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 never seems to fail. Whenever the St. Croix Central girls play at Colfax, the Viking girls have an incredible shooting game. It happened again last Thursday. The Panthers went to Colfax and were blitzed by the Vikings, 66-31. The loss leaves the Panthers with a 3-2 mark in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference. Their overall record stands at 5-4. Central coach Luke Fritsche said he didn't fault the Panthers' defense in the loss. "That's the best Colfax has shot all year," Fritsche said. "We have better days ahead. I still think we're a good team." Colfax is a savvy veteran team.
The Somerset wrestling team made quite a solid showing at the Eden Prairie Invitational on Saturday. Two Spartans won individual championships and most of the Somerset wrestlers finished in the top half of their bracket. Winning championships for the Spartans were sophomore Haydon Dvorak and freshman Gabe Flandrick. Flandrick beat ranked wrestlers in the semifinal and final matches at 130 pounds.
Middle Border Conference opponents have not been a problem for the St. Croix Central boys basketball team this season. The Panthers improved to 4-0 against MBC teams and 12-1 overall with a 70-57 win at Prescott on Monday night. Facing the opponents from the larger schools in the MBC has kept the Panthers sharp. They excelled in the offensive end on Monday, with four players scoring in double figures. Brad Walen and Kyle Cress each scored 13 points and Charlie Clark and Cody Olson each tallied 11 points. Offense wasn't the problem in the first half in Monday's game.
Six dual match wins last week left the St. Croix Central wrestling team in a position to compete for a share of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference championship this Thursday. The Panthers scored conference wins over Spring Valley and Mondovi last week. The Panthers are 3-1 in conference matches. They will wrestle at Glenwood City this Thursday, with the conference championship on the line. If the Panthers beat Glenwood City, it would result in a tie at the top of the conference dual meet standings. "It's nice to have something to wrestle for," said St. Croix Central coach Brad Holzer.
In last week's games against River Falls and Prescott, the New Richmond girls basketball team was in contention throughout both games. It was a lack of offensive success that caused the Tigers to come out on the losing end of both games. The Tigers lost to River Falls by a 37-29 score last Tuesday.
Somerset High School vocal group The Dynamics made quite a splash at the Wisconsin Association of School Boards state convention last Friday. The Dynamics were selected as the group to perform before the keynote speaker and Gov. Jim Doyle. There were approximately 1,000 people in attendance for the performance. "The kids had a lot of energy and did a great job," said Somerset vocal music director Rachel Erickson. The Dynamics performed just before keynote speaker Richard Picciotto, a New York City firefighter and motivational speaker.
In Friday's 63-41 New Richmond boys basketball win over Ellsworth, it appeared the Tigers could have scored from the low post in every one of their possessions. The Tiger coaches didn't want them to. The coaches are seeking to build a more balanced, complete offense that will be more difficult to defend. The coaches also want the team's attack to be less predictable. Coach Rick Montreal said the Tigers had several matchups in this game that they felt could provide points whenever the Tigers needed them. One of those matchups was senior center Michael Jansen in the low post.
The St. Croix Central boys now share the Dunn-St. Croix Conference basketball lead after charging back in the fourth quarter, then beating Colfax in overtime on Saturday, 57-55. Colfax came into the game with a spotless D-SC record and it was easy to see why. For much of Saturday's game the Vikings held the upper hand, with a huge front line and two guards who were deadly shooters from the perimeter. "They are big," Central coach Mike Fern said of Colfax's front line. "They're not only wide, they're tall." Those wide bodies gave Colfax a huge rebounding advantage in the game.
If you enjoy offensive hockey, the 13-7 win by the New Richmond boys over Baldwin-Woodville gave you plenty of entertainment. If you're a fan of defensive hockey, the game was downright offensive, bordering on vulgar. The 20 goals is one of the highest combined single game goal totals in Tiger history.
New Richmond and Ellsworth might have both had 4-0 Middle Border Conference records heading into last Thursday's dual meet. That didn't mean the two teams were equal. The youth and relative inexperience in the New Richmond lineup showed against the defending conference champions. Ellsworth rolled to a 48-17 win over the Tigers. New Richmond was able to win four of the individual matches. Joel Neumann scored a pin in the heavyweight match. The Tigers were able to string together three straight wins in the middle weights.