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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Megan Haugen was one of the shortest point guards in Minnesota women's college basketball. That didn't stop her from leading the Hamline women to one of the three best seasons in team history. Haugen, a senior from New Richmond, led Hamline to a 13-12 record.
The youth of the Somerset boys basketball team showed in its playoff loss at Spooner last Tuesday, but it doesn't lessen the lengths by which the Spartans have improved this season. The Spartans were beaten by Spooner 55-39 in the opening round of Division 2 playoffs last Tuesday. In the opening minutes of the game the Spartans were playing sharply, leading during parts of the first quarter. They led at the end of the quarter 10-8. At one point the Spartans had a four-point lead and hit a three-pointer that would have enlarged the lead to seven.
The last thing the St. Croix Central boys basketball team could afford to do against Prescott in last Friday's WIAA regional game was fall behind early. But that is exactly what happened. The Panthers were limited to two field goals in the first half as Prescott rolled to a 23-7 halftime lead. Central's play improved markedly in the second half, but the Panthers weren't able to catch Prescott, losing 52-36. That moved Prescott into Monday's Division 3 regional final against Regis.
The top-seeded New Richmond boys basketball team was upset in the second round of WIAA Division 2 regionals on Saturday afternoon. Northwestern, the fourth seed in the region, knocked out New Richmond, 54-52. Northwestern won on a final second shot by standout freshman Steven Tecker, who finished with 14 points. One of the Northwestern guards was able to get the ball along the baseline in the final seconds. As New Richmond's defense sagged to stop him, Tecker slid down the lane and took a pass at the low block.
Two children who had no way of communicating verbally can now communicate through a device called a "tango!" The students are in the early childhood classroom at Somerset Elementary School. They suffer from a condition called apraxia. Apraxia causes children to be unable to put together combinations of sounds to form words. Meg Farrington, the speech therapist at the elementary school, had exhausted all of the tools available to help children with apraxia from the Wisconsin Associated Technology Institute (WATI).
For the third straight year, the one thing that has stood between the New Richmond boys hockey team and the WIAA state tournament is the Superior boys team. New Richmond and Superior have met in the sectional championship game each of the past three years. This year's game was played last Friday at Wessman Arena in Superior, where the Spartans scored a 5-0 win over the Tigers. Last year Superior beat New Richmond in triple overtime in the sectional title game.
Israel Neumann and Bradley Gartner were the first New Richmond wrestlers to compete at the WIAA Division 1 level when they competed in the 2007 WIAA State Wrestling Championships at the Kohl Center in Madison. Neumann, who finished the season with a 46-3 record, won two matches in the 189-pound Division 1 bracket at state.
If you think the St. Croix Central wrestling team used up all its luck in getting Luke Van Beek to state after being an injury qualifier to the sectional wrestling tournament, guess again. A day before the WIAA State Wrestling Championships began, St. Croix Central senior Curtis Hinkel found out that he would be an injury replacement and would get to compete in the 2007 state championships. Hinkel then proved he belonged at state, winning his first match in the 119 pound bracket. He was then beaten in the quarterfinals.
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.