The Faribault Falcons (5-20) girls basketball team begins their playoff assignment in Austin (17-8) Wednesday.  Opening tip scheduled for 7:00 p.m.  The latest Minnesota Basketball News rankings had Austin and Northfield out of the top 20 in Class 3A.  Mankato West #14 and Red Wing #1 in Class 3A are joined by Rochester John  Marshall at #20 in Class 4A as the other Big 9 Conference teams in the rankings.

Section 1 Class 3A is loaded.  Top ranked Red Wing (23-2) is the top seed and received a bye in the 7 team section.  Kasson-Mantorville (18-7) is the only other currently ranked team in the section at #20. Northfield (15-11) and Austin were ranked most of the regular season.  That makes 4 of the 7 teams at one time or another among the state's elite.

The other quarterfinal round games Wednesday are #6 seed Winona (4-21) at #3 seed Kasson-Mantorville and #7 seed Albert Lea (4-20) goes to #2 seed and defending Section Champion Northfield.  The semifinals are at the Mayo Civic Arena in Rochester Saturday.  If Faribault wins they play at 1:00 p.m. Saturday against Red Wing.  The other semifinal is scheduled for 2:45 p.m.

The Section 1 Class 4A tournament has two state ranked teams voted the top two seeds.  Top seed and #7 ranked Farmington and #2 seed and #16 ranked Lakeville North.  The Panthers have 10 losses because they are in the South Suburban Conference which has half their league ranked among the top 18 teams in Minnesota in the largest schools class.

On Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. top seed Farmington will entertain Rochester Century.  #5 seed New Prague is at #4 seed Lakeville South.  Rochester Mayo goes to #3 seed Rochester John Marshall and Lakeville North will host Owatonna.  Semifinal action is Saturday evening at the Rochester Mayo Civic Center Arena at 6:30 and 8:15 p.m.

Annika Richardson of Northfield is Pursued by Zoe Fronk of Faribault. Photo Provided by Jim Wellbrock of Northfield