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 showdown for the Middle Border Conference leadership showed how well the Somerset girls basketball team can perform in pressure situations. The Spartans are in search of their second straight MBC title. They took a big step toward getting it last Tuesday, defeating St. Croix Central, 66-44. With that win, the Spartans passed Central to move into sole leadership in the conference.
It’s amazing what can be accomplished in three-tenths of a second. In the final three-tenths of a second last Tuesday, the New Richmond boys basketball team got a steal, a timeout, and a game-deciding free throw in a 46-45 win at Amery. The game-winning free came from senior Ryan Jansen. After Jansen sank the first free throw, the Tiger coaches purposely had Jansen clang the second free throw yard off the backboard, so Amery wouldn’t have time to get a shot away before the final buzzer sounded.
More diversity in the goal scoring column is something the New Richmond boys hockey coaches have been seeking from the Tigers. They got it in a major way on Saturday. Nine different Tigers scored goals as the Tigers rolled to a 13-1 victory over the WSFLG cooperative team in Saturday’s game at Grantsburg.
The New Richmond girls basketball team was hoping last Tuesday’s game would be the game where the Tigers would end their losing skid. If the game had ended at halftime, it would have ended. Instead, the Tigers’ offense went ice cold in the second half and Osceola was able to come back to take a 48-42 victory. New Richmond, Osceola and Prescott ended last week tied for fifth place in the Middle Border Conference standings with 3-6 records.
New Richmond native Kat Keller is a redshirt senior on the University of Minnesota women's track team. Keller competed for the Gophers on Saturday in the annual dual meet between the Gophers and the Wisconsin Badgers. She was part of the winning 1,600 meter relay and she ran a career-best time in the 600 meters. Here is a link to those results: http://www.gophersports.com/sports/w-track/recaps/012117aaa.html This week, Keller was featured in a question-and-answer session on the Gopher website. Here is the link to that session:
One of the most intense, exciting finishes in a Middle Border Conference dual match happened in Somerset’s final home match of the season last Thursday. The Spartans trailed 33-6, then made one of the most inspired comebacks in years. The team decision came down to the final match. Somerset’s Ethan Wegscheider won by a major decision, but he couldn’t get the pin the Spartans needed to win. The comeback fell one point short, with B-W winning 36-35.
If a season full of injuries wasn’t enough to weigh down the St. Croix Central wrestling team, the Panthers were missing two more wrestlers due to illness when they competed at Prescott last Thursday. The missing wrestlers took away any flexibility in the Panther lineup, leaving them to take a 54-18 loss at the hands of the Cardinals. The loss drops Central to 1-5 for the season in the Middle Border Conference.
Any win is important for a squad as young as the New Richmond wrestling team. But a decisive win over a program that has ranked among the best in the Middle Border Conference over the past decade is even a bigger booster shot of confidence for the Tigers. The Tigers went to Amery last Thursday and rolled past the home team, winning 54-21. Amery gave up four forfeits, but the Tigers won six of the 10 matches that were completed to account for the convincing margin of victory.
The team that controlled the tempo controlled the game. That was the case last Tuesday when the St. Croix Central boys basketball team hosted Middle Border Conference leader Prescott. Central was able to maintain control of the tempo in the first half, resulting in the game being tied 28-28 at halftime. Prescott scored the first eight points of the second half and the Panthers could never slow down Prescott’s pace, resulting in a 73-62 Prescott victory.
Since Luke Fritsche has taken over as the St. Croix Central girls basketball coach, the Panthers have made a tradition of improving through the second half of their seasons. That fact, as much as anything, was distressing as the Panthers lost their opening two games in the second round of the Middle Border Conference schedule. The second of those losses was a 66-44 setback at Somerset last Tuesday.