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 suffered its first loss of the season on Friday, at Amery. The Spartans then had to turn around and play Monday at Barron, a team that had beaten Amery last week. The Spartans bounced back impressively, beating Barron's Golden Girls by a 46-33 score. In the win at Barron, the Spartans got back to what had made them a success this season.
The showdown for the Middle Border Conference wrestling lead will happen this Thursday in New Richmond. The Tigers and Ellsworth are both undefeated in the MBC dual matches this season. Ellsworth has won the conference title each of the past four seasons. New Richmond finished in second place in the MBC last season. New Richmond coach Mark Neumann said he isn't concerned about winning or losing against Ellsworth. He's out to see how the Tigers will handle wrestling in a match of this magnitude. "Hopefully we'll get in their faces. I'd like to see us take the fight to them," Neumann said.
The New Richmond girls hockey team reached, dropped below, then re-found the .500 level during their three games in the past week. The Tiger girls are now 7-7 for the season. They will try to climb above the .500 level on Thursday, when they play at Menomonie.
The two main options being considered by the Somerset Board of Education for the proposed April 1 referendum are packages that would be for either $42 million or $45 million. Both packages would include the construction of a new high school and remodeling packages at all three current School District buildings. The options were discussed during the Board's Facilities Committee meeting on Monday. Another Facilities meeting will be held at 5 p.m. next Monday to further solidify the plans for the referendum.
Brett Anderson's hoop in the final three seconds settled one of the marquee boys basketball matchups in western Wisconsin this season as the New Richmond boys won at Eau Claire North last Thursday, 35-34. The Tigers are undefeated and are ranked in the top five in Division 2 in the state. Eau Claire North went into the game ranked in the top 10 in Division 1. North became one of the most hyped boys teams in the state when 6-11 Evan Anderson open enrolled into North to join the Huskies' boys program.
Juniors Tom Volkert and Bradley Gartner earned weight class championships as the New Richmond wrestling team took third place in the 2008 New Richmond Wrestling Invitational on Saturday. Volkert won his championship at 215 pounds. Gartner earned the championship at 119 pounds. Volkert was named as the Outstanding Wrestler in this year's NRI. Both wrestlers faced intriguing championship matches. Volkert faced Spooner's Cully Butterfield for the 215 title. Butterfield came into the match with a 21-1 record, but his only loss was to Volkert.
The Somerset girls basketball team faced the most serious threat to its unbeaten record thus far when the Spartans played at Osceola last Friday. Somerset was able to prevail, with the Spartans raising their season record to 9-0 with a 39-38 win in Osceola. The game wasn't decided until the final seconds. Osceola's Heather Byl had two free throws with :02.8 left on the clock with the score 39-37. Byl hit the first shot, but the second glanced off the front of the rim.
An injury suffered just before halftime by Tiger senior Ashley Stoffel proved to be a rallying point for the New Richmond girls basketball team during Monday night's home game against Spooner. The Tigers came through with a robust effort in the second half.
The New Richmond girls hockey team is hoping this is the week they climb above .500 and stay there. The Tigers were scheduled to play the Burnett County Blizzard on Tuesday.
The Somerset hockey team was able to create good scoring chances, but they couldn't find a way to get the puck past Hudson goalie Willie Riedel during last Friday's game in Hudson. That resulted in Hudson tallying a 5-0 win, but the game was much closer than the final score might indicate. Hudson scored three times in the final five minutes of the game to break open what had been a close contest. "We played right with them," said Somerset coach Dan Gilkerson.