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Class 3A championship preview: Park Center vs. Marshall

03/22/2014, 1:10am CDT
By Star Tribune

Class 3A championship

Class 3A championship

No. 1 seed Park Center (25-5) vs. No. 3 Marshall (30-1), 6 p.m., Williams Arena

Why Park Center will win: The Pirates, with a lineup set up for tournament success, have gotten better each game so far. There’s Wisconsin-bound star forward Cayla McMorris and interior force Mikayla Hayes, plus a quartet of perimeter players who excel at defense, don’t turn the ball over and create points in transition. If they can hit shots from outside, they’ll be tough to beat.

Why Marshall will win: With nine players from the Tigers’ Class 2A state championship volleyball team, this bunch handles high-pressure situations. There is no ego in this group of above-average athletes who mesh well, don’t beat themselves and take turns stepping up when needed. They do the little things well, such as weak-side rebounding and making the extra pass.

Key to the game: At 6-foot-1, Hayes will be the tallest player on the floor. She’ll need to stay out of foul trouble and dominate the defensive boards to hold Marshall to one shot per possession.

JIM PAULSEN

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