Today's prep girls basketball games
GRAND RAPIDS (21-7) VS. HOLY ANGELS ACADEMY (25-4)
What: Class AAA state quarterfinal
When: 4 p.m.
Where: Williams Arena, Minneapolis
Outlook: Unseeded Grand Rapids is playing in its third straight state tournament and seventh overall. The Thunderhawks proved they belonged last year, but a pair of two-point losses had them bowing out in the consolation. Third-seeded Holy Angels is making its third straight state tournament appearance and sixth overall. The Stars finished third last season. The teams didn't meet during the regular season. ... Grand Rapids senior guard Heaven Hamling scored 28 points as the Thunderhawks advanced with a 74-54 victory over Chisago Lakes in the Section 7AAA final last week in Cambridge, Minn. Grand Rapids has won seven straight. Hamling, one of three Thunderhawks' seniors, leads the team with 22.9 points, 4.3 assists and 4.2 steals per game, followed by junior forwards Hannah DeMars (13.1 ppg) and Meara Beighley (11.0). Grand Rapids coach Kris Hamling, Heaven's mom, was asked if this was the best of her state tournament teams. "It's hard to say," Hamling said. "We had a very experienced team last year. We had five post players inside, where we only have two this year, but this group is more athletic with a higher basketball IQ. This group meshes together very well. It's just very different styles." ... Holy Angels, of Richfield, Minn., won the 2016 Class AAA championship. The Stars come in having won five straight, including a 41-40 victory over Simley in the Section 3AAA final. Simley, which was a .500 team this season, nearly pulled off the upset but missed an open 3-pointer in the final seconds. Holy Angels is led by 6-foot-2 junior forward Destinee Oberg, a University of Arkansas recruit who averages 14.5 points and 11.6 rebounds per game.
Radio: KOZY-AM 1320
MESABI EAST (24-6) VS. MARANATHA CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (26-4)
What: Class AA state quarterfinal
When: 6 p.m.
Where: Williams Arena, Minneapolis
Outlook: Unseeded Mesabi East is playing in its third state tournament as a co-op and first since 1998. Second-seeded Maranatha Christian Academy is making its ninth consecutive and overall state tournament appearance after taking fourth in Class A last season. The Mustangs won championships in 2011 and 2012. The teams didn't meet during the regular season. ... Mesabi East has won four straight. Freshman guard Hannah Hannuksela scored 25 points, and sophomore guard Ava Hill added 20 points as the Giants advanced with a 56-49 victory over Proctor in the Section 7AA championship last week at Romano Gym. Mesabi East can score in a hurry. The Giants used an 18-0 run early in the second half to put away Proctor, triggered by four 3-pointers. ... Hill leads the team at 21.6 points per game while forward Hope Howell, one of just two seniors on the roster, has a team-record 295 rebounds this season (9.8 per game). The Giants have four or five players that can shoot the 3. "We've been making our shots and believing that they're going to go in," Hill said. "We've been forgetting about our mistakes and playing with confidence." ... Hannuksela averages 15.6 points per game. "I'm not sure, actually," Hannuksela said, laughing. "Coach (Chris Whiting) doesn't give us our stats until the end of the year." ... Maranatha Christian Academy, of Brooklyn Park, Minn., has won 10 straight, including a 65-55 victory over Holy Family Catholic in the Section 5AA championship. Senior forward Jaclyn Jarnot leads the Mustangs at 15.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. She has surpassed 2,000 points and 700 assists for her career.