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Tuesday’s Results: Tiger skaters freeze Somerset, 3-0; NR, SCC boys post one-point wins

Jens Christensen (3) leads the Tiger skaters back to the bench after the Tigers' scored their second goal of the game in Tuesday's 3-0 win over Somerset. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia

The goal all season for the New Richmond boys hockey team has been to play with more grit and determination in front of the opposition’s net.

That was an area where the Tigers showed improvement Tuesday and it played into every goal as the Tigers earned a 3-0 win over Somerset in their Middle Border Conference game. The win evens the Tigers’ MBC record at 2-2 while the Spartans fall to 1-3 in conference games.

The Tigers got the opening goal two minutes into the action. Mason Erickson fired a shot from the blue line that caromed off the glass and back to the corner of the net. Brock Unger won the battle for the rebound, stuffing it past Somerset goalie Kaleb Bents.

“We wouldn’t have scored that goal at the beginning of the season, because we didn’t have guy crashing the goal,” said New Richmond coach Zach Kier.

The score stayed 1-0 until late in the second period. Jens Christensen carried the puck into the left circle on a Tiger power play. He ripped a shot that Bents got a piece of, but the puck trickled off Bents’ glove, sliding into the goal just inside the post.

The Tigers scored another power play goal with 5:13 left in the game. Hayden Bradbury fired a shot from the right circle. It was deflected by Unger to slip past Bents.

The action in front of the goal was a key part of the Tigers’ attack, which produced a 41-25 edge in shots. One of the big differences in producing traffic in front of the goal was a position change for senior Taeus Drill. After playing defense since his final season in bantams, the coaches asked Drill if he’d like to move to forward.

“I think it’s better for the team. We just needed some size and it worked out in this game for sure,” Drill said.

Drill gives the Tigers an instant formidable player in front of the opposing net. At 6 feet, 7 inches, Drill is one of the tallest players in Wisconsin high school hockey. Drill said the rust was coming off quickly on returning to the forward position, as he mixed up with Spartan defensemen throughout the game.

Somerset coach Dan Gilkerson said the Spartans played well, but needed to take advantage of the scoring chances that came up. Most of them were in the second period, where the Spartans outshot the Tigers 13-5 in the first 10 minutes of the period.

Gilkerson said it was good for the Spartans to play solidly when so many of the players were experiencing the New Richmond-Somerset rivalry for the first time.

Max Davis stopped all 25 shots he faced to get the shutout for the Tigers. Bents stopped 38 of the 41 shots he faced in the Somerset goal.

New Richmond boys basketball

Baldwin-Woodville has been a nightmarish place for the Tigers to play in recent seasons. Last year, the Tigers suffered their most discouraging loss at Baldwin. It nearly happened again, but this time the Tigers prevailed, winning 50-49.

“It was eerie,” New Richmond coach Rick Montreal said of the similarities between this game and last year’s. “I’m extremely happy for the kids. There were a dozen things we had to overcome. It was one thing after another, but somehow we got through it.”

The win keeps the Tigers unbeaten in the MBC at 5-0.The Tigers fell behind right away. They managed to get the score tied at 10-10. After a clunky first half, the Tigers led 22-20 at the break. The second half remained close. The Tigers led 50-46 when B-W hit a three-pointer in the final second of the game.

Jack Stuedemann led the Tigers with 10 points, including a pair of critical back-to-back 3-pointers. Cole Effertz finished with nine points, all coming in the second half.

“Cole was getting to the rim. He wa able to beat his guy one-on-one,” Montreal said.

Montreal said the Tigers also got critical play from reserves Jacob Parent and Cooper Eckardt.

The Tigers face another critical game Friday when they play at Menomonie. Montreal said this is an important game in terms of settling where the Tigers will land in the WIAA seeding.

SCC boys basketball

One night after bombing at Elk Mound, the played a gem on their home court against Prescott. The Panthers pulled out a wild win, beating Prescott 71-70. The win lifts Central up to third place in the MBC standings at 2-2 while Prescott is now 2-3.

The offenses were on high alert in this game, with both teams firing up points. Prescott’s Parker Nielsen showed no ill effects from his recent injury, scoring a game-high 25 points.

Central was able to match that offensive firepower, led by senior Zac Jourdeans with 24 points.

“He played about as well as I’ve ever seen him play,” said Central coach Zach Turpin.

He wasn’t alone. Peyton Nogal finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Kelson Klin scored 15 points. Turpin said the team also got strong play from guards Austin Kopacz, Gabe Siler and Trevor Kopacz.

The game wasn’t decided until the final buzzer. The Panthers missed a free throw with 12 seconds left, then missed several shots off offensive rebounds. The Panthers were called for a foul with 1.2 seconds remaining, leading 71-69. Prescott made the first free throw but missed the second. The rebounded deflected out to Prescott’s Brian Tayson, but his open look at the buzzer bounded off the rim.

“We played extremely well. Our defense was good. They’ve got some kids who can score the ball,” Turpin said.

Somerset boys basketball

Ellsworth’s Logan Benson is a main candidate for the MBC Most Valuable Player and Somerset found out why on Tuesday. Benson led Ellsworth 19 points as Somerset fell to the Panthers, 60-41. Ellsworth is now 4-0 in the MBC while Somerset stands at 1-3.

While Benson is the conference’s leading scorer, Somerset coach Taylor Germain said that wasn’t where Benson had his biggest impact Tuesday.

“Defensively he gave us more problems than offensively,” Germain said. “Benson is a very talented defender. They have him camp out in the paint and they funnel everything to him and he’s a very good rim protector.”

Somerset took a 10-5 lead early in the game with Ty Madden and Will Piletich sinking early 3-point shots. That’s when Ellsworth shut down the Spartan scorers. Somerset trailed 26-16 at halftime and couldn’t make any inroads into that margin in the second half.

Mason Cook led the Spartans with 10 points. Madden finished with seven points and Piletich with seven points.

Germain said Ellsworth plays with a physical nature and the Spartans need to match teams that play with that approach.

“We didn’t match their energy and physicality,” Germain said. “We have to have that edge to us. If it isn’t there, it’s pretty evident.”

SCC girls basketball

The Panthers had a tough assignment on Tuesday, taking on Heart O’North Conference leader Bloomer on the Blackhawks’ court. The Panthers kept the game competitive through the first half, but Bloomer pulled away in the second half for a 49-18 win. Bloomer now stands at 10-1 while Central is 2-11.

Central coach Ty Ketz said the Panthers defended extremely well in the first half, keeping the margin at 17-9 at the halftime break.

“In the second half their defense took over, and they knocked down a ton of shots both from 3 and in the post,” Ketz said.

Kolbi Juen led the Panthers with nine points in the loss. Central plays next on Friday at Ellsworth.

Dave Newman

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 more than 30 years.

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