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 offensive skills of the Somerset girls basketball team broke through against Osceola last Friday. The Spartans scored 73 points, the most the team has scored in more than five years, in their 73-48 win over the Chieftains on Friday. The last time the Spartans scored more points was on Dec. 15, 2008, when the Spartans defeated Spooner 78-36. Team-wide contributions helped the Spartans roll up the large point total. Freshman guard Tori Martell continued to be one of the leading scorers in the Middle Border Conference, finishing with 22 points.
Anyone wondering if there was value in the Somerset hockey team playing a tougher schedule this season only needed to see the Spartans play at Menomonie on Saturday. The Spartans scored their second win of the season over the Mustangs, both by 5-2 scores. The scores may have been identical, but the way the Spartans played was not, according to Somerset coach Dan Gilkerson. “The pace we played was much better than the first time,” he said.
Searching out new challenges brought the Somerset boys basketball team into a non-conference game with Totino-Grace last Tuesday. Totino-Grace is a top-quality Twin Cities program, with a 12-3 record in the North Suburban Conference. The game was the challenge the Spartans had hoped for, but they came out on the losing end of a 65-56 decision. This was Somerset’s second loss of the season against nine victories. The Spartans are back in action this Thursday, playing at St. Croix Falls.
A trip to Pepin last Tuesday was the cure the St. Croix Central girls basketball team was looking for. The Panther offense had an answer for every defense Alma-Pepin tried, with Central scoring a 57-35 win. The 57 points are one short of the Panthers’ high-point total of the season, which was a 58-point effort against Spring Valley. This win was the result of a multi-faceted Panther attack, the kind of showing Coach Luke Fritsche has been looking for from the team. When Alma-Pepin played a man defense, Central got the ball inside to Emma Landry and Kayla Pabst.
It’s almost become a weekly event. The St. Croix Central boys basketball team played another opponent right down to the wire, but just can’t finish off the win. That happened again on Friday, when the Panthers pushed Plum City to the final minutes, losing 47-43. The Panthers are 1-9 in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference and 1-12 overall, but teams are learning they can’t be taken lightly.
Going up against lifters from larger schools showed in the individual results for the New Richmond powerlifting team when it competed in a meet at Holmen on Saturday. While the Tigers weren’t able to bring home any weight class titles, the girls did win the Division 1 team championship. The Tigers took 38 lifters to Holmen and were able to have 12 of them place among the top five lifters in their weight class. This meet put the Tigers against teams from the southern part of the state and put them into a setting more like the state tournament.
In the first three quarters of Tuesday's game at Baldwin-Woodville, the Somerset boys basketball team showed about as much spark as most car batteries in this week's sub-zero weather. The Spartans trailed 42-32 after three quarters. Fueled by a ferocious full-court press, the Spartans scored 35 points in the fourth quarter to surpass the Blackhawks, 67-61. Somerset needed someone to step up offensively after center Gaelin Elmore did nearly all the team's scoring in the first half. That someone was Heaven Hunt.
Cold weather on Monday and Tuesday added to the numerous sports postponements that have takan place this winter. Here is an update on cancellations and makeup dates from the local schools. New Richmond Wrestling: from Monday to Monday, Feb. 3 vs. B-W; Girls Basketball: from Monday - no make up date set at this time. Boys Basketball: from Tuesday - moved to Thursday, Jan. 30. Boys Hockey - from Tuesday - no make up date set at this time. Girls Hockey - from Tuesday - no make up date set at this time. Somerset Girls Basketball: from Monday, moved to Feb. 25. St.
Tuesday's Somerset boys basketball game at Baldwin-Woodville will go on as scheduled, despite both schools declaring a snow day. All New Richmond and St. Croix Central games scheduled for Tuesday have been postponed. Because temperatures and wind chills are expected to lessen later on Tuesday, Somerset school administration gave the OK for the Spartans to play their boys basketball game at Baldwin on Tuesday
Postponements have begun in preparation for the continuing cold weather scheduled to last through Tuesday. It was announced at 1:45 p.m. that Tuesday's boys basketball game between New Richmond and Durand has been postponed. The game, which will be played in New Richmond, has been moved back two days, to Thursday, Jan. 30.