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Eighth-grade phenom Chloe Johnson (left) scored 43 points to power Duluth Marshall past Mesabi East 88-70 in a Section 7AA quarterfinal Saturday night. Howie /

Section 7AA Quarterfinals

Proctor defeated Esko 55-52. Sophomore guard Chloe Carlson had 15 points for the Rails. Hannah Swanson and Kyra Johnson had 14 points each for Esko.

Pequot Lakes defeated Pierz 65-44

Duluth Marshall defeated Mesabi East 88-70. Eighth-grade phenom Chloe Johnson had 43 points and junior sharp-shooter Regan Juenemann 32 for the Hilltoppers. "It was really nice to get the first win out of the way," Johnson told the afterwards. "It was a solid team effort. Our game plan was to play fast and control the game. We also sought to play with a lot of energy, and to never allow Mesabi East to think that they could beat us." Said Juenemann: "Today's game was one we were expected to win, and it was fun."

Crosby-Ironton blitzed Hinckley-Finlayson 97-34. Sophomore guard-forward Tori Oehrlein scored a game-high 34 points for the Rangers.

7AA Semifinals, Wednesday in Cloquet

5:30 p.m. – (1) Pequot Lakes vs. (4) Proctor. Game Notes: The visiting Rails (22-6) lost at Pequot Lakes 58-50 on Feb. 28, despite a 19-point effort by Paige Evans. Pequot Lakes is 22-4.

7 p.m. – (2) Crosby-Ironton vs. (3) Duluth Marshall. Games Notes: The much-anticipated 7AA matchup features three Division I prospects: C-I's Tori Oehrlein and Marshall's Chloe Johnson and Regan Juenemann. The Hilltoppers (20-8) lost at home to C-I 84-75 on Dec. 21 as Johnson scored 38 points and Juenemann 20. Oehrlein had 31 points and 15 rebounds. "We can't stop her, but we must contain Tori," Juenemann said of the Hilltoppers' likely defensive approach against C-I. Said Johnson: "We're not scared of anyone, and we're confident that we can beat everyone in our section."

Proctor defeated Esko 55-52 on Saturday in a Section 7AA quarterfinal. Howie /

Section 7AAA Semifinals

Cloquet defeated Grand Rapids 74-60. Lelani Fonoti had 27 points and Ava Carlson 20 for the 18-9 Jacks.

Rock Ridge defeated North Branch 76-42

7AA Final

(1) Rock Ridge vs. (2) Cloquet, Thursday 7 p.m. Duluth Denfeld. Game Notes: The Jacks (19-9) want revenue after losing to the Wolverines 67-57 in the Wood City Classic championship game on Dec. 28, as Maija Lamppa exploded for 24 points. Carly Johnson had 15 points for Cloquet.

The amazingly-talented Esko cheerleading team entertained fans during halftime at today's girls basketball tournament game. Howie /


Section 7AAA Quarterfinals, Wednesday

(1) Hermantown hosts (8) Hibbing, 7 p.m. Said Hawks coach Andy Fenske: "I like where we're sitting as a team. We're playing some of our best basketball right now, not just on the offensive side, but our defensive execution has been taking huge leaps forward for us. Our boys have worked hard to be at the top of the section right now, but we know that all it takes is one off night and anyone can beat anyone in our section. I wouldn't be shocked to see a handful of 'upsets' in the first round. Any of the other seven coaches will tell you that it's only an upset by seeding. This is the most competitive our section has been, top to bottom, in many years. We're going to rely strongly on our upperclassmen who have been a part of our previous playoff runs to get us through the tough times ahead. March Madness is coming and it's truly the most wonderful time of the year."

(4) Duluth Denfeld hosts (5) Rock Ridge, 7 p.m.

(6) Cloquet at (3) North Branch, 7 p.m.

(7) Grand Rapids at (2) Chisago Lakes, 7 p.m.

Section 7AA First-Round Games, Monday

(16) International Falls at (1) Esko, 7 p.m. Said Esko coach Derek Anderson: "I think we need to cut down on our turnovers, box out, and move the ball as a team. If we do those things we should have a good chance of extending our season. We also need to focus on staying engaged for an entire game and getting locked in on the defensive end. We are looking forward to the playoffs." Game Notes: Esko’s top players are 6-foot-6 senior post Braedyn Male, 6-2 junior scoring phenom Sam Haugen and 6-1 senior guard Makoi Perich.

(9) Two Harbors at (8) Duluth Marshall, 6 p.m. Game Notes: The Hilltoppers (14-12) feature 6-foot-6 junior guard Brooks Johnson, who is considering a scholarship offer from the Bulldogs. He's a prolific scorer, a thunderous dunker and an ultra-elite rebounder. Marshall defeated the 15-11 Agates 90-82 earlier in the season in Two Harbors when Johnson scored a game-high 31 points and hauled down single-game school record 26 rebounds.

(13) Proctor at (4) Moose Lake-Willow River, 6 p.m.

(12) Hinckley-Finlayson at (5) Barnum, 6 p.m.

(15) Aitkin at (2) Pequot Lakes, 6 p.m.

(10) Greenway at (7) Pillager, 6 p.m.

(14) Mesabi East at (3) Crosby-Ironton, 6 p.m.

(11) Pierz at (6) Staples-Moteley, 6 p.m.


Class A State Tournament, Wednesday Quarterfinals

(2) Warroad (23-5) vs. New Ulm (23-5), 11 a.m.

(3) St. Cloud Cathedral (23-4-1) vs. Northfield (22-4-2), 1 p.m.

(1) Hermantown (18-8-2) vs. Alexandria (18-9-1), 6 p.m.

(4) Mahtomedi (17-11) vs. (5) Orono (20-8), 8 p.m.