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Section 1AA Boys Basketball Preview: 2 PEM vs. 1 Caledonia

Both teams are ranked in the Top Four in Class AA.
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 9:26 PM CDT
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Plainview, Minn. (KTTC) – PEM and Caledonia prepare to square off in the Section 1AA Title game on Thursday. Both teams are ranked in the Top Four in Class AA.

PEM has played an unbelievable season of basketball this year -- posting a 28-1 overall record. The Bulldogs enter tomorrow’s contest as winners of 14 games in a row, with their only loss of the season coming on the road at Caledonia in January.

PEM knows they enter the games as the underdogs as they prepare to face the undisputed number 1 team in the state. However, the Bulldogs aren’t scared of anybody, and they’re anxious for their rematch. against the top-ranked team in Class AA.

“Caledonia is the best. We have the philosophy if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best,” said PEM head coach Jason Herber. “It’s an opportunity that we don’t want to take for granted. PEM hasn’t been [to the Section 1AA Championship game] in a long time. Ten years. We’re enjoying the moment, but we’re also not just going there to show up. We believe we can win.”

Caledonia will boast the most talented player on the court in future Iowa State Cyclone, Eli King. King is a legitimate candidate for the Mr. Basketball award and has helped lead the Warriors to a 26-1 record this year. Caledonia has not lost to a team from Minnesota this season. Their lone loss came at the hands of a top-ranked team from Wisconsin.

The Warriors are more than just Eli King. Ja’Shon Simpson, Jackson Koepke, and Chris Peiper all contribute significantly to their cause.

PEM says tomorrow’s game plan is no secret; it’s time for the teams to play basketball.

“We know each other at this point of the season. We need to play a half-court game with Caledonia, Caledonia wants to play a full-court game,” Herber said. “This is why you play basketball; for moments like this. [Mayo Civic Arena] is going to be packed and crazy, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

PEM and Caledonia will tip off in the Section 1AA Championship on Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Mayo Civic Arena.

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