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 Somerset girls basketball team was able to put together two strong performances to reach Saturday's WIAA regional final. That's where the Spartans saw their season end. Facing Osceola in the Unity regional final on Saturday, the Spartans played evenly with the Chieftains in the first half, trailing 24-22. The second half was all Osceola, with the Chieftains pulling away for a 56-35 win. The Spartans finish the 2006-07 season with a 16-6 record. Somerset had the upper hand in the early going on Saturday.
The New Richmond boys basketball team made it a clean sweep of the second half of the Middle Border Conference schedule. The Tigers went 7-0 in the second half of the MBC season. That was completed with a 52-43 home-court win over Prescott in the regular season finale for both teams. The Tigers finish in second place in the MBC final standings with a 12-2 record. Baldwin-Woodville finishes as the conference champion with a 13-1 record. Tournament time The Tigers are now into the WIAA Division 2 regional tournament.
The Somerset boys basketball team could do no wrong in the first half of its game at Amery last Friday. And in the second half, the Spartans did just enough things right to hang on for a 38-33 win over the Warriors. This final leaves Somerset, Amery and Ellsworth tied for sixth place in the final Middle Border Conference standings. They each ended the MBC season with 3-11 records. Somerset opened the game with a hot hand and it carried through the first quarter. Led by 10 points from sophomore David Moulton, the Spartans charged out to a 16-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
New Richmond's Israel Neumann and Bradley Gartner will be the first Tiger wrestlers to compete at the Division 1 level in the WIAA State Wrestling Championships. Neumann and Gartner qualified for the 2007 state meet by finishing among the top two wrestlers in their weight class at the Chippewa Falls Division 1 Sectional Tournament, held last Saturday. Neumann advances to state as the sectional champion at 189 pounds. This will be his second appearance at the state meet. He qualified in Division 2 as a sophomore, but was defeated in his first state match.
It all comes down to Friday for the New Richmond boys basketball team. While the Tigers have tried to concentrate on getting ready for the WIAA playoffs, they have kept their hopes for a Middle Border Conference championship afloat. The Tigers are the only MBC team that has not lost in the second round of conference play, which comes down to its final set of games this Friday. New Richmond will be playing at home this Friday, against Prescott. Prescott is the last MBC team that beat the Tigers.
The New Richmond boys hockey team is making its seemingly annual trip to the WIAA tournament sectional level. The Tigers qualified for sectionals by winning at home last Thursday against Somerset, 8-2. This win moved the Tigers to the sectional semifinals, which were scheduled to be played on Tuesday in Hudson. The winner of Tuesday's game will advance to the sectional game. The championship game will be played at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Wessman Arena in Superior.
Luke Van Beek had perhaps the most unique 36 hours in St. Croix Central wrestling history. Within 48 hours Van Beek went from a sectional wrestling spectator to a state wrestling qualifier. Van Beek becomes the first St. Croix Central wrestler to qualify for the state meet since 2004. The other three Central wrestlers who competed at the sectional meet: Curtis Hinkel, Trevor Helgeson and Brady Hughes, were unable to earn a spot in the state wrestling field. Last Friday morning Van Beek was informed that he might have a chance to wrestle at the St.
New Richmond coach Mark Neumann took the cautious approach to the Tigers' first appearance in the WIAA team wrestling sectionals in Division 1. With several of the Tigers nursing injuries and others battling weight issues, Neumann elected to hold those wrestlers out of last Tuesday's team wrestling. Wausau West was able to defeat the Tigers 57-15. This made Wausau West one of the eight Division 1 teams to qualify for the state team wrestling tournament. Wausau West is ranked second in Division 1 in the state, behind Wisconsin Rapids.
For the first half last Friday, the New Richmond girls basketball team turned the Middle Border Conference standings upside down. The Tigers finished the 2006-07 season at the bottom of the MBC rankings. But in the first half last Friday, the Tigers outplayed the MBC champions from Durand. The Tigers led 22-19 at halftime. Durand then caught fire in the second half and pulled away for a 60-33 win. What makes the Tigers' halftime lead more impressive was the fact that Durand jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game.
A gender-based classroom study at the Somerset Middle School passed with flying colors in its first quarter of implementation. The Somerset Middle School fifth grade is divided into gender-based sections. There is one section that is all boys, one section that is all girls, and two sections that are mixtures of boys and girls. The school year began with the fifth grade divided into four mixed-gender classes. This gave the fifth grade teachers and school staff a chance to observe the students and see which might benefit most from being in a single-gender classroom.