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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State team championships are the focus as the New Richmond powerlifting team sends 28 athletes to the Wisconsin High School Powerlifting Association State Championships this Saturday and Sunday at Racine Horlick High School. The 28 lifters are the most the Tigers have ever sent to a state tournament. There will be 15 boys and 13 girls competing for the Tigers at the state meet. This will be the first time the Tigers have had more boys than girls competing at the state meet.
The 2017 Somerset girls’ basketball team rewrote the program’s record book, but the Spartans weren’t able to accomplish their main goal, to become the first Somerset basketball team to reach the WIAA state championships. The Spartans were stopped one step short of the state tournament, losing to Bloomer 72-57 in the WIAA Division 3 sectional championship game, played at Menomonie HIgh School on Saturday.
Discipline and depth carried the St. Croix Central boys’ basketball team to the WIAA Division 3 regional final, but there the Panthers didn’t have the athletes to compete with Middle Border Conference champion Prescott. Central opened the WIAA playoffs last Friday at Osceola. The Panthers were the more disciplined team and that led to them pulling away in the second half for a 54-44 win over the Chieftains.
The Somerset girls basketball team fell one game short of its dream. The Spartans hoped to become the first Somerset girls basketball team in program history to reach the WIAA state tournament. That dream was shot down by Bloomer, which defeated Somerset 72-57 in the WIAA Division 3 sectional championship game at Menomonie High School on Saturday night. Somerset finishes the season with a 21-4 record. Two of those losses came against Bloomer.
The St. Croix Central boys basketball team has advanced into Saturday's WIAA Division 3 regional championship game. The Panthers, the fifth seed, defeated fourth-seeded Osceola 54-44 on Friday on the Chieftains' home court. Central will play at Prescott at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Prescott, the top seed in the regional bracket, defeated Barron 90-50 on Friday.
The game time for Somerset's girls basketball sectional championship game against Bloomer has been changed. The WIAA Division 3 sectional championship game will still be played at Menomonie High School on Saturday. The start time has been moved to 8 p.m. Somerset athletic director John Walsh said this change was made because the Bloomer boys basketball team will be playing a regional tournament game at 5 p.m.
The Somerset Spartans are one game away from the WIAA state girls basketball tournament. The Spartans advanced to the sectional championship game by defeating defending WIAA Division 3 state champion Hayward, 64-58, in Thursday's sectional semifinal played in New Richmond. Somerset will face Bloomer in the sectional title game. That game will be played on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Menomonie High School. Bloomer topped Elk Mound 54-49 in overtime in the other sectional semifinal game.
The Western Wisconsin Stars were knocked out of the WIAA playoffs, but it took the top-ranked team in the state to do it. The Stars lost to Hudson 7-2 in the WIAA sectional semifinals at Gornick Arena in Hudson last Tuesday. The Raiders were upset in the WIAA sectional championship game on Saturday, losing to second seeded Hayward, 5-4. The season ends with the Stars owning a 12-9-1 record. That’s a major improvement over the 6-13-2 record the team held the previous season.
Hopes were high for the New Richmond boys basketball team when the 2016-17 season began. Things haven’t gone quite the way the Tigers had planned. But last Monday, in their Middle Border Conference finale, the Tigers played the game fans had hoped to see from them all season. The Tigers dominated Amery from the start, then calmly withstood Amery’s best attempts at comeback to win 61-46. The win gives the Tigers a final 6-8 record in the MBC, leaving them in fifth place in the final standings.
There is reason for optimism as the New Richmond girls basketball team looks to the future. The Tigers saw their season come to an end last Tuesday when they lost in the opening round of the WIAA Division 2 regional tournament. They were defeated by the River Falls Wildcats, 35-28. The Tigers end with a 4-18 record. In many ways, this was a season of learning and growth for the Tigers. They were one of the youngest teams in the area. Mallory Kelly was the only senior on the Tiger roster.