The Pacesetter Sweet Sixteen Held August 2-3

The Pacesetter Sweet Sixteen will be held at St. Ben's this weekend. The event features four teams from Class AAAA, AAA, AA and A in the boy's and girl's division. Seven of the eight 2008 state champs played in the 2007 Sweet 16, including boy's champions Minnetonka (AAAA), Benilde-St. Margaret's (AAA), New London-Spicer (AA) and Ellsworth (A). The following is a look at Saturday's matchups.

Class AAA St. Paul Johnson (21-7) vs. Class A Fairbault Bethlehem Academy (24-5)

The Governors lost to Como Park 72-61 in the section finals. They tied for first in the St. Paul Conference and return three first-team all-conference selections in seniors Dion Suggs and Mike Talley and sophomore Estan Tyler. They also welcome back honorable mention choice Lamar Anderson and sophomore Max Rosenbloom, who played well for the 43 Hoops 16-and-under team that won the Twin Cities Summer Classic.

Bethlehem Academy fe11 to Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 47-44 in the section semifinals. The Cardinals finished 24-5 and won the Gopher league with a 15-1 conference mark.

Class AA Braham (26-5) vs. Class AAAA St. Cloud Tech (29-3)
The Bombers surprised many observers with their strong play last season after losing Noah Dahlman, who signed with Wofford.

The Tigers finished in third place in the Class AAAA State Tournament, defeating Robbinsdale Cooper 84-71 in the third-place game. They are led by Nate Wolters, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, who has scholarship offers from South Dakota and South Dakota State. Wolters was named first-team All-Central Lakes this season and went over 1,000 points in his career. Junior Alex Hanks helped lead the Minnesota Comets Elite 16-and-under team to a second-place finish in the Twin Cities Summer Classic.

Class AAAA Robbinsdale Cooper (23-9) vs. Class A Minnesota Transitions (28-5)
The Hawks finished in fourth place in the Class AAAA State Tournament. They upset Osseo in the section finals, giving the Orioles their only loss of the season. They are led by Rodney Williams Jr., who is one of the best athletes in the country. Williams averaged 21.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.1 blocked shots and 2.4 assists per game. The Hawks return five of their top six scorers, including double figure scorers Joe Bright (14.8 points per game) and Quincey Bethea (10.3).

Minnesota Transitions finished runner-up to Ellsworth in the Class A title game. They are led by junior Kevin Noreen, who averaged 28.2 points per game and younger brother Kyle (13.5). The Wolves must replace Virgil Baker (21.3) and Kavarian Williams (12.7).

Class AA Pelican Rapids (22-8) vs. Class AAA Mankato West (24-5)
Pelican Rapids lost to Crosby-Ironton 74-62 in the section finals.

The Scarlets lost to Willmar 66-62 in the section finals. They return brothers Jake and Derrick Cattrysse and Aaron and Mike Richter. The Ritchers attended the Minnesota Gopher football camp in June and are getting looks as wide receivers.

Class AAA Rocori (18-10) vs. Class AA Sibley East (17-9)
The Spartans lost to St. Cloud Apollo 58-54 in the section semifinals. They lost their top four scorers.

Sibley East lost to Rockford 56-52 in the Section 5AA semifinals. They are led by junior forward Marshall Bjorklund, who averaged 18.2 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. He played on a talented Minnesota Magic Elite 16-and-under AAU team.

Class A Norman County East (25-7) vs. Class AAAA Hopkins (27-2)

The Eagles finished in fourth place in the Class A State Tournament, losing to Cass Lake Bena 78-65 in the third-place game.

Hopkins lost just twice all year, losing to eventual state champion Minnetonka in the regular season and in the section finals. They figure to be the heavy favorite to win the Class AAAA title this season after losing just one starter and adding De LaSalle transfer Royce White, who committed to Minnesota. The Royals have seven Division I caliber players. They also have Raymond Cowels, who has over 10 offers and averaged 16.5 points per game. Trent Lockett, who has committed to Arizona State, added 14.9 points per game. Mike Broghammer recently added offers from Notre Dame, Penn State and Santa Clara. He averaged 11.9 points per contest. Moses Sundufu added nine points per game off the bench. Marcus Williams, a two-sport standout, and sophomore Marvin Singleton each averaged 7.8 points per game. D.J. Peterson added 5.0 points and added his first scholarship offers this week. Broghammer and Williams will not play this weekend as they will be playing with the Howard Pulley AAU team in Belgium.

Class AAAA Henry Sibley (26-6) vs. Class AAA Grand Rapids (13-17)
The Warriors finished runner-up in Class AAAA, losing to Minnetonka 68-59 in the title game. They return three of their top four scorers. Mike Bruesewitz, who committed to Wisconsin, led the team in scoring with 14.5 points per game. Outside shooter Maurice Hernandez scored 11.9 points and athletic forward Chris Halvorsen, added 11.7 points per game.

Class A Cedar Mountain (20-7) vs. Class AA Pierz (16-11)
Cedar Mountain/Comfrey lost to Buffalo Lake-Hector 54-53 in the section semifinals.

The Pioneers lost to Eden Valley-Watkins 51-50 in the first round of the playoffs. They are led by senior Chad Lanners (15.3 points per game) and Tyler Monson (11.4).

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