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 natural instinct of the New Richmond girls basketball team under pressure is to hurry up the game. But the rushed play played right into the hands of the Superior Spartans on Thursday, Dec. 21. The Tigers and Superior were tied at 23-23 late in the first half. But the Tigers got caught up in a wave of frantic play in the second half, losing to Superior 59-35.
It's like the basketball ghost of Christmas past. The St. Croix Central girls basketball team ended 2016 as the leader in the Middle Border Conference. But they weren't able to complete their goal of winning the MBC title, being overtaken by Somerset in the January and February portion of the season.
After facing two of the three top-ranked teams in the state earlier in the week, the Western Wisconsin Stars were able to end a frantic week before Christmas by playing the Black River Falls cooperative team on Saturday, Dec. 23. The Stars earned a 4-1 win. The game featured some sharp team play from the Stars, along with two superlative efforts from leading scorer Jade Williams that resulted in a pair of goals.
Abigail Boreen is one of the best high school hockey players in Minnesota. Boreen, a Somerset resident, is a senior at Hill-Murray High School in Maplewood. She has committed to play collegiately at the University of Minnesota. Boreen, the oldest of three sisters, attended school in Somerset through seventh grade. She went through a tryout to make the Hill-Murray girls hockey team and has been a student there since eighth grade.
What's the best way to recover from a loss to state wrestling powerhouse Ellsworth? How about knocking off another state-ranked opponent by more than 40 points. That's what the Somerset wrestling team did last Thursday, rolling to a 55-12 win at Spring Valley.
The schedule remains intense for the young Somerset boys hockey team. The Spartans have now dropped four straight games after playing a pair of Big Rivers Conference opponents last week. The Spartans lost at Eau Claire North 8-4 last Tuesday and at Rice Lake last Thursday, 5-3. The Spartans are one of the busiest teams in the area with three games this week. The Spartans will host Onalaska at 7 p.m. this Wednesday. Somerset will then take part in the River Falls holiday tournament. They face Coon Rapids at 3 p.m. on Friday, with a second round game slated for Saturday.
The Somerset boys basketball team has already matched last season's win total. And at 4-4 this season, the Spartans are building in the right direction. The Spartans are hoping to add to their win total this week when they play in the annual Glenwood City holiday tournament. The Spartans will face the host team at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Spartans will face unbeaten Clear Lake at 3 p.m. on Thursday.
The suspense was taken out of last Thursday's game almost immediately by the St. Croix Central boys basketball team. The Panthers improved to 4-1 for the season with a home non-conference win against Elk Mound, 47-36. If you got to this game a few minutes late, you missed the best part. The Panthers were red-hot at the start and within two minutes, they already had a double-digit lead. The lead grew as large as 17 points in the first half, but hovered in the 10-12 point range through most of the night.
The battle between the undefeated New Richmond and Eau Claire Memorial boys hockey teams was decided on an overtime penalty shot. The Tigers were called for a controversial delay of game penalty late in the overtime. Memorial's Brendan Olson was able to score on the penalty shot, giving the Old Abes a 3-2 win over the Tigers at Eau Claire's Hobbs Ice Arena last Thursday.
The trauma of a death, usually unexpected, is something that is dealt with nearly every week at the St. Croix County medical examiner's office. The staff at the office has been looking for ways to make the experience less traumatic for grieving families. County medical examiner Patty Schachtner reached out to Somerset High School art teacher Becky Olson with an idea to create artwork for the office.