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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This one is going to sting for a while. The Somerset hockey team had the Middle Border Conference title under its control, but the Spartans couldn't maintain control. The Spartans started the six-game MBC schedule 3-0, but they couldn't win any of their final three conference games.
This was a loss the Somerset girls basketball team didn't see coming. In the process, the Spartans' hopes of getting a share of the Middle Border Conference title took a severe hit. The Spartans lost at home to Baldwin-Woodville last Thursday, 42-37. The loss leaves Somerset tied for second place in the MBC standings, two full games behind Durand. The first quarter showed that the Spartans were caught off guard by the young and improving Blackhawks. B-W outscored the Spartans 11-2 in the opening quarter.
Nobody would blame the Tiger girls hockey team for being happy that last week is over. The Tigers had waited two weeks to get back on the ice last Tuesday against Hudson. The long layoff between games showed as the Tigers started slowly and never got their bearings in a 10-0 loss to the Raiders. The week got worse for the Tigers on Sunday when they found out they were the eighth seed in the WIAA sectional tournament bracket. Because of the strength of the teams in this sectional, there weren't going to be any easy options for the Tigers in the WIAA tournament this year.
Talk about experiencing the complete range of emotions in one day. At 3:18 a.m. last Tuesday, Somerset boys basketball coach Brent Larson welcomed his new daughter into the world. That night, the Spartans suffered a crushing collapse in the final minute, losing to Baldwin-Woodville 52-51. Give the Spartans credit for having some resilience.
The improving St. Croix Central boys basketball team nearly squeezed out a win against Plum City on Friday. The Panthers overcame a slow start to play evenly with the Blue Devils for most of the second half. Plum City's Chase Luebker was the difference maker in the final minutes, carrying the Blue Devils to a 51-42 win. The 2-15 Panthers fell behind in the first quarter, 18-10 and they didn't make up any of that margin in the second quarter. With six different Panthers scoring in the third quarter, they were able to tie the score several times.
Project Lead The Way is now in its third year in the Somerset School District and the program continues to add to its offerings in the schools. PLTW Engineering and Biomedical Sciences programs offer students advantages, from career readiness and hands-on experience to college preparatory-level classes, labs and creative exercises. The courses are an opportunity for students to advance and utilize their knowledge in science, mathematics and technology. PLTW students can advance to higher level courses that can count toward college credits.
Basing its findings off the October community survey, the Somerset Board of Education has set recommendations for the school district's future. Two of those recommendations reflect the school district's possible needs for future space. The first of those two, recommendation seven, was ordered reworded over concerns by several board members. Board member Bob Gunther led those who were concerned. As the recommendation originally read, it could be construed that the school district was planning to go to referendum during the 2013-14 school year.
Thanks to Amery's win over Somerset last Thursday, the New Richmond boys hockey team has an opening to retain their Middle Border Conference championship. If the Tigers are going to continue their string of MBC championships, they must defeat Somerset in Thursday's game at the New Richmond Sports Center. The Tigers are 3-2 in the MBC after a 9-0 win at Baldwin-Woodville last Thursday.
Five of the seven wins by the New Richmond boys basketball team in their 7-1 start in the Middle Border Conference have been by single-digit margins. The closest call in terms of scoring difference came last Friday, when the Tigers were able to hold off a relentless Ellsworth team, 48-46. The win kept the Tigers alone at the top of the Middle Border Conference standings. The game was tied 46-46 when the Tigers got the ball with 30 seconds remaining.
The New Richmond girls basketball team is the only Middle Border Conference opponent who defeated MBC-leading Durand in the first half of the conference schedule. The Tigers are now 6-2 in MBC action. If they want to stay in the hunt for the conference title, they will need to defeat Durand again. The Tigers play at Durand this Thursday. Defense has been the Tigers' forte this season and the win over Durand was the finest example of their defensive capability.