Area teams to play in Pacesetter “Sweet Sixteen”

The Minneota Vikings, Class A’s reigning champion in girls’ basketball, will have an opportunity to show their strength against schools of all sizes at the Pacesetter “Sweet Sixteen” this weekend at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph.

Minneota opens the tournament against Hutchinson at 12:40 p.m. on Saturday, while a potential matchup with a familiar foe lingers.

Joining Minneota at the marquee offseason tournament is Camden Conference rival Dawson-Boyd. The Blackjacks will be represented at St. Ben’s not only by their girls team, but on the boys’ side as well.

The Dawson-Boyd girls, who received three of their four losses in 2012-13 at the hands of Minneota, start their tournament against Eastview, of Apple Valley, at 12:40 as well. The boys’ team, meanwhile, opens the tournament at 10 a.m. against Hawley. Dawson-Boyd fell to eventual Class A state champion Southwest Minnesota Christian in the Section 3A final for the second year in a row in March.

All teams play a guaranteed four games, two games per day, leading to the championship games Sunday. The boys’ final will tip at 3:40 p.m. with the girls to follow at 5 p.m.

Other teams in the tournament include, for the girls: Hopkins (2013 AAAA state champion), Mankato Loyola, Albany, Monticello, New-London Spicer, Lakeville South, Minneapolis Washburn, Goodhue, Minnetonka and Foley.

The remaining boys’ teams are: Hopkins, Breck, Osseo, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Blake, Annandale, Perham, Grand Rapids, Battle Lake, Rushford-Peterson, Eden Prairie, Esko, Red Wing and Apple Valley (2013 AAAA champion and led by the nation’s top recruit Tyus Jones).