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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About the hottest thing any New Richmond boys basketball fan has seen during the past week of frigid weather was the shooting of Ellsworth’s Chrystian Kulow. Kulow torched the Tigers for 29 points last Friday as Ellsworth ran away from the Tigers, 77-56. The loss drops New Richmond to 2-6 in Middle Border Conference action and 3-10 overall. Ellsworth stands at 6-2 in the MBC and 7-6 overall after Friday’s results. Kulow is a notorious streak shooter. The Tigers let him get hot, and once he was ignited, there wasn’t much the Tigers could do to stop him.
Competing at the Durand Duals tournament the past few years has become a good source of quality late-season opposition as the St. Croix Central wrestling team gears up for the tournament season. The Panthers went to Durand on Friday and won four of the five dual team matches they competed in. The Panthers scored wins over Mondovi, Durand, Menomonie JV and Whitehall, while losing to Stanley-Boyd/Owen-Withee/Thorp. The action started with the Panthers avenging a Dunn-St. Croix Conference loss to Mondovi.
Because of the limits on physical contact, you don’t often see special teams be the deciding factor in a girls hockey game. Special teams were clearly the pivotal aspect in last Tuesday’s girls hockey game between the Western Wisconsin Stars and Hudson. Six of the seven goals were scored on power plays or while teams were short-handed. Hudson finished with the upper hand, beating the Stars 5-2. The loss leaves the Stars with a 5-10 record. They have an excellent opportunity for a win this Friday when they play at Viroqua.
Nothing can change the course of a hockey game like a hot goalie. Amery’s Jimmy Richison did his best to change the course of New Richmond’s drive for a Middle Border Conference championship last Tuesday. Richison stopped 64 Tiger shots, including the first 34 shots the Tigers put on goal, in last Tuesday’s game at Amery. A breakaway goal by Tiger senior Jeremy Leavens finally got past Richison, but it didn’t get much easier for the Tigers in the rest of the game. The Tigers posted a 4-1 win, giving them a 5-0 record in the eight-game conference schedule.
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.