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MINNEAPOLIS -- Litchfield sprinted out of the gates, but it was Glencoe-Silver Lake's patience that came out on top in the end Thursday at the Metrodome. The Dragons scored twice in a span of two-and-a-half minutes in the first quarter before Glencoe-Silver Lake literally ran down Litchfield for a second time this season, this time posting a 27-20 in the semifinals of the Class AAA State Tournament. The Panthers' powerful wishbone option offense was again the center of attention as GSL piled up 379 yards on the ground on 57 carries.
LITCHFIELD -- Dustin Celander admits he isn't the best fullback. But give him the ball near the goal line and he won't disappoint. The 5-foot-10, 205-pound Litchfield senior has piled up 17 touchdowns on the season with nine coming from the one-yard line. In all, Celander, who has rushed for 719 yards on 148 carries, has scored 14 times from inside the 10-yard line. "It's because the other guys are making plays before I get the ball near the end zone," said Celander, who has at least one touchdown in the last seven games.
ST. PAUL -- Montevideo coach Joanna Naumann expected Pipestone to come out firing right away. She didn't expect, though, that her team would play probably its worst match of the year. Pipestone established its five-pronged attack from the beginning and never let up en route to beating Montevideo 25-11, 25-11, 18-25, 25-18 in the quarterfinals of the Class AA State Tournament Thursday at Xcel Energy Center. Behind the trio of senior Beth Tinklenberg and juniors Nicole Buysse and Faith Tinklenberg that combined for 12 kills in the first game, Pipestone (22-8) seemed poised to post a sweep.
ST. PAUL -- The Bluejays of Central Minnesota Christian said they didn't play their best match of the season Thursday. Looking at the statistics from their win over Bertha-Hewitt in quarterfinals of the Class A State Tournament it wouldn't look that way, but if they can "pull it together" today, they could hand Minneota its first loss. Senior all-around specialist Kresson Vreeman led a group of three players that had 10-or-more kills and junior Cassie Ulferts had four ace serves to help CMCS post a 25-20, 25-20, 21-25, 25-21 win that moves the Bluejays into the semifinals. Today's 1 p.m.
With last year's finalists (Lake of the Woods and Stewartville) meeting in the first round, two 30-1 teams (Jordan and St. Cloud Cathedral) squaring off in another quarterfinal match and a team riding a 24-match winning streak, this year's Class AA State Volleyball Tournament field is one of the strongest in recent memory. Montevideo, which hasn't lost since Sept. 9, should be considered a contender for the title even though the Thunder Hawks (26-2) are making their first-ever appearance at state. The first test for the Section 6AA champion is today at 5 p.m.
Six area football teams remain in contention for a berth in the state tournament. Two games are slated for today: Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City plays Eden Valley-Watkins in the Section 5AA championship at 7 p.m. at St. Cloud State University and Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg plays Wabasso at 3 p.m. in the Section 5A championship at the Fargodome in Fargo, N.D. On Friday, New London-Spicer and Litchfield square off in the Section 6AAA title tilt at 5 p.m. at St. Cloud State. MACCRAY and Morris will meet for the Section 5AA championship at 5:30 p.m. at the Fargodome.
NEW LONDON - By inserting two new offensive sets into its game-plan Saturday, New London-Spicer scored 45 more points than its first meeting of the season with Staples-Motley. The outburst allow-ed senior quarterback Austen Had-ley and the Wildcats to gain 460 yards of offense and earn a 53-30 win that moved the Wildcats into the Section 6AAA championship. The Wildcats (8-2) will now square off against top-seeded Litchfield (9-1) at 5 p.m. Friday at St.
CLARA CITY -- A glance at MACCRAY's girls tennis schedule shows that the Wolverines play Benson, Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd, Montevideo, Morris and Yellow Medicine East -- the five schools that make up the South half of the West Central Conference. But instead of participating in the conference close to home, the Wolverines are in the Southwest Conference. "I bet if you would ask the other coaches in the conference they would think that it would be a good deal if they joined," said YME coach Steve Barber.
WILLMAR -- Losing its third straight match Tuesday proved to be painful in more than one way for Willmar. After Sartell had its way with Willmar in the first game the Cardinals won the next two games, but it was loss of junior outside hitter Jamie Wilson to a knee injury that hurt Willmar the most as Sartell rallied to win a key Central Lakes Conference match 25-16, 18-25, 22-25, 25-9, 15-12. Wilson's right knee gave out in the middle of the opening game and the early prognosis is that she may have torn her ACL for the third time in her young career and would then likely be lost for the seas
Although Minnewaska and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa didn't play in front a national audience, the two teams still got to experience 'Monday Night Football' in a way they probably never imagined. Minnewaska was to play Melrose on Friday, but as the opening kickoff approached, numerous lightning strikes in the area postponed the West Central North Conference tilt. BBE nearly got one half in against Central Minnesota Conference rival Maple Lake before officials called the game. Both contests were then moved to Monday, a day normally reserved for cross country, soccer, tennis and volleyball.