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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Senior Luke Buerkley took charge offensively, scoring a career high 27 points as the Somerset boys basketball team won at Grantsburg last Tuesday, 46-43. The win is the second of the season for the Spartans against three losses. Grantsburg came into Tuesday's game with a 4-1 record. There were times during the first half of Tuesday's game that Grantsburg threatened to pull away from the Spartans.
It wasn't the type of start the Somerset hockey team wanted but the Spartans will gladly keep the finish they produced. When the Spartans skated against the Burnett County Blizzard last week, the Spartans showed little fire in the first period. That helped the Blizzard jump out to a 2-0 lead. From there on the Spartans played progressively better, scoring the winning goal with 24 seconds left on the clock to beat the Blizzard 4-3. The game was played at The Lodge Center in Siren. Mikal Urhammer scored the game-winner for the Spartans with 24 seconds left in regulation.
In an effort to deal with space issues at all three of its buildings, the Somerset Board of Education has decided to construct a new building on the school campus. The new building will house the school district's administrative offices and the junior kindergarten and early childhood classrooms. There is also a possibility that space will be included in the new building for the alternative education program and a virtual education program. The school board came to the decision at its Dec. 21 meeting.
The Middle Border Conference schedule didn't start quite as smoothly as the New Richmond boys basketball team had planned. The Tigers went to Durand last Tuesday and were surprised by the Panthers. Durand was able to beat the Tigers 43-39. On Friday the Tigers were able to get into the MBC win column, scoring a 53-36 win over Somerset. Tiger coach Rick Montreal was clearly angered by the loss at Durand.
In terms of pure effort and playing with passion, the New Richmond girls hockey team put together one of the team's finest performances in several years last Tuesday against Hudson. Hudson was had a spotless 6-0 record entering the game and was ranked third in the state. The Tigers were 1-4 and most people might not have considered the Tigers a threat. The Tigers thought otherwise. After a rousing pre-game pep talk from coach Willie Peterson, the Tigers played an incredibly passionate game. They fought endlessly in the defensive zone and kept Hudson's leading scorer off the scoresheet.
The New Richmond wrestling team is rolling up some hefty takedown totals this season. They added to those totals last Thursday, during their 45-30 win over Prescott. The win raises the Tigers' record in Middle Border Conference matches 3-0. There were several matches where the Tigers earned five or more takedowns. Coach Mark Neumann said the youth wrestling program is teaching the wrestlers to be better from their feet. With that confidence, they are more willing to work for takedowns. Tanner Turany was a textbook example of the takedown success.
The Somerset boys basketball has shown it can compete in the Middle Border Conference. The next step is winning. The Spartans trailed New Richmond 28-26 at the halftime break in Friday's game on the Tigers' court. The Spartan offense went ice cold in the second half, scoring 10 points, with the Tigers scoring a 53-36 win. Earlier in the week the Spartans gasped for offense in the first half at Prescott.
The Somerset hockey team was hoping this was the year it would move to the top of the Middle Border Conference. The Spartans will have to do some digging if they hope to achieve that goal. The Spartans played their first two MBC games of the season last week and both resulted in difficult losses. The MBC schedule for the Spartans started last Tuesday with a game at Amery. After falling behind 2-0, the Spartans tied the game on a pair of goals from leading scorer Mitchel Benson.
A 12-0 run at the start of the second half broke open the game for the New Richmond girls basketball team last Tuesday as they rolled to a 53-38 win over Christ Household of Faith. The win raises the Tigers' season record to 2-1. The Tigers are giving indications that this team is capable of more success than the past several editions of the team. The trio of seniors on the team is the backbone of those possibilities. Kim Bethke, Jordan Van Dyk and Kendra Mitchell all stood out in the win over CHOF, for different reasons. Bethke had a breakout game at both ends of the court.
The St. Croix Central girls basketball team has a long holiday break and they have every reason to enjoy it. The Panthers are co-leaders of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference and they are 3-0 against teams from their WIAA regional following a 56-45 win over Glenwood City last Thursday. Central, Colfax and Boyceville are all undefeated in D-SC play as the teams reach the holiday break. The Panthers don't take the court again until Jan. 5, when they host Baldwin-Woodville. The Panthers are 4-1 overall. The Panthers learned a valuable lesson when they faced winless Glenwood City.