Jake Schultz and Joe Brown
BENSON - A three-run fifth inning lifted Benson to a comeback win over Montevideo on Monday. The Braves plated three on run-scoring doubles from Jared Knutson and Will Enderson and a Thunder Hawks' error. Matt Goossen got the win in relief of Knutson. Goossen allowed a hit in 2-1/3 scoreless innings. Montevideo's Matthew Fragodt had two hits and Noah Buseman drove in a first-inning run with a sacrifice fly. Benson plays at Minnewaska at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Benson 5, Montevideo 3 Montevideo 100 110 0-3 3 2
ALEXANDRIA — Willmar tennis added to their great start to the year Thursday with a pair of wins at the Alexandria Triangular Thursday afternoon. Willmar defeated Detroit Lakes 7-0 and earned a similarly impressive 6-1 win over their hosts. Willmar's singles players each finished with a pair of wins, all coming in straight sets and the doubles teams were equally impressive with five wins across the two matches. Ty Roelofs earned his first varsity win with a victory against Detroit Lakes at No. 3 doubles and Caleb Laurence working as his partner.
LITCHFIELD - Thursday afternoon was a fun day at the plate for the Litchfield Dragons who racked up 14 hits, six of which were doubles, in a 13-10 win against Mound Westonka at Optimist Park. The White Hawks got to pitcher Owen Boerema early, scoring three runs in the opening three innings but the Dragons bounced back with three runs of their own to tie it up and added four runs in the following inning to take a 7-3 lead.
COLD SPRING—Willmar won both the boys and girls sides of the Ed Babcock Invitational Tuesday afternoon at Rocori High School. Kirah Kessler-Gross and Erica Schramm were particularly impressive, winning a pair of events each. Kessler-Gross took home the best times in the 100 meter dash and the long jump while Schramm was first to finish in the 200 meter dash and the triple jump. Kessler-Gross also added a third place finish in the 200 and Schramm took second in the 400.
BENSON — New London-Spicer won both its matches at the Benson/KMS triangular meet on Tuesday. The Wildcats claimed 4-3 decisions over both Benson/KMS and Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd. In a third match, Benson/KMS defeated LQPV/DB 5-2. NLS' doubles teams did the heavy lifting against B/KMS, recording three of the Wildcats' four points. NLS won two singles points and two doubles points against LQPV/DB. The Wildcats' doubles teams of Wolzen Holland and Jaden Zylstra (No. 2) and Ander Arnold and Riley Pflipsen (No. 3) won both their matches.
SACRED HEART - The season is young but Renville County West looks like they have things figured out. The Jaguars won by the 10-run rule for the second day in a row, defeating Central Minnesota Christian 15-0 Tuesday. Just two games into the season, the Jaguars have 33 runs in the run column. RCW's pitching was equally strong thanks to a big outing from Tyler Froland who earned the win with four scoreless innings from the bump, 10 strikeouts and just two hits allowed. Brandon Hoberg ended the game with one inning of work and two strikeouts.
BUFFALO — Willmar pulled away in the second half after being deadlocked at halftime and defeated St. Cloud Apollo 54-44 in the Section 5AAA semifinals on Saturday. The Cardinals will play for a spot in the Class AAA state tournament against Becker at 7 p.m. Thursday in Buffalo. Willmar defeated Becker 69-63 in the season-opener on Nov. 27 in Becker. Against Apollo, Willmar's Madi Linbo scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds, and Carly Wedel notched a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds and she also had six steals.
NEW LONDON — The ball was magnetized to the net Tuesday night for New London-Spicer. That's how it felt, anyways. The Wildcats started Tuesday night's regular season home finale with an unconscious shooting streak and rolled on to win 68-41 against visiting Rockford. Ryan Wyganowski played a big role in the strong start as his Wildcats jumped out to a 13-0 start against the Rockets, who defeated NLS 69-66 back on Feb. 1. The senior guard knocked down five triples, scoring 17 points during senior night.
MARSHALL — Willmar couldn't keep pace with Marshall in the second half as the Tigers erased a seven-point halftime deficit and defeated the Cardinals 55-52 on Monday night. The Cardinals shot 45 percent overall from the field and held a 35-24 edge on the boards against the 21-5 Tigers. But Willmar managed just 2-of-16 shooting from 3-point range. Ty Roelofs paced the Cardinals with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Drey Dirksen had 16 points and five boards and Ryan Slette had 10 points and five rebounds. Willmar plays at St. Cloud Tech at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.
MONTEVIDEO — Montevideo and Paynesville combined for 90 first-half points but the defenses tightened up considerably after the break, with the Thunder Hawks limiting the Bulldogs to 13 second-half points in a 71-54 win in a Section 3AA-North opening-round game on Thursday. The Thunder Hawks moved on to play North No. 1-seed Eden Valley-Watkins at noon Saturday in Eden Valley. Montevideo led 49-41 at halftime but the teams rustled up a combined 35 points the rest of the way. The Thunder Hawks' Jasmyn Kronback scored a game-high 20 points and she also had nine rebounds.