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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A difficult week for the New Richmond boys basketball team began with a lineup alteration and resulted in losses to a pair of talented opponents. The week started with a 75-40 loss at Chippewa Falls Tuesday, Jan. 23. On Thursday, the Tigers hosted Middle Border Conference-leading Prescott. The Tigers couldn't match Prescott's firepower, losing 69-43.
Going into its biggest game of the season, the New Richmond boys hockey team could have filled a wing of Westfields Hospital with all the illness and injuries the team was dealing with. Undaunted, the Tigers put together an incredible effort last Tuesday, playing at undefeated Hudson, with the top seed in the WIAA sectional bracket at stake. Hudson scored with 5:30 left in the game to defeat the Tigers, 3-2.
The New Richmond, Somerset and St. Croix Central dance teams have all qualified to compete at the state level. The Wisconsin Association of Cheer/Pom Coaches will be holding the 2018 state championships this Saturday at the La Crosse Civic Center in La Crosse. The three local teams advanced to state with their performances at the WACPC regional meet held last Saturday at Wausau East High School.
The Western Wisconsin Stars didn't feel as if they'd played their best game when they played at Onalaska last week. Thankfully, they get another shot at Onalaska this Saturday. In one of the quirks in the schedule, the two games between the Stars and Onalaska this season are 11 days apart. Onalaska won when the teams played on the Hilltoppers' home ice, 4-2, last Tuesday. This Saturday's game will be played on the Stars' home ice in Somerset at 1 p.m. The Stars also have a game scheduled for next Tuesday, when they face Holy Angels at the Richfield (Minn.) Ice Arena.
Thursday's game between the New Richmond and Hudson boys hockey teams likely decided which team will get the top seed in the WIAA sectional tournament bracket. And both teams came up with a big game effort, playing with an incredible amount of intensity. New Richmond took an early 2-0 lead, but Hudson tied the score early in the second period.
Since Christmas, winning games has become difficult for the Somerset boys basketball team. The Spartans reached the holiday with a 4-4 record, but have gone 0-6 since the holiday break. Last week the Spartans lost a pair of Middle Border Conference games, against St. Croix Central and New Richmond.
Now is the time. If the New Richmond boys hockey team wants to be the top seed in the WIAA sectional bracket, the Tigers need to produce now. The Tigers play at Hudson this Thursday, Jan. 25. The Raiders are undefeated and are the top-ranked boys team in the state. For the Tigers to get the bracket's top seed, they will have to knock off the Raiders.
When some teams get near a championship, you can see a drive kick in, almost a hunger. You can see that in the St. Croix Central girls basketball team. The Panthers put together two defensive gems last week, in extending their lead in the Middle Border Conference to two games. The Panthers start this week with an 8-0 MBC record. Amery and Prescott are both 6-2 in the standings, after Amery soundly defeated Prescott last Thursday.
Progress. It is fueled by young minds with fresh ideas. The "Engineering Design and Development" class is new at Somerset High School this year and it is giving some of the creative minds at the school a chance to turn their ideas into inventions.
The Somerset boys hockey team reminded everyone that the Spartans are still a dangerous team when they took Chippewa Falls to overtime last Tuesday. Chippewa Falls scored a power play goal in overtime to escape the penalty-packed game with a 4-3 win over the Spartans. The Spartans faced an even tougher test when they played at Holy Angels in Richfield last Thursday. Somerset coach Dan Gilkerson said he thought the Spartans played capably, but they were still defeated by Holy Angels, 7-1.