Townswick set to join Willmar basketball elite
Kyle Townswick, Willmar's 5-7 senior guard, is within one good half of basketball of reaching 1,000 career points. He'll become the 10th boy in over 100 years of Cardinal basketball to reach the milestone and the 18th overall, counting eight girl...
Kyle Townswick, Willmar's 5-7 senior guard, is within one good half of basketball of reaching 1,000 career points. He'll become the 10th boy in over 100 years of Cardinal basketball to reach the milestone and the 18th overall, counting eight girls on the list.
Willmar's first hoop star to reach the 1,000-point level was Bob Anderstrom. He was the go-to junior forward on the 1954 Cardinal team that finished 25-1, its only loss in the first round of the state tournament. He's second on the boys' all-time list at Willmar High school with 1,364 points.
At the top of the list is Paul VanDenEinde (1983) at 1,415 points. The seven-footer was recruited to play at Minnesota where he saw limited duty.
VanDenEinde transferred to Northeastern Oklahoma, where he enjoyed a successful career. VanDenEindes are in three of the top five spots on the boys' list. Paul's brother Jeff ('86) is fifth with 1,188 points and father Marlin ('57) is fourth in 1,270. The VanDenEinde blood is still in the program; Marlin's granddaughter, Mariel Aamot, is a freshman reserve on girls varsity.
Laura Nielsen ('06) leads the Cardinals' all-time list with 1,628 points.
Townswick needs 13 points on his own floor tonight against Alexandria to reach the magic number. He won't be the only 1,000 pointer walking the halls of the senior high school. Principal Rob Anderson finished his high school career at Renville in 1967 with 1,095 points.
Scion of a scorer
If you were tuned into the Jan. 13 NFC Divisional Playoff game at New Orleans, you may have glimpsed at the presentation of the NFL Pepsi Punt, Pass & Kick championship trophies.
The age 8-9 girls winner wearing the Minnesota Vikings colors was Sydney Palmer of Pierre, S.D.
Sydney, 9, is the daughter of the former Jeni Peterson, a 1986 Willmar graduate and 1,000-point scorer, and Clara City native Todd Palmer. The Pierre fourth grader was one of 32 finalists in eight divisions from a contest that attracts about four million entries to 6,000 local competitions each year.
Sydney's grandparents are Lynn, the former Willmar girls basketball coach, and Dianne Peterson, and Louene and the late Ron Palmer of Clara City.
Scott Thompson, a Class AA state champion for Benson in 2005, will take a redshirt season at Ridgewater College. After a reserve role as a freshman, Thompson was looking to step in at 157 pounds this season. But about Dec. 1 he was sidelined by an infection in his left forearm. There was no surface wound but the arm reddened and ballooned. He landed in the hospital, the pain so intense he was on morphine for four days.
He spent six days at Rice Hospital. The festering arm was opened, drained and cleaned several times. It looked like the streptococcus bacteria had been conquered. But just when he was ready to resume competition after Christmas the same infection developed on the top of his left hand. It, too, had to be opened and drained.
"I'm coming back next year and wrestling," he said. "I want to be a special education teacher. I'll take education classes here through Southwest (Minnesota) State," he said.
Thompson had a Group A Streptococcus infection, he was told. When head coach Jesse Nelson saw Thompson's red, swollen forearm, he was alarmed.
"It happened to my dad," said Nelson, a native of St. James. "Out of nowhere, Dad's thumb swelled to the size of a baseball. He needed surgery."
Strep A is treated with antibiotics and in serious cases, like Thompson's, infected tissue must be removed from the interior wound. Popularized in the media as a "flesh-eating bacteria" these microbes actually release toxins that kill skin and muscle.
On the fly
n Sam Sussenguth, ('05) is third on Willmar's list with 1,282 points. He had a career-high nine rebounds to go with seven points on Jan. 16 as the North Dakota State beat University of Mary of Bismarck 88-47 at Fargo.
n Bonnie Henrickson ('81), the first girls at Willmar to score 1,000 points, is facing an uphill trail on the Big 12 Conference trail. The Kansas head coach has seven freshmen and three sophomores on the 14-player roster. On Wednesday, the Jayhawks took their 0-5 league mark to Kansas State in Manhattan for the Sunflower Showdown. KU has lost 13 straight to their intrastate rival.