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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It seems like a week can't go by without the New Richmond girls hockey team carrying a game into overtime. Last week the Tigers had two games go into overtime and the Orange and Black came out winners in both of those games. Last Tuesday the Tigers scored an overtime win against Black River Falls, with Paige Charland getting the game-winner in the 5-4 victory. On Saturday the Tigers ventured into overtime again.
The Middle Border Conference girls basketball race is wide open and thanks to a drastically improved performance in the second half on Friday, Somerset's girls are one of five teams tied for the conference lead. Somerset knocked off Osceola on Friday 46-42. The Spartans are now one of five teams sharing the lead in the MBC with 2-1 records. Anyone who saw the first half of Friday's game wouldn't have given the Spartans much chance of winning.
The Somerset boys hockey team played five strong periods in its two games in the Hayward Invitational over the weekend. That earned the Spartans third place in the tournament. In the third place game the Spartans tore through Hayward, whipping the Hurricanes 6-1. The one period that hurt the Spartans came in the opening round of the tournament on Friday. The Spartans had played a scoreless opening period against Rice Lake. Nobody would have expected that a nine-goal period was minutes away.
A week off between games was a magic elixir for the New Richmond boys hockey team. The Tigers showed spring in their step and carried energy late into the game when they returned to the ice on Thursday. That resulted in the Tigers scoring a 5-0 win at Como Park in St. Paul. The energy level showed by the Tigers in Thursday's game is best reflected in the shots on goal totals. The Tigers put 42 shots on goal, compared to six for Como Park. Coach Adam Swanda said the players clearly had more energy for this game.
A critical showdown with Boyceville awaits the St. Croix Central girls basketball team this Thursday. The Panthers get to host Thursday's game, which will cap the most difficult stretch the Panthers have faced in their schedule this season. Central and Boyceville are currently tied in third place in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference standings with 4-2 records. Mondovi and Colfax, who are both unbeaten in conference play, stand above them. Central's girls are currently 6-5 overall.
One fact became painfully obvious as the St. Croix Central boys basketball team lost three games last week. The Panthers need more production from players other than their "big three" if they are going to continue to grow this season. Sure, the losses early in the week to Baldwin-Woodville and Colfax came against probably the two strongest opponents the Panthers will see this season. Saturday's loss to Boyceville was a glaring example that the Panthers need more players to be a factor at both ends of the court. The Panthers led through much of Saturday's game.
You couldn't ask for a better week if you were a St. Croix Central wrestler last week. The Panthers won a critical Dunn-St. Croix Conference match on Thursday, beating Glenwood City 32-28. On Saturday the Panthers headed south to Westby. They came home with some nice hardware, sweeping five dual matches to earn the team championship. Thursday's win was another of the line of close matches that are being seen in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference this season.
A plan to remake the kitchen in the Somerset Middle School is in the works, with the job expected to be completed over the summer. The school district facilities committee met at the middle school last Wednesday to review possible options for the kitchen and to see first-hand why the changes are needed. Most of the equipment in the kitchen is still original from the 1975 construction of the building. The committee reviewed three possible renovation plans and decided to send proposal 2B to the full school board. That plan was approved at Monday's board meeting.
Star Prairie Fish and Game continues to flourish and it hopes to help other area wildlife interests continue their progress too. Star Prairie Fish and Game has altered its funding process in hopes of working with more wildlife groups in the future. SPFG has established an outreach fund that can be accessed by local non-profit organizations that meet the SPFG mission.
Three teams were tied with undefeated records at the top of the Middle Border Conference standings when last week began. When the week was over, New Richmond stood alone at the top of the conference standings. The Tigers are now 4-0 in MBC play and 9-0 overall after wins against Prescott and Ellsworth last week. The Tigers began last week ranked fourth in Division 2 in the wissports.net-WBCA Coaches Poll. Prescott gave the Tigers a thorough battle last Tuesday. The Tigers had only a five-point lead with 1:17 left.