Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.
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MAKATO - ACGC made a spirited run in the Section 2A baseball tournament but the Falcons' season came to an end with a 10-2 loss to Martin Luther/GHEC/Truman in the section championship game on Thursday at Franklin Rogers Park. The Falcons, who made their way to the title game through the losers bracket, would have had to win twice over ML/GHEC/T to advance to the Class A state tournament. They finished the season 16-10.
WILLMAR - The Willmar Legion kicked of its 2017 season with solid performances at the plate and on the mound in an 11-3 victory over Granite Falls on Wednesday at Bill Taunton Stadium. Post 167 ripped 11 hits off three Post 69 pitchers and rang up seven runs in the first two innings. Noah Vreeman and Tyler Johnson both had two hits and drove in two runs and Brayden Sunder had two hits, drove in a run and scored three runs. Sam Vreeman, Caleb Ditmarson, Garrit Kooistra and Avery Smith all had hits and drove in runs.
SAUK RAPIDS — The Willmar boys and girls track and field teams qualified for the state meet in 10 events and four girls athletes earned championships at the Section 8AA meet Saturday at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School. The Willmar girls team placed second behind defending section champion Alexandria, and the Cardinals boys team placed 10th. The Sartell boys team won the 8AA championship, just 0.5 points ahead of second-place Rocori. The Minnesota State Track and Field Championships are Friday and Saturday at Hamline University in St. Paul.
ST. JOSEPH - Litchfield tennis player Josh Prahl, the Section 6A overall No. 1 singles seed, advanced to the section's individual semifinals with two victories on Wednesday at the College of St. Benedict. The tournament resumes Tuesday with semifinals matches at CSB. Prahl defeated Benson's Taylor Duncan 6-0, 6-0 and also defeated Foley's Tanner Tschumpert 6-0, 6-1.
BIRD ISLAND - BOLD's offensive firepower was on full display against Montevideo on Tuesday. The Warriors pounded 15 hits off three Thunder Hawks pitchers in a 17-7, five-inning win at Lions Memorial Park. Montevideo took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first but it was all BOLD after that. The Warriors scored four runs in the bottom of the inning, three more in the second and four in the third to take a 11-2 lead.
STILLWATER - The Willmar boys track and field team repeated as Minnesota State True Team Class AA champions and the Cardinals girls were Class AA runners-up for a second straight year during a cold, wet and windy Saturday at Stillwater High School. The Willmar boys scored 438 points to edge Mankato East by 22 points. The Willmar girls finished with 456 points. Rocori won with 479. The Cardinals boys team defended their title, despite losing several key competitors in almost every event, said Willmar head coach Jerry Popp.
While anglers undoubtedly remember fishing openers past marked by snow, sleet and freezing temperatures, they will fondly recall Saturday for just the opposite reasons. Sun-dappled waters and mid-summer temperatures greeted anglers who shoved off for Minnesota's 2017 opener on area lakes. Kandiyohi County-area anglers donned sunscreen, not thermal underwear, to gear up on Saturday and their luck was just as good with the fish as it was with the forecast.
THIEF RIVER FALLS - The Ridgewater baseball team swept two games from Northland College on Friday in a doubleheader that was originally scheduled in Willmar but was moved to Thief River Falls because of the threat of rainy weather. The Warriors' rode Miguel Cirino's strong pitching performance and Noah Harried's four runs batted in to win 12-1 in the second game. In the first game, Noah Lantern and Colton Blain combined to allow four hits in a 3-1 win. Joseann Rios doubled and drove in two runs, Kenneth Cruz was 2-for-3 and Winston Lane also drove in a run.
ST. PAUL - The Central Minnesota Christian School rebounded from a crushing defeat to down Lake Park-Audubon 68-49 in the Class A consolation semifinals at the Minnesota State Boys Basketball Tournament on Friday at Concordia-St. Paul's Gangelhoff Center.
The Central Minnesota Christian School rebounded from a crushing defeat to down Lake Park-Audubon 68-49 in the Class A consolation semifinals on Friday