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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Want to know how much the New Richmond girls basketball team has improved? Maybe you should ask the Middle Border Conference leaders from Somerset. Somerset's girls trailed the Tigers by as many as 10 points before being able to escape New Richmond with a 65-60 win last Thursday. For the first two-thirds of the game the Tigers, now 1-3, were the controlling team. After a close first quarter, the Tigers stepped ahead in the second quarter. At halftime the Tigers led 34-28. In the third quarter the Tigers extended the lead to 43-33 on a three-pointer by senior Kassie Kunz.
Two games in less than 18 hours, against the two Middle Border Conference teams that try to play at the fastest pace proved to be a bad combination for the Somerset boys basketball team. On Friday night the Spartans played at home against Ellsworth. The lead went back and forth through the first three quarters. Ellsworth then outscored the Spartans 11-3 in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter.
A strong penalty killing effort was critical in the Somerset boys hockey team earning its first win of the season last Thursday. The Spartans scored twice in the first eight minutes of the game. They then had to kill off 34 minutes of penalties in winning at Baldwin-Woodville, 5-1. The win gives the Spartans a 1-1 record in Middle Border Conference games.
The New Richmond wrestling team continues to gain needed experience with each successive match. And winning each of those matches doesn't hurt either. The Tigers improved to 2-0 in the Middle Border Conference by winning at Durand 50-21 last Thursday. The Tigers had one senior in the lineup at Durand, with four freshmen holding spots in the lineup. What excited Tiger coach Mark Neumann about this match was the JV portion of the night. Menomonie brought its JV wrestlers to the match. So each New Richmond JV wrestler was able to get in two matches against Menomonie and Durand opponents.
The New Richmond girls hockey coaches wondered if getting a 2-0 lead was the worst thing that could have happened to the Tigers on Monday. Playing at home against St. Bernard's, the Tigers played a strong first period, building a 2-0 lead. The Tigers couldn't match that intensity in the final two periods, especially in the defensive end. St. Bernard's was able to come back and take a 3-2 win away from the Tigers. Most of the first period was played evenly. The Tigers took a 1-0 lead with 3:28 left in the period. Chelsea Singerhouse backhanded a centering pass from the far boards.
The Somerset wrestling team is now 3-0 in the Middle Border Conference, but the heavy schedule last week finally wore down the Spartan wrestlers on Saturday. The Spartans improved to 3-0 in the MBC with a 58-18 win over Prescott last Thursday. That's quite an improvement for a Somerset team that went winless in the MBC a year ago. Last Tuesday the Spartans added two more dual meet wins when they competed in a double-dual meet at Spring Valley. Both matches were close, helping the Spartans maintain their edge. They scored a 45-36 win over St.
A fiercely spirited performance by the New Richmond girls basketball team led to one of the most impressive wins in years for the Tiger girls last Tuesday. The Tigers trailed by as many as 10 points in the second half to Osceola, which returned most of its players from the team that finished in second place in the Middle Border Conference last season. In the fourth quarter the Tigers simply willed themselves to the win.
A strong start and a strong finish lifted the New Richmond varsity wrestling team to a 39-22 win over Baldwin-Woodville last Thursday on the Tigers' home mat. This was the opening match of the Middle Border Conference season for the Tigers. They are one of three unbeaten MBC teams, with Ellsworth and Somerset carrying 2-0 records thus far. By winning the first four matches the Tigers looked to be in complete control against Baldwin-Woodville, leading 21-0. That lead didn't last long. By the end of the 171-pound match, B-W had climbed back to make it a battle, trailing 24-22.
Durand's boys basketball team poses a substantial problem for opponents. The Panthers don't like to run-and-gun, they LOVE to run-and-gun. New Richmond's boys had some trouble dealing with Durand at first during last Thursday's game. The Tigers gradually gained more and more control in the game and finished with a 71-49 win at Durand. The Tigers were prepared for Durand's pace of attack. In Durand's first game, the Panthers sank 14 three-point shots in an 80-71 loss to Arcadia.
The New Richmond boys hockey team is one of the younger versions of the Tigers that fans have seen in quite a few years. So starting the season with two strong opponents proved to be a challenge for the Tigers. They lost 4-2 to Eau Claire North in their opener and 2-0 to Superior, but there was definite improvement between the two games. Tiger coach Adam Swanda was not especially pleased with the performance of the team in the loss to North last Tuesday. The Tigers put in a solid opening period. The Tigers built a 2-0 lead during the first period.