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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The Western Wisconsin Stars ran up against two of the deepest girls hockey programs in Minnesota in the opening rounds of a tournament in Burnsville last week. The Stars lost to Burnsville 6-2 on Wednesday and Apple Valley 7-0 on Thursday. The Stars were able to put a positive finish on the tournament, putting together a sterling performance to defeat Faribault, 5-2.
The St. Croix Central boys knew they’d be up against tough competition when they went to the La Crosse Aquinas basketball tournament last Wednesday and Thursday. And while the Panthers lost both games, they showed definite progress against two quality opponents. The Panthers led for much of the first half against undefeated and state-ranked Appleton Xavier last Wednesday before losing, 90-75. The Panthers had their chances against Aquinas on Thursday, losing 58-53.
The New Richmond boys hockey team won a showdown with Baldwin-Woodville for the Middle Border Conference lead on Tuesday, while the Tiger boys basketball team also scored a win over B-W on Tuesday. Baldwin-Woodville's hockey team came into Tuesday's game with an undefeated record but that didn't impress the Tigers. New Richmond dominated all aspects of the game in defeating the Blackhawks 5-0. Nick Johnson scored three of the Tiger goals, with Chris Lubow and Blake Kretovics also scoring. The Tigers outshot the Blackhawks, 48-13.
The top and bottom teams from the Big Rivers Conference were the opposition for the New Richmond boys hockey team last week. The Tigers found out they currently rank somewhere between the two. Last Tuesday, the Tigers faced a struggling Menomonie team that ranks at the bottom of the BRC. The Tigers put on an offensive show, blitzing the Mustangs 11-1. Two nights later, the Tigers were hosting Hudson, the top-ranked team in the state. The Tigers found they aren’t yet ready to be ranked at Hudson’s level, losing to the Raiders, 5-0.
The last game where Pete Melloy coached the New Richmond boys soccer team was at the destination he worked toward reaching 12 years with the program: the WIAA State Championships.
For Todd Nelson, it’s a chance to be close to home. After 17 years of coaching Division 1 college volleyball all over the midwest, Nelson has taken a coaching position that will put him within an hour of New Richmond, his home town. Nelson was hired last week as the head coach of the St. Catherine University volleyball program in St. Paul.
If the New Richmond boys basketball team had been able to defeat River Falls last Thursday, it would have made for a great story of how the Tigers played smart, disciplined basketball to knock off a formidable opponent.
The shots finally fell for the Somerset boys basketball team on Monday, Dec. 19. And with that, the Spartans were able to record their first win of the season, against a team that had already posted wins against Osceola and Amery from the Middle Border Conference. The Spartans rode 23 points from Noah Dendinger, along with four other Spartans scoring varsity career-high totals, as Somerset posted a 66-47 win at Barron.
The Somerset girls basketball team survived a physical battle in the second half of last Tuesday’s non-conference home game against River Falls. Survival became the focus for the Spartans in a second half that was allowed to get extremely rough. The Spartans led by 16 points at halftime. River Falls used a physical defense to make a charge at the Spartans, but Somerset held on for a 55-49 win.
After suffering its first two losses of the season, the Somerset boys hockey team got back to the style of play that carried the Spartans to a 5-0 start for the season. That style of play worked as the Spartans rolled past River Falls last Thursday, 6-0. Two nights earlier, the Spartans suffered their first home ice loss of the season, a 6-4 setback against Eau Claire North.