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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The Somerset girls basketball team is headed back to the WIAA sectional tournament. Somerset advanced to the 2017 sectional tournament with a 58-43 homecourt win over St. Croix Central on Saturday night.
Middle Border Conference rivals Somerset and St. Croix Central will meet at 5 p.m. on Saturday in the WIAA Division 3 regional final. Somerset, the second seed in the tournament bracket, will host Central, which is the third seeded team. Somerset advanced to this game with a 65-35 win over Prescott on Friday night. Central advanced on Thursday with a 47-40 win over Baldwin-Woodville. Both teams jumped out to double-digit leads in the opening minutes of their game and maintained a healthy lead throughout.
New Richmond wrestlers Bryce Younger and Nathan Fehlen are still alive in the WIAA state wrestling championships and the St. Croix Central girls basketball team earned a win in the WIAA Division 3 regional tournaments.
Senior Bryce Younger hopes to improve on his fourth place finish at the 2016 WIAA State Wrestling Championships when he represents the New Richmond wrestling team at the 2017 state tournament this Thursday through Saturday at the Kohl Center in Madison. While Younger is making a return trip to the state tournament, Tiger junior Nathan Fehlen has qualified for the first time for the WIAA state championships. They were among the five Tigers who competed at the WIAA Division 1 wrestling sectional tournament at River Falls High School on Saturday.
Somerset junior Steven Moncada has always been a bundle of energy on the wrestling mat. This year, he’s been able to harness that energy and turn it into major improvement. That progress culminated on Saturday, when Moncada qualified for the 2017 WIAA State Wrestling Championships. Moncada will compete in the Thursday evening session at the state meet, which will be held at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Ryan Larson could have wrestled at three different weight classes in the WIAA tournament series. The decision to move up to 195 pounds paid off. Larson advanced to this week’s WIAA Division 2 state championships by placing third in the 195-pound bracket at the Amery Division 2 sectional meet on Saturday. Larson will wrestle his first match at the state tournament in the Thursday evening round. Larson (24-9) will face Waupaca senior Derrick Rotta (30-8) in the opening round at the state meet at the Kohl Center in Madison.
The Western Wisconsin Stars have turned their program around this season, already amassing the team’s largest win total in more than a decade.
Revenge wasn’t needed as a motivator for the New Richmond boys basketball team on Friday. Though the Tigers were the only team to lose to Somerset so far in this Middle Border Conference season, Tiger coach Rick Montreal said avenging that loss wasn’t on the Tigers’ minds when they earned a 61-37 win at Somerset last Friday. Montreal said the Tigers have been playing better ball in recent weeks and this was a continuation of that progress. This was the Tigers’ second win in three games, improving the team’s season record to 6-14.
Playing nine days after they battled into overtime, there was little doubt that the clash between the Somerset and Baldwin-Woodville boys hockey teams would produce another close game. Fans were treated to another of the spirited games between these two teams. But the results remained the same as the previous week, with the Spartans winning 3-2 in overtime to advance to the WIAA sectional semifinals. The Spartans were scheduled to play at Hudson in Tuesday’s sectional semifinal. The sectional championship game will be played at Hudson’s Gornick Arena at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The Somerset boys basketball team will open play in WIAA Division 3 regional tournament action next Tuesday. The Spartans drew the tenth seed in the Division 3 regional bracket. That puts them on the road next Tuesday, playing at Amery. Amery is the seventh seed in the bracket. This isn’t a bad draw for the Spartans. They’ve been competitive in both of their games with Amery, losing to the Warriors by five and 11 points.