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.
Six Willmar swimmers and divers will compete in the Class A Minnesota State Swimming and Diving Meet beginning today at the University of Minnesota's Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center in Minneapolis. Junior Erica Schramm and senior Olivia Welsh compete in diving preliminaries at noon today. The pair finished 1-2 in the Section 3A championships last weekend, and Schramm is ranked No. 25 and Welsh is No. 26 in the Class A field.
Following a 58-33 win over Barnesville in a Class AA state quarterfinal, Paynesville is onto the semifinals of the Prep Bowl Playoffs. Awaiting the Bulldogs at U.S. Bank Stadium is Caledonia, winners of 39 consecutive games and the last two Class AA state titles. Curt and Jake break down what you can expect to see when the game kicks off at 2 p.m on Thursday.
WILLMAR — Two Willmar divers and a Cardinals relay team earned spots in the Minnesota State Swimming and Diving Meet at the Section 3A Championships Saturday at the Willmar High School pool. Willmar divers Erica Schramm won a section championship and Cards diver Olivia Welsh placed second, and the Cardinals' 200 freestyle relay team swam a qualifying time to earn spots in the state meet Nov. 16-18 at the University of Minnesota's Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center in Minneapolis.
BREEZY POINT - Five Willmar WarHawks scored goals and goalie Luke Fry turned away 39 of 41 Breezy Point shots in a 5-2 win on Friday at the Breezy Point Hockey Center. Brandon Holt, Jordan Cooper, Max Oelkers, Andrew Gilbert and Braden Shea scored WarHawks' goals, and Shea and Oelkers also had two assists. Willmar built a 3-0 lead through two periods and the WarHawks scored two power play goals to counter both Breezy Point goals in the third period. Willmar and Breezy Point square off again at 7:30 p.m. today in Breezy Point.