Don't let the weather outside betray you: the winter season is in full swing and, as always, the sports guys from the West Central Tribune need your help. Help decide what event to cover this Friday by voting in the poll. If you like variety, this is your type of week. We have gymnastics, basketball and hockey to choose from, and it's up to you.
BECKER - The Willmar gymnastics team came away with a first-place finish at the eight-team Becker Invite on Saturday. The Cardinals scored 142.30 points, besting second-place Farmington at 139.30 points. Willmar's Jolissa Lara won the vault with a 9.6, Lydia Morrell was second on the bars and Presleigh Schrupp placed third. Tayva Carruthers tied for second on the beam, and Kira Kessler-Gross third in the floor exercise. Becker Invite
Three Tribune area players and Benson's head coach will compete in the 45th annual Minnesota Football Showcase on Saturday. Benson's Scott Gonnerman is head coach of the North team, which plays the South squad at 3 p.m. Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Willmar's Cameron Murphy will wear jersey number 68 and play center for the North team, and Litchfield's Kal Jackman will wear number 53 and play defensive end for the North team. The South team features BOLD's Austin Einerson, who will wear number 20 and play defensive end.
With the return of winter sports season, Tribune Sports is bringing back the WCT Game of the Week. Cast your vote in the West Central Tribune Sports' Game of the Week! Each of this week's nominated games will take place on Friday night. Voting closes at 11:59 P.M. CST on Thursday.
Prep basketball season is officially underway with girls teams opening their seasons on Tuesday. Curt and Jake take a look at what may lie ahead in the 2017-18 campaign, revealing the Tribune's first Top Six rankings of local girls basketball teams.
LITCHFIELD - Cole Eiden, Trent Raisanen and Jake Johnson scored three-straight second period goal in a span of about 90 seconds as Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato downed Windom 3-1 on Saturday at the Litchfield Civic Arena. Eiden scored unassisted, as did Raisanen with a short-handed tally. Johnson scored on assists from Blake Johnson and Brandt Pederson. The L/DC defense allowed Windom just 13 shots and goalie Darby Halonen stopped 12 of them. L/DC 3, Windom 1 Windom 0 1 0 — 1 Litchfield/DC 0 3 0 — 3
WILLMAR—Willmar's Cameron Pries scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and the WarHawks held off Wisconsin the rest of the way for a 5-3 win on Saturday in an NA3HL game at the Willmar Civic Center. The WarHawks improved to 10-6-1 and, with 21 points, trails West Division leader Granite City by three points. Willmar plays at Alexandria on Wednesday and at New Ulm on Friday before returning home to take on Alexandria on Saturday at the Civic Center.
MINNEAPOLIS — Prep football championship game pairings are set in four of seven classes after Friday's Minnesota State Football Tournament games at U.S. Bank Stadium. In Class AA, Pipestone (12-1) defeated Moose Lake-Willow River 28-6 to advance to play in the 2017 Prep Bowl against Caledonia (12-0) at 1 p.m., Nov. 24. Caledonia advanced to the title game with a 49-16 win over Paynesville on Thursday.
MINNEAPOLIS — Willmar's 200 freestyle relay team placed 12th in preliminaries on Friday at the Class A Minnesota State Swimming and Diving Meet at the University of Minnesota's Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center. The team of senior Moira Revier, freshmen Avery Welsh and Edyn Saulsbury and junior Amanda Mathiasen finished in 1:40.63, which was two-tenths of a second better than their seeding time. The four racers are among eight teams that will compete for a consolation championship when the meet resumes at noon today.
Willmar soccer team senior defenseman Gerson Maldonado-Garcia capped a stellar prep career playing in the Senior Classic All-Star Game last week at North St. Paul High School. Maldonado-Garcia's Class A team fell 1-0 to the Class AA team on a penalty shot. Maldonado-Garcia ended his prep career as one of only five Mr. Soccer nominees in Minnesota. He also was a first-team All-State selection and he helped Willmar win its first Central Lakes Conference championship.