HUTCHINSON — Four Willmar Cardinals earned spots in the Minnesota State Swimming and Diving Meet in five events on Saturday in the Section 3A championships. Willmar's Garrett Shuldes also earned a section championship, winning the 50 freestyle. The top three swimmers and relay teams, the top four divers and competitors who qualify by time advance to the state meet, which is Thursday through Saturday at the University of Minnesota's Aquatics Center in Minneapolis. Sauk Rapids won the section meet with 410 points and Willmar placed fifth with 237 points.
MINNEAPOLIS - Willmar's Erica Schramm placed 16th and New London-Spicer's Courtney Henjum took 19th in the All-Around on Saturday at the Class A Minnesota State Gymnastics Meet at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion. Schramm also competed individually in the vault, bars and beam, Henjum competed in the bars and Willmar's Olivia Welsh competed on the beam and the Cards' Abigail Coquyt and Bronwyn Tollefson competed in the floor exercise. In the All-Around, Henjum scored 36.4750 and Henjum scored 36.2875. Mahtomedi's Kasey Lenarz won the All-Around with a 38.62250.
WATERTOWN—New London-Spicer bounced back from a tough loss on Thursday for a 70-69 upset win over No. 10 Watertown-Mayer on Friday. The Wildcats trailed by seven at halftime but battled down the stretch to keep the game close. They trailed by four with 40 seconds to go but a Mitch Halvorson 3-pointer cut the lead to one. Halvorson kept the hot hand as well, hitting the game-winner from 15 feet out with 5.9 seconds remaining. Watertown-Mayer gave it one last heave but couldn't convert.
MARSHALL - Logan Tomasek scored a first-period goal and it stood up as Marshall defeated Willmar 1-0 in the Section 3A tournament on Thursday at Red Baron Arena. Tomasek scored at 8:10 of the first on an assist from Mason Plante. Goalie Trey Nelson and the Tigers' defense limited Willmar to 14 shots. "It was a great hockey game," said Willmar head coach Jamie Hagen. "It was back and forth all night. We had great chances—we had a puck on the goal line and we couldn't tap it in. But we gave them everything they wanted and more."
As the boys basketball season nears the postseason, Central Minnesota Christian and Russell-Tyler-Ruthton are set to meet in the Camden Conference Championship Feb. 27. The Bluejays won the previous meeting 55-45 Jan. 20. Curt and Jake also talk about Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg and Willmar wrestling teams advancing to state.
It has been 37 years ago today when the 1980 Olympic hockey team defeated Russia in the "Miracle On Ice" game. The USA team’s winning goalie, Jim Craig, shared a reminder tweet Wednesday morning noting the game anniversary.
WILLMAR — The Ridgewater men's basketball team cranked it up on both ends of the floor in the second half and defeated Western Wisconsin Tech 87-63 on Wednesday night at Ridgewater College. The teams were tied at halftime but the Warriors scored 50 second-half points, almost doubling up on the Cavaliers after the break. Ridgewater shot 40 percent from the field, WWT essentially matched that and the teams headed to their locker rooms tied at 37.
WILLMAR — Litchfield native and University of Minnesota outfielder Eddie Estrada is one of five Stingers from the 2016 team who will be back with the team this summer. Estrada will be joined on the 2017 roster by Quincy McAfee of Pepperdine University, Luke Becker of the University of Kentucky, Jake Rothwell of Daytona State College and Corey Binger of the University of Nebraska-Omaha. The five are the first official player signings for the 2017 season, the organization's eighth in the Northwoods League.
Girls basketball is hitting the postseason after Lac qui Parle Valley defeated Tracy-Milroy-Balaton for the Camden Conference Championship on Monday. The Eagles are the area headliners in a difficult Section 3A. They enter as the No. 2 seed in the Section 3A-North behind top-seeded Canby. Curt and Jake also talk about Section 3AA with New London-Spicer leading the charge.
ALEXANDRIA - The Willmar girls basketball team entered Tuesday night's game on a seven-game winning streak and with a chance to prove its mettle against Alexandria, one of the top teams in the state. Willmar won the battle of the Cardinals, proving themselves to the area as serious contenders in what head coach Dustin Carlson called a "program-defining win" with a 40-33 upset of fourth-ranked Alexandria.