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Somerset boys basketball stands tall in opener

The Somerset boys basketball team was one of the latest starting teams in the state, but they’re used to the late starts because of the success of the Spartan football team over the past decade.

The Spartans finally got to take the court last Thursday in Osceola. They scored a win over the rival Chieftains, 61-44.

This is a different Spartan team than in past years and Coach Brent Larson has changed his offensive system to match his talent. The Spartans are built around returning starters seniors Gaelin Elmore and Jack Emmert. Larson said the offense will be arranged to get the ball to Elmore more often in the low post area, where his strength and leaping ability make him a top threat.

By getting the ball inside and causing defenses to collapse inward, it should result in more open looks for the Spartan perimeter shooters. Emmert leads that group, with other options like Austin Wodarz and Heaven Hunt also dangerous from that range.

Elmore led the Spartans with 18 points, six rebounds and five steals at Osceola. Emmert scored 10 points. Five other Spartans finished between five and seven points. Zac Waalen led the team with five assists.

Somerset built a 12-6 lead in the first quarter, but Osceola kept things close through halftime. In the third quarter the Spartans stretched the lead into double figures and they remained in control from there.

The Spartans’ sparse early-season schedule continues this Friday when they host St. Croix Central, making up the game that had been postponed because of the Spartans deep run in the football playoffs. The Spartans then have another week off before playing at Prescott on Friday, Dec. 20 in a battle of two of the projected favorites in the Middle Border Conference this season.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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