Boys basketball gets top seed for playoffs

Having finished the regular season at 17-9, the Forest Lake boys basketball team has been awarded the No. 1 seed in the Section 7AAAA tournament, marking it as a strong favorite to qualify for the state tournament.

The Rangers will host No. 8 Cambridge-Isanti (8-18) in a quarterfinal matchup on March 9 at 7 p.m. The Rangers defeated Cambridge-Isanti 61-56 on Dec. 10. Subsequent games would be played at North Branch High School – a semifinal on March 15 at 6 p.m. and the final on March 17 at 7 p.m.
The Rangers went 4-1 against potential playoff opponents, their only loss coming on a last-second layup against No. 3 Coon Rapids on the first day of the season.

Last year, the Rangers made it all the way to the sectional championship game before losing to Blaine. This year’s Rangers avenged that loss 72-64 on Dec. 8, though Blaine, seeded No. 2, has every chance of setting up a repeat final. The Rangers have also beaten both of their possible semifinal opponents, No. 4 Duluth East and No. 5 St. Francis, this year.

The Rangers closed out their regular season run with a 62-60 win over Mounds View and a 83-77 loss to Woodbury last week. With a league record of 10-6, the Rangers finished fourth of nine in the difficult Suburban East Conference.