To be the best you have to beat the best. That's the task ahead of the NRHEG girls basketball team in Wednesday's quarterfinals of the Class AA tournament.

The Panthers (25-5) drew top-seed Roseau (29-0) for the 2PM opener of the girls AA tournament at Mariucci Arena at the University of Minnesota. The high-flying No. 1AA Rams are averaging 83 points per game and finished third at state last year. Roseau played an exclusively northern Minnesota schedule. They had just one game decided by less than 10 points and have an average margin of victory of 34. Three of NRHEG's losses came against Class 4A teams at the St. Olaf holiday tournament. The Panthers are giving up 47 points per game.

NRHEG rallied from a 13-point deficit Friday night to beat Norwood Young America 53-45 and earn their fifth trip to state. They won back-to-back state titles in 2013-14. Catch the Panther games from state on Kat Kountry 105FM.

The other quarterfinal matchups include No. 5 seed Esko (24-6) against No. 4 New London-Spicer (26-3), No. 2 Sauk Centre (29-1) versus Minnehaha Academy (25-4) and No. 3 Watertown-Mayer (26-3) playing Rochester Lourdes (21-9). All quarterfinals are at Mariucci Arena on Wednesday. The winners advance to the semifinals Friday, March 17, at Williams Arena. Losers will play in the reinstated consolation bracket Thursday, March 16, at Concordia-St. Paul.

The AAAA tournament starts Tuesday. Hopkins in the top seed and faces last year's champ Minnetonka in the opening game. Lakeville North, from Section 1, is the third seed. The AAA quarterfinals are split between Tuesday and Wednesday. Orono is the No. 1 seed. Winona is seeded third. Waseca is unseeded and faces defending state champ and No. 2 Holy Angels at 10AM Wednesday at Mariucci. The Class A tourney starts Thursday. Mountain Iron-Buhl is the top seed. Defending state champ Goodhue is seeded second. Quarterfinal games are at Mariucci.

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