The sporting world is filled with myths and tales that have never been proven.
There's the question of whether or not Babe Ruth actually called a home run in the 1932 World Series against the Chicago Cubs.
Another myth revolving around Ruth is the curse. Ruth was traded from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees early in his career. Since the trade the Yankees have won numerous World Series while Boston hasn't won it since.
There might be another curse brewing on the area scene. This is only a myth because it can't be proven.
The Pine River-Backus Tigers boys' basketball team is vying for a chance to do something no other Tiger team has done in the past six years -- make it to the state tournament.
The Tigers have had their chances. In 1999 the football team made it to the Section 8, Class 3A final but lost to Crookston. The volleyball team has been to the Section 7AA title game the last two years only to lose out both times.
The PR-B boys' basketball team has been stopped short of state the last four years as it has lost to Crosby-Ironton three times and last year to International Falls in the Section 7AA finals.
Last week the girls' basketball team was upended from its shot at a state berth as it lost to Proctor in the Section 7AA final.
Aside from Josh Bresnahan, Ben Keen and a handful of other PR-B wrestlers the Tigers have been cursed at section finals.
This Thursday, and possibly Saturday, the Tigers boys' basketball team will get another shot to make it to state.
At Hibbing 6 p.m. Thursday the Tigers face International Falls. A win would be nice for the Tigers. Not only would they avenge their section final loss of last year but they would advance to the finals for the fifth year in a row.
The Tigers, 23-4, have been solid, if not spectacular, all season. The No. 1 seed in the West Subsection, the Tigers have tournament experience on their side.
International Falls does too. Last year the Broncos went to state only to get pounded by Staples-Motley in the quarterfinals. The Broncos are only 13-11 this season and barely past by Hermantown in the section quarterfinals.
Derek Dowty and Luke Zika are two familiar names from last year's Broncos team. They're leading the team in scoring, with Dowty averaging 14.6 points and Zika 9.0.
The Broncos are not a high-scoring team but it was their defense that led to the Tigers' demise last year.
in Section 7AA
Every March there seems to be at least one Cinderella story. This year that label falls on the Crosby-Ironton Rangers.
The West No. 3 seed upset second-seeded Chisholm 66-53 Saturday to find themselves matched up against the Proctor Rails 7:45 p.m. Thursday at Hibbing.
The Rangers finished the regular season 14-10. Consistently one of the top teams in the section, the Rangers weren't supposed to make it this far.
Proctor, on the other hand was seeded No. 1 despite only having a 14-10 record. On Feb. 5, Proctor beat the Rangers 58-48 in Crosby.
C-I would love another shot at beating PR-B in the section final, and vice versa.
Section 8, Class 3A
final dream matchup
In Section 8, Class 3A, there is no surprise in the championship game as the Little Falls Flyers battle the Rocori Spartans for the third time this season.
During the regular season the teams split games, with both winning at home. This time they will play at a neutral site, with the winner advancing to the state tournament.
The game is scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday at St. Cloud State University and will feature high-scoring Flyer Nate Miller. The Spartans, however, will need to stop more than just Miller. Kendall Feia has been one of the best players in the area.
Off the bench Noah Czech has been phenomenal, giving the Flyers a burst of scoring.
Both teams are relatively deep in their personnel, and the game will be decided on whether or not someone other than Miller can find the scoring column.
Go west young man is exactly what the Staples-Motley Cardinals are doing. They also hope to stay there and they should with a win over second-seeded Warroad in the Section 8AA semifinals 5 p.m. Thursday at Concordia College in Moorhead.
Should the top-seeded Cardinals get past the semifinal round they would tackle the winner between Long Prairie-Grey Eagle and Thief River Falls.
The championship game is 7 p.m. Friday at Concordia.
If there's one team with tournament experience it's the Cardinals, who have made it to the big dance four times in the last 10 years, but have consistently been in the final four of the section.
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