Three boys basketball teams and one girls team from the area are ranked in the current Minnesota Basketball News state polls. Montevideo (14-1), which debut at No. 10 in Class AA last week, moved up to No. 5 while Redwood Valley (15-1) remained at No. 8. In Class AAA, Willmar (14-3) moved up two spots to No. 7. The area's only girls team, Hancock (17-1), remained No. 5 in Class A.
The Willmar Cardinals girls' basketball team plays at Brainerd tonight in a Central Lakes Conference game. The Cardinals (6-6, 9-9) are coming off an impressive 61-35 win over Little Falls Monday night in which Brad Atchison became only the fourth girls basketball coach in the state to record 500-or-more wins. Brainerd (7-4, 10-6), tied for second in the conference, beat Willmar 60-56 in overtime in the first meeting Dec. 9 in Willmar.
The Willmar Cardinals will host Brainerd in a Central Lakes Conference swimming and diving dual meet beginning at 6 p.m. today.
BOYS BASKETBALL CAMDEN NORTH Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg vs. Central Minnesota Christian at Prinsburg, 7:30 p.m. MACCRAY at Dawson-Boyd, 7:30 p.m. Renville County West vs. Lakeview at Cottonwood, 7:30 p.m. WRIGHT COUNTY Litchifeld at Orono, 7:30 p.m. NON-CONFERENCE Benson at Ortonville, 7:30 p.m. Hancock at Osakis, 7:30 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL CENTRAL LAKES Willmar at Brainerd, 7:30 p.m. Sauk Rapids at Alexandria, 7:30 p.m. Rocori at Fergus Falls, 7:30 p.m. Sartell at Little Falls, 7:30 p.m. St. Cloud Apollo at St.
NEW LONDON -- Brothers Nathan Nietfeld and Cory Nietfeld combined to score 50 points to help Paynesville take over first place in the West Central North Conference as the Bulldogs upended New London-Spicer 71-56 Tuesday. Paynesville, New London-Spicer and Melrose all have just two losses in the conference, but Paynesville has eight wins to seven for Melrose and six for NLS. The Wildcats led Paynesville for about the first seven minutes, but the Bulldogs fought back and led for the remainder of the game.
MORRIS -- Morris' balanced scoring attack and a great defensive effort led to a 61-45 win over Benson in West Central South Conference boys basketball play Tuesday. Morris avenged a 62-48 loss to Benson on Dec. 12 in Morris. Taylor Witt paced the Tigers (4-3, 7-8) with 15 points and six other players had at least six points. Craig Knochenmus recorded nine points and nine rebounds. Morris' defense held Daniel Fragodt, the area's leading scorer, to 11 points. Jesse Holm led the Braves (4-4, 9-8) with 24 points and six rebounds.
The Ridgewater Warriors wrestling team will host Ellsworth (Iowa) in a junior college dual meet at 7 p.m. tonight. This will be the Warriors' final home meet of the season.
Freshman Danielle Erickson placed 15th at the Central Lakes Nordic Skiing Championships to lead the Willmar girls and receive CLC Performance of the Week honors in her sport. The first-year skier has emerged as the No. 1 skier on the team.
The Willmar Cardettes finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the Jazz/Funk and Precision High Kick divisions at the Central Lakes Conference danceline meet Saturday in Alexandria. Brainerd and St. Cloud Tech were the overall co-champions. The Cardettes JV team took first overall. Willmar's Kindra Seifert earned all-conference honors in both Jazz/Funk and High Kick. Alexis Laughlin was also named in High Kick, and Haylee Thompson and Caitlin Johnson in Jazz/Funk. Willmar will compete in the Section 3AA meet Saturday at Sauk Rapids.