Mountain Iron-Buhl Girls Basketball Enters State Tournament as Top Seed

The Rangers will open against the two-time defending state champions Minneota Thursday at 11:00 a.m.

MOUNTAIN IRON, Minn. – Being #1 is cool but it does mean you’ll have the biggest “X” on your back and everyone is looking to knock you off the top. The Mountain Iron-Buhl girls basketball team will have that special honor going into the Class A state tournament.

The Rangers are coming off a grueling regular season that saw then go undefeated in their section and also play some teams who are currently heading down to the cities. That tough competition allows them to feel more prepared heading into the tournament.

“We’ve had a lot of hard games playing the biggest teams in single A and double A and I think that prepares us and that means a lot being the number 1 seed. This is definitely the toughest schedule we’ve had ever,” senior forward Ava Butler said.

“Our schedule this year has given us a lot more confidence because it was really tough and it pushes us. From the first game that we had, we lost to St. Croix and we’ve gotten a lot better, energy and communication, and just offensively and defensively, we’ve just gotten a lot better,” junior guard Sage Ganyo added.

MIB will open things up against Minneota who are the two-time defending state champions. The Vikings defeated the Rangers in last year’s state semifinals.

“We didn’t expect to have to play the two time defending state champs in the first round but they’re tradition. Just like we have a tradition in our section, they have a tradition down there and within the state and it doesn’t matter who they put out there, they’re always good. They’re very athletic, that’s why they’re always in state finals. If you’re going to do well at the state tournament I guess it’s going to go through them so we might as well have to play them first,” head coach Jeff Buffetta said.

Tipoff between MIB and Minneota is set for 11:00 a.m. Thursday at the Maturi Pavilion.

Categories: High School, Sports