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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Boyceville is one of the leading girls basketball teams in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference. Somerset’s girls gave Boyceville all it could handle for three quarters on Friday. The Bulldogs took advantage of the Spartans’ inexperience in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 49-34 win over the Spartans. The Spartans trailed 35-29 entering the fourth quarter.
Beefing up the schedule was a priority for the Somerset hockey team this season. There was plenty of beef on the ice when Antigo invaded the Somerset Ice Arena on Saturday. The state-ranked Red Robins found a worthy opponent in the Spartans, with the game ending in a 4-4 tie. Antigo was ranked seventh in the state heading into the game with a 9-1-1 record. The Red Robins boast one of the largest lineups in the state, led by senior Blake Kirsch, who scored the first goal of the game. Kirsch is 6-3 and is listed at 270 pounds and he towered over most of the players in the game.
It seems that every week throws a new curve at the Western Wisconsin Stars girls hockey team. The latest calamity that has befallen the Stars is an injury to starting goaltender Tina Montpetit. Montpetit was pulled out of last Thursday’s game against Superior after one period because of a back injury. The Stars ended up losing that game 9-4 and they lost to the St. Croix Valley Fusion 6-0 on Saturday. Stepping in for Montpetit is senior Alice Gramenz, who has never played goalie in an official game before.
Trailing at halftime at Ellsworth last Friday didn’t bother the St. Croix Central girls basketball team. Central’s girls knew they could use their best weapon to turn the game back in their favor. That weapon, full-court pressure, worked as Central took charge of the game by outscoring Ellsworth 24-10 in the third quarter.
Falling behind by double digits in the first quarter left the St. Croix Central boys basketball team in a hole it couldn’t dig out from in last Friday’s game at St. Croix Falls. The Saints are the leaders of the Lakeland West Conference and they looked the part in beating the Panthers 59-42 on Friday. The loss drops the Panthers to 1-7 for the season. Central coach Zach Turpin said he thought the Panthers looked rusty in their first game in two weeks, though the team practiced frequently over the break.
The New Richmond boys basketball team played crisply at the start, but it was the Somerset boys who had staying power as the teams opened the 2014 portion of their schedule in Somerset on Friday. New Richmond held a 20-15 lead early in the second quarter. The Spartans scored the final 11 points of the quarter to lead 26-20 at halftime. The Spartans continued to control the action through the second half, beating the Tigers 52-33. Somerset was led by senior center Gaelin Elmore, who scored 17 points.
Wisconsin teams saw unprecedented success in the Rochester (Minn.) Kiwanis Hockey Festival and the New Richmond boys were part of that success. Verona and Northland Pines, both Wisconsin teams, won the two divisions of the tournament. New Richmond took third place among eight teams in the gold division of the tournament.
Senior Gaelin Elmore became the fifth player in Somerset boys basketball history to score 1,000 points in his career during the Spartans’ 73-46 win over Glenwood City in the Hilltoppers’ holiday tournament. The Spartans opened the tournament with a 54-45 win over St. Croix Falls on Friday. The Spartans faced the host school on Saturday and they made sure Elmore got to the 1,000-point mark right away. The Spartans ran an alley oop pass to Elmore on the first possession of the game, but the play didn’t connect.
It took the New Richmond girls basketball team a half to find its offense, but a strong second half lifted the Tigers to a 35-22 win over Thorp in the championship game of the Thorp Holiday Invitational on Saturday. The first half of the game was anything but explosive for the Tiger offense. They scored eight points in the opening eight minutes. But in the second quarter, the Tigers were held scoreless. Tiger leading scorer Sydney Kannel was getting heavy defensive attention in the first half.
Even with senior standout Shane Blackman sidelined with an injury, the New Richmond wrestling team was quite competitive in the 2013 Bi-State Classic in La Crosse on Friday and Saturday. Four Tigers were placewinners in the tournament. The Tigers competed in Division 1 of the tournament, placing seventh among 18 Division 1 teams. They finished ahead of long-time wrestling powers like Wausau West and D.C. Everest. Junior Derek Dowd was the top placewinner for the Tigers, taking fifth place in the 138-pound bracket.