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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You might think a scoreless quarter at the varsity level in boys basketball would crush a team's spirit and they wouldn't be able to recover. That wasn't the case for the New Richmond boys team on Friday. The Tigers were held without a point in the second quarter at Durand, leaving them to face a 21-10 halftime deficit. Instead of crumbling, the Tigers rose up.
Two-point wins still count as wins and the New Richmond girls basketball team would be happy to make them a habit. The Tigers are one of two teams that started the Middle Border Conference schedule with a 2-0 record, following an exciting come-from-behind win against Durand on Friday. The Tigers figured things out defensively, which allowed them to overcome a double-digit halftime margin in their 39-37 win over Durand. The Tigers trailed 37-36 with 1:13 left in the game when a Durand player was called for a technical foul.
Progress is the name of the game for the St. Croix Central boys basketball team. While the Panthers were defeated in last Tuesday's game at Plum City, 57-39, the team's performance gave indications the Panthers are moving in the right direction. After a hectic first two weeks of the season, when the Panthers played five games, the schedule slows to a crawl. The only game the Panthers play between Dec. 14 and Jan. 3 is this Thursday, when they travel to winless St. Croix Falls. All this time off will benefit the Panthers greatly.
Something to prove? That's how the Somerset boys basketball team played when they faced Baldwin-Woodville, the pre-season favorite in the Middle Border Conference. So, even though the Spartans lost to B-W 62-56 on Friday, they weren't downtrodden over the loss. Somerset coach Brent Larson said the Spartans proved they can go toe-to-toe with the top teams in the MBC. "Even though we didn't win, this game made us better," Larson said.
Somerset senior Haydon Dvorak became one of the select wrestlers in Spartan history to win 100 matches this weekend. Dvorak earned his 100th career win while winning the 195-pound championship match at the Tomahawk Invitational on Saturday. Dvorak was one of three Spartans who earned championships, along with juniors Bobby LeRoy and Gabe Flandrick. Dvorak pinned Cory Meisbauer of Chequamegon to earn his title and get his 100th career win on Saturday. With much of his senior season still ahead of him, Dvorak could move far up in the ranks among Somerset's top career winners.
Somerset's girls dug themselves a pretty big hole at Baldwin-Woodville on Friday night, but they kept coming back. The Spartans trailed by 14 points at halftime.
The dinged-up New Richmond girls hockey team is in need of younger players on the team to take on bigger roles for the team. The Tigers are coming off a week where they lost to Hudson and Burnett County. This week is even more challenging, with games against undefeated Onalaska and the defending state champion St. Croix Valley Fusion. And next week, the Tigers play three games in their annual trip to the Rochester (Minn.) holiday tournament. That the Tigers could be playing without leading scorer Paige Charland for the foreseeable future adds to the challenges the team is facing.
The St. Croix Central wrestling team has been a tournament terror so far this season. They'd like to continue that through next week's 2011 Northern Badger Invitational. A week after winning the La Crosse Logan tournament, the Panthers earned their second straight tournament victory by sweeping their five dual matches at the Osceola Invitational on Saturday. Central rolled past Osceola, Luck-Frederic-Grantsburg and Cumberland in the opening rounds of Saturday's tournament.
A young team like the St. Croix Central's girls basketball squad could hardly afford an injury to one of its key players. But that's what the Panthers are dealing with. The Panthers lost junior point guard Laura DeSmith to a concussion after she fell and struck her head on the floor in last Tuesday's game at Alma-Pepin. The Panthers were playing competitively in that game until DeSmith's injury. Things quickly eroded, with the Panthers suffering a 53-27 loss. Without DeSmith to guide the offense, the Panthers weren't able to stay with Plum City last Thursday, losing 47-29.
The news today is brought to you by...third grade students at the Somerset Elementary School. "The Spartan Scoop" is a news telecast in which third grade students perform all facets of the show, including the writing, on-air presentation, filming and technical work. The Spartan Scoop is the team idea of third grade teacher Sally Caspersen and elementary media specialist Kristin Flater. Before coming to Somerset, Caspersen was a substitute teacher in Hudson, where they have a similar program with fifth graders.