The Prior Lake girls basketball team will begin its Section 2AAAA title defense on the road.
The Lakers earned the No. 5 seed and will play at fourth-seeded Edina in the quarterfinals Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. Prior Lake goes into the postseason losing eight last nine games, including a 69-63 South Suburban Conference home loss to Lakeville North Feb. 22 to end the regular season.
Prior Lake (10-16 overall, 6-12 in the SSC) also lost 58-54 at Champlin Park in non-league play Feb. 21.
Meanwhile, Edina (9-17) heads into section action losing seven of its last eight games and is just 2-10 since Jan. 11.
The big question for the Lakers heading into the playoffs is the health of three of its starters — senior McKenna Hofschild and sophomores Emily Kulstad and Kate Trachsel.
Trachsel missed the last three games of the regular season with an injury. Kulstad missed two straight games, before returning against Lakeville North to score seven points. Hofschild returned briefly against Lakeville North after missing eight straight games after injuring her ankle in the first half of an SSC loss at Rosemount Jan. 31.
Hofschild leads the Lakers at 25.2 points per game. Kulstad and Traschel go into the playoffs averaging 8.6 and 7.3 points, respectively.
Tenth-ranked Eden Prairie (19-6) earned the No. 1 seed in the section and will take on eighth-seeded Bloomington Jefferson (6-20) in the quarterfinals, while second-seeded Chaska (19-7) gets seventh-seeded Chanhassen (7-19) and third-seeded Shakopee (17-9) will face sixth-seeded Minnetonka (9-16).
The semifinals are March 2 at 1 and 3 p.m. at the site of the highest seed. The title game is March 8 at the site of the highest seed at 7 p.m. For complete brackets, go to www.mshsl.org.
Prior Lake won the section last year as the No. 3 seed, earning the program's first-ever state berth as a Class 4A team. Hofschild scored 41, 34 and 42 points in the three section wins last season.
In the loss to Lakeville North, senior Reagan Dahl led the Lakers with 12 points, while juniors Haidyn Pitsch and Ella Schnackenberg each scored 10. Sophomore Tatum Brostrom finished with nine points, while sophomore Abby Kuboushek chipped in five.
At Champlin Park, senior Lexi Wiskow and Pitsch both led the team with 13 points. Schnackenberg finished with nine points, while sophomore Chanel Kallevig scored eight and Brostrom had seven.