WORTHINGTON -- Ridgewater captured the Minnesota State Community College Conference title, finished second in Region XIII and qualified all 10 of its wrestler for the nationals this past weekend. The top four at each weight in the State/Region qualifier advance to the NJCAA Division III national tournament Feb.
SARTELL -- Fergus Falls won four events and captured the Central Lakes Conference Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday. Fergus Falls had 412 points to 385 for runner-up Alexandria. Brainerd was third with 355 points and Willmar fourth with 250.5. The top three individuals and top two relays earn all-Central Lakes Conference. Fergus Falls was also given the Sportsmanship Award. Willmar had one first-place finish in the meet.
COON RAPIDS -- Despite cooling off in the second half, Ridgewater nearly upset Anoka-Ramsey. Anoka-Ramsey, rated No. 1 in the state and region and No. 6 in the nation, trailed 26-24 at halftime before taking over the lead early in the second half and never gave it back. "I thought we really played well," said Ridgewater coach Carrie Ogdahl. "We were down by 10 points in the second half and never gave up. Anoka's defense is and outstanding and guards stepped up and attacked it. Ridgewater shots 52 percent from the field in the first half, yet never went to the free-throw line.
Leese tip-in at buzzer lifts MACCRAY past Redwood CLARA CITY -- Matt Leese drew a charge late in the game and made a tip-in with three seconds left to help MACCRAY edge Redwood Valley 67-65 in a non-conference game Saturday. MACCRAY, which won its sixth straight game, got the ball with 27 seconds remaining after Leese drew a charge from Aaron Marks. The Wolverines ran over 20 seconds off the clock before getting a shot off, which fell short, but Leese was there to put back the miss.
SC Cathedral rallies past Monte, 65-63 ST. CLOUD -- Montevideo owned an eight-point lead at one point in the second half, but St. Cloud Cathedral battled back at the free-throw line to edge the Thunder Hawks 65-63 in a non-conference game Saturday at St. Cloud State University. Kara Nelson netted 22 points, including 15 in the second half, to pace Montevideo (11-9), but the Crusaders (11-13) was 24-for-30 at the free-throw line.
BRECKENRIDGE -- Wheaton/Herman-Norcross jumped out to an 18-0 lead and then held off Willmar 39-32 in the championship of the Cowboys Duals Saturday. Willmar topped Breckenridge 44-19 in the quarterfinals and then disposed of Chokio-Alberta/Clinton-Graceville 53-21 in the semifinals. Brandt Haglund at 130 pounds, Drew Larson at 145, Brandon Rieckman at 160-171 and Trent Molacek at 189 all went 3-0 for Willmar (15-11). In the championship match, Willmar won six of the last 10 matches to make it close.
ACGC stymies Waska for West Central title GLENWOOD -- Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City won the final five matches Saturday in the West Cental Conference championship, breaking a 20-20 tie and cruising to a 48-20 victory. ACGC (19-1) was representing the South half of the conference, while Minnewaska (12-8) was the North champion. ACGC bolted to a 15-0 lead on a decision by Michael Kramer at 103 pounds and pair of forfeits. Minnewaska then won five of the next six matches to knot the match. Jon Tatro had a technical fall at 125 for the Lakers.
The West Central Conference gymnastics meet will be held starting at 1 p.m. today in Morris. Melrose is the defending champion.
The puck will drop at 5 p.m. today at the Willmar Civic Center as the No. 4 seed Willmar Cardinals play host to No. 5 Benson/Morris Area in the quarterfinals of the Section 6A girls hockey tournament. MBA (8-10-3) had won five straight before losing its season finale to Sartell; Wilmar (8-16) had lost four straight before closing the regular season with a win at Little Falls. Willmar beat MBA 5-0 in the season opener at Benson.
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City is the only area team listed in the top 12 of any of the state's three wrestling classes. The Falcons are ranked No. 5 in Class A, according the bi-weekly poll compiled by The Guillotine, a statewide wrestling magazine. Seven other teams received votes: Willmar in Class AAA; Minnewaska, BOLD/Buffalo Lake-Hector, New London-Spicer and Litchfield in Class AA; and Yellow Medicine East and Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg in Class A.