The Willmar and MACCRAY girls' basketball teams will be playing for section championships today. Willmar (22-4) faces Central Lakes Conference foe Fergus Falls (20-4) at 7 p.m. today at Minnesota State-Moorhead in the Section 8AAA final. MACCRAY (20-6) faces St. James (19-6) in the Section 3AA championship at 5 p.m. at Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall.
MORRIS -- Montevideo and Benson, the top two seeds, respectively, in Section 3AA-North, will meet for the third time this season in Saturday's final after each won semifinal games Thursday. The Thunder Hawks flew by Yellow Medicine East in a high-scoring affair, 89-77, while the Braves made a six-point halftime lead stick and beat MACCRAY 68-62. Montevideo (22-3) edged Benson (20-4) by two points in both meetings this year, 74-72 on Jan. 13 in Benson and 59-57 on Feb. 17 in Montevideo. The game is schedule for 2:30 p.m.
WILLMAR -- When Willmar hosted Fergus Falls on Dec. 16, the Cardinals fell 42-37. When the teams met again in the second round of the Central Lakes Conference, Willmar prevailed on Fergus Falls' home court, 45-43 in overtime. The third round today will be at Minnesota State University, Moorhead. So what had Willmar coach Brad Atchison learned from the first two meetings? "It won't be easy," he laughed. "We're both defensive-minded teams who play tough man-to-man.
DALLAS (AP) -- The Pacific Division-leading Dallas Stars bolstered their defense for the stretch run Thursday by acquiring defenseman Willie Mitchell from the Minnesota Wild. The 6-3, 205-pound Mitchell helped Minnesota reach the Western Conference finals in 2003, leading the club in plus-minus rating and ice time. In return, the Stars sent defensemen Martin Skoula and Shawn Belle and a second-round pick in next year's draft to the Wild. "Willie is a veteran player who upgrades the depth of our defensive corps," Stars general manager Doug Armstrong said.
Girls Basketball Section 3AA FINAL TODAY at SW Minnesota State, Marshall MACCRAY vs. St. James, 5 p.m. Section 8AAA FINAL TODAY at MSU-Moorhead Fergus Falls vs. Willmar, 7 p.m.
Boys Basketball Section 8AAA Willmar 68, Litchfield 45 Section 5AA-North NL-Spicer 91, Kimball 40 Section 3AA-North Benson 68, MACCRAY 62 Section 5A-South KMS 55, Wheaton/HN 50 Section 5AA-North Maple Lake 79, BBE 75 Paynesville 65, HLWW 54 Section 6AA-North Minnewaska 73, Pillager 60
Boys Basketball Section 3A-North SEMIFINALS TODAY at Southwest Minnesota State, Marshall RTR vs. Central Minnesota Christian, 6 p.m. Lake Benton vs. Lakeview, 7:30 p.m. Section 5A-South SEMIFINALS TODAY at Sauk Centre Osakis vs. St. John's Prep, 6 p.m. at Morris Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg vs. Wheaton/Herman-Norcross, 7:30 p.m. Section 5A-West SEMIFINALS TODAY at Morris Clinton-Graceville/Beardsley vs. Chokio-Alberta, 6 p.m. at Sauk Centre Swanville vs. Royalton, 7:30 p.m. Section 3AA-South SEMIFINALS TODAY at Luverne Luverne vs. Redwood Valley, 6 p.m. Windom vs.
The Ridgewater Lady Warriors softball team heads to West Palm Beach, Fla., on Thursday for a week of games and scrimmages at the Papa John's Palm Beach Challenge. Laura Suter returns to pitch with Angie Flaten, a newcomer from Greenbush-Middle River. Julie Vosejpka and Suzie Zander are returning all-region choices for coach Todd Thorstad. Defensive MVP Mallory Peterson of Willmar is also back, but catcher Jenny Cunningham will miss the trip because she is going to New York next week with the basketball team for the national tournament.
Ashley Cronen, a Willmar High School graduate, and Tanner Miest, a New London-Spicer grad, took all-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors at the MIAC Indoor Track Championships last weekend. Cronen, a senior at Gustavus Adolphus, was part of the winning women's medley relay team. They set a meet and track record of 12:29.76. Miest, a junior at Gustavus, took second in the 55-meter hurdles and posted an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 7.74 seconds. The top three individuals and winning relay were all-conference.
Alison Adamson, a graduate from Willmar playing for Augustana, was named to her second consecutive all-North Central Conference women's basketball team Tuesday. Katie Winkelman, a Morris graduate playing for Minnesota-Duluth, was named to the squad for the first time. Adamson, a junior guard, averaged 13.1 points-per-game in conference play. Winkelman, a junior forward/center, averaged 19.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. In the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, senior center Aaron Busack (Redwood Valley), was named to the conference's first team.