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Prep notebook: Tigers to face top-ranked Melrose twice in two weeks

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West Central Tribune
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Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

The West Central North Conference boys basketball race could be decided in the next week.

Morris/Chokio-Alberta travels to play Class AA’s top-ranked team, Melrose, on Friday. Less than a week later, the two teams play again in Morris.

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Morris/CA is 10-1 in the conference and 15-3 overall. For some reason, the Tigers are not among Class AA’s top 10, even though the rankings include two five-loss teams and two four-loss teams. Two of the Tigers’ three losses this year have come against 12-4 Sauk Centre and 18-1 BBE.

Melrose is 8-0 in the WCN and 18-1 overall. Their lone loss was an overtime defeat at Litchfield early this season.

After Friday’s game, the Tigers play host to Alexandria — which is coached by former Morris star Forrest Witt — then take on the Dutchmen on Feb. 14.

Camden rivals meet today

Camden Conference rivals Dawson-Boyd and MACCRAY square off tonight in Dawson.

The Blackjacks are 10-2 in the conference and 15-3 overall while the Wolverines are 8-3 in the league and 14-5 overall.

Dawson-Boyd won this season’s first meeting, 63-51, on Dec. 11. Last year, the Blackjacks won two of three against MACCRAY, winning at home, losing in Clara City and then downing the Wolverines in the Section 3A semifinals.

NLS faces

tough finale

The New London-Spicer wrestling team will get quite a warm-up for the postseason tonight when the Wildcats travel to take on top-ranked Jackson County Central.

The Wildcats finished last season against the three-time defending state champs, losing 40-22 in New London. NLS followed up that match with wins over Albany and Becker in the Section 6AA tournament before ending its season in a 39-14 loss to Foley.

Wrestling rankings

The Willmar wrestling team received votes in the latest Class AAA poll from The Guillotine. The top three teams are St. Michael-Albertville, Apple Valley and Prior Lake.

The Cardinals’ Nate Mittag is ranked ninth in the state at 126 pounds, Austin Miley is seventh at 132 pounds, Colten Carlson is eighth at 152 pounds and Cass Herzog is seventh at 285.

In Class AA, New London-Spicer is ranked No. 9 and Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley received votes. The top three teams are Kasson-Mantorville, Simley and Foley.

NLS’ Jakob Stageberg is ranked fourth at 113 pounds, Oden Rogers is ninth at 120, Garth Ochsendorf of DB/LQPV is seventh at 160 pounds, teammate Jordan Staab is ninth at 182 pounds, J.D. Stuxness is ranked No. 2 at 220 pounds and Brandon Schmitt is No. 2 at 285.

Two area teams are among the top 12 in Class A and a third team received votes.

ACGC is ranked No. 2 behind three-time defending state champion Jackson County Central and KMS is ranked No. 5. BBE received votes. Frazee is No. 3.

BBE’s Josey Tensen is seventh at 106 pounds while teammates Tyler Tensen is sixth at 120 and Patrick Rooney is second at 182.

KMS’ Cody Peters is third at 126 pounds, Zach Carlson is second at 152, Jordan Rothers is second at 170, Jorge Munoz-Peterson is seventh at 195 and Chase Norton is ninth at 220 pounds.

ACGC has a pair of top-ranked wrestlers — Logan Peterson at 138 and Larry Bomstad at 145. The Falcon’s Lee Whitcomb is No. 10 at 152 pounds, Maverick Whitcomb is fourth at 170 pounds and Lucas Damm is sixth at 220 pounds.

Minnewaska’s Ryan Stottler is seventh at 160 pounds and teammate Bradley Jacobs is No. 10 at 195 pounds.

Benson’s Tyler Jensen is ranked No. 4 at 285 pounds.

The Guillotine’s new rankings will be released Friday.

3AA tournament begins Tuesday

The Section 3AA tournament pairings were released Wednesday. In the North, top-seed Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley and No. 2 Marshall get byes.

No. 4-seed Morris Area/Hancock/Chokio-Alberta takes on No. 5 Montevideo on Tuesday in Dawson. No. 3 Quad County wrestles No. 6 Redwood Valley/Cedar Mountain on Tuesday, also in Dawson. Both matches begin at 6 p.m.

The MAHACA winner faces DB/LQPV and the Quad County-RV/CM winner gets Marshall, with both matches scheduled for at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday in Dawson.

Adrian is the South’s No. 1 seed and Luverne is No. 2.

Home win

streak correction

The BBE boys basketball team will have to collect a few more home wins than it might have thought to challenge the state’s longest home winning streak.

The Minnesota State High School League’s records list Esko as building the longest streak at 56 games from 1973 to 1979. BBE’s streak currently is 53 home wins.

However, an area hoops researcher reported Wednesday that Maranatha Christian actually holds the record with 60 home wins, a streak that was broken in 2009.

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Tom Larson

Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.

(320) 214-4372
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