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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Theresa Knutson is likely the most prolific scorer in Wisconsin girls hockey history. This is her senior season and the Western Wisconsin Stars can’t wait to see Knutson in a college uniform. Because that means the Stars won’t have to see Knutson in an Onalaska uniform again. Knutson has riddled the Stars throughout her four high school seasons.
As a team in the hunt for a Middle Border Conference championship, the Somerset boys basketball team is looking for any edge it can find. The Spartans may have found one in the second half of their 57-41 win over Durand on Friday. The win raises their season record to 9-1. Spartan center Gaelin Elmore scored off four lob passes from guard Jack Emmert in the second half of the game as the Spartans pulled away from the Panthers. The lobs took advantage of two of the Spartans’ best offensive skills.
It might have been a painful loss, but in the process, the Somerset girls basketball team is learning it can compete with the upper echelon teams in the Middle Border Conference. The Spartans went to Amery last Tuesday and led for much of the game against the Warriors. Amery had a player hit three three-pointers in the final minutes of the game, and that burst of scoring carried Amery to a 47-45 win over the Spartans. Somerset played well in the second half of the game.
If recognizing the problems is half the battle, the St. Croix Central boys team could be on the way to turning things around. The Panthers dropped to 1-10 for the season with a pair of Dunn-St. Croix Conference losses late last week. The Panthers lost on their home court on Saturday to Mondovi 63-41. That came two days after the Panthers were turned back by Glenwood City 59-43. Central coach Zach Turpin said these games followed almost identical patterns. In Turpin’s opinion, the Panthers had specific areas where they were beaten.
They made a game effort of it, but the Somerset wrestlers couldn’t overcome the four forfeits in their lineup in last Thursday’s dual match against Durand. The Spartans led until the final two weight classes, which were both forfeited to Durand.
This is finals week at St. Croix Central. With long road trips the first two days of the week, the Panther girls basketball team was doing its best to balance basketball and books. In the first of the road trips, to Elk Mound on Monday, the Panthers put up a strong effort. The effort fell just short, losing to the Mounders 43-37. The students had Monday off from school for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Panther coach Luke Fritsche said his girls spent the day off studying for finals.
The crowd for the St. Croix Central wrestling Hall of Fame night got to view two Panther dual match victories on Friday night. Former Central wrestler Mike Kappers, a 1993 graduate, was inducted into the Panther Hall of Fame. With a sizeable crowd on hand, the Panthers scored wins over St. Croix Falls and Baldwin-Woodville. The Panthers first faced the Saints and it was a dramatic finish with the Panthers overcoming a nine-point deficit in the final two individual matches. With the 160- and 170-pound matches left, the Panthers not only needed wins, they needed pins.
It was a huge week in the Wednesday Commercial Bowling League at Gibby's Lanes last week. Two bowlers rolled 300 games during league play.
The Somerset boys basketball team delivered Ellsworth's first loss of the Middle Border Conference season on Thursday, holding off the Panthers 70-67. The result leaves both teams with 4-1 MBC records, in second place behind Prescott. Ellsworth played a strong first half behind post player Will Huppert, who had 14 of his 23 points before halftime. Somerset took a 28-27 lead into hafltime after scoring the final eight points of the second quarter. In the second half the Spartans' lead grew as large as 13 points.
The long tradition of success of the New Richmond High School dance team was continued in its 2014 conference meet on Saturday. The Tigers earned the Middle Border Conference championship in the kick division at the meet on Saturday in Hudson. The Tigers took second place in the pom division. The Western Wisconsin Dance Conference brings together teams from the Middle Border, Big Rivers and Dunn-St. Croix conferences for a day of competition.