

Here’s a quick look at the three Section 1 championship games that involve area teams.

All three sections will see a new champion, after the defending section champs were knocked out in last week's semifinals:


The Matchup: No. 1 seed Stewartville (24-4) vs. No. 3 Winona (15-13)


When, where: 6 p.m. Friday, Mayo Civic Center Arena

Players to watch: Stewartville’s Henry Tschetter, a 6-4 junior guard, averages 15.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.0 steals per game. Winona’s Jackson Harvey, a 6-6 junior center, averages a double-double, 15.6 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.

About the Tigers: Stewartville is seeking its first ever trip to state. The Tigers are 8-0 against section opponents this season, though they didn’t face Winona or No. 2-seeded Austin in the regular season. The Tigers’ four losses this season are all to teams that are also playing for section championships — two losses to Goodhue (Section 1A), one against Lake City (1AA) and one against Mahtomedi (4AAA). … Stewartville is on an 11-game winning streak and is 22-1 since a 2-3 start to the season.

About the Winhawks: Winona has won six of its past seven, its only loss in that stretch coming against Class AAAA school Rochester Mayo. … Winona is looking for its 12th trip to state. … It lost to Austin in the section championship game a year ago, 46-39. It avenged that loss in dramatic fashion last Saturday, winning 61-58 at Austin in the section semifinals on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in OT by Charlie VandeBerg. … Winona is 10-2 against the section this year, its only losses against Austin on Jan. 10 (76-57) and Byron on Jan. 30 (74-73).

John Marshall vs. Plainview-Elgin-Millville Rotary Holiday Class
Plainview-Elgin-Millville's Aeron Stevens (12) attempts to stop John Marshall's Zechariah Ladu (23) during a Rotary Holiday Classic boys basketball game Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022, at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin


The Matchup: No. 1 seed Lake City (26-1) vs. No. 2 Plainview-Elgin-Millville (25-4)

When, where: 8 p.m. Thursday, Mayo Civic Center Arena

Players to watch: Lake City is led by Hunter Lorenson and Ryan Heise. Lorenson is a 5-10 junior guard who averages 17.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game. Heise, a 6-9 senior guard/forward averages 16.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. … P-E-M’s Aeron Stevens is a 6-7 senior center/forward who averages 23.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.9 blocks per game. He will play at Division II Southwest Minnesota State University.


About the Tigers: Lake City has been a steamroller this season, going 15-0 against section opponents and suffering its only loss of the season to Stewartville — a Section 1AAA finalist. The Tigers have won 10 consecutive games since that 53-41 setback on Jan. 26. All 10 of those wins have come by double digits. … This is a rematch of a section semifinal game from a year ago, which P-E-M won 59-44. … Lake City last went to state in 2019, when it placed third. The Tigers are seeking their ninth trip to state.

About the Bulldogs: P-E-M’s season has been ended each of the past two years by Caledonia, including a 3-overtime loss in last year’s section championship game. … The Bulldogs are looking for their fifth trip to state as the P-E-M co-op, having previously qualified in 2007, ‘09, ‘10 and ‘12. … The Bulldogs have won nine consecutive games. Since opening the season 3-3, they are 22-1 (the lone loss a 47-38 setback at Chatfield on Jan. 27).

Byron, Goodhue boys basketball
Goodhue’s Will Opsahl (5) controls the ball during a boys basketball game against Byron on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, at Byron High School in Byron.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo


The Matchup: No. 1 Goodhue (26-3) vs. No. 2 Spring Grove (28-1)

When, where: 6 p.m. Thursday, Mayo Civic Center

Players to watch: Goodhue’s Will Opsahl, a 6-7 senior guard, averages 19.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 3.5 steals per game. He will play college ball at Division II Minnesota State University, Mankato. … Spring Grove’s Elijah Solum, a 6-2 junior guard, is averaging 17.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.3 steals per game. He shoots better than 51% from the floor.

About the Wildcats: Goodhue is seeking the fifth trip to state in program history, the most recent coming in 2017. … Two of the Wildcats’ three losses this season came against Section 1AA finalist Lake City; the other was to Class AAA program Byron. They’ve won seven games in a row and 17 of their past 18. … Goodhue is outscoring its opponents by an average of 16.4 points per game (65.7-49.3). It is the top-ranked team in the state in the QRF Rankings.

About the Lions: Spring Grove has one of the best average point differentials in the state, outscoring its opponents by an average of 26.9 points per game. The Lions are 25-0 against Section 1A opponents this season and have won 26 consecutive games, the past nine by double digits. Their lone loss this season came back on Dec. 27, in their third game of the year, a 66-57 setback against Dawson-Boyd, which will play for the Section 3A championship on Thursday. … The Lions are looking for their second-ever trip to state. Their only previous appearance came in 2019.

Jason Feldman is the sports editor of the Post Bulletin. In addition to managing the four-person sports staff at the PB, Jason covers high school football, golf and high school and junior hockey. Readers can reach Jason at 507-281-7430 or
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