ST. PETER—The Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato boys hockey team is back in the Minnesota State Hockey Tournament after a 4-1 win over Luverne on Wednesday in the Section 2A championship game at the Lund Center on the Gustavus Adolphus campus. Orrin Grangoth's goal 44 seconds into the third period proved to be the game-winner. LDC goalie Darby Halonen stopped 35 of the 26 shots he faced. LDC will make its fourth Class A state appearance when the tournament commences on March 7 at 11 a.m. at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
OLIVIA — Makenna Steffel picked up in the playoffs right where she left off in the regular season, posting a double-double and leading BOLD to a 68-41 win over New Ulm Cathedral in the Warriors' Section 2A opener on Tuesday. Steffel had 24 points, 16 rebounds and six steals, all tops for the Warriors. Taylor Sagedahl had 12 points, three assists and three steals, Ashley Trongard had seven points and 12 boards, Brenna Weis scored 10 points and Makayla Snow had 12 rebounds.
ONAMIA — The KMS girls basketball team opened the Section 5A tournament with a 55-38 play-in victory over Onamia on Monday. Katie Krieger led Saints with 24 points and she also had seven rebounds and seven steals. Mallory Rudningen had 12 points, Madison Rohner had eight points and eight rebounds and Morgan Lesteberg had five points and nine rebounds. South No. 9-seed KMS plays top-seed BBE at 7 p.m. Thursday in Belgrade. Section 5A KMS 55, Onamia 38 KMS (7-20) 16 39 — 55
BRAINERD — Brainerd hung tough through the first half but Willmar upped its game in the second half and downed the Warriors 66-54 in a Central Lakes Conference game on Friday. Willmar improved to 23-2 and the Cardinals wrap up the regular season against Alexandria on Friday at Willmar High School. The Cardinals' Noah Slagter scored a game-high 26 points and Ryan Slette had 11 points and seven rebounds. Drey Dirksen scored 10 points and Cameron Murphy and Ty Roelofs both scored five points. Roelofs also had five rebounds and Murphy pulled down four boards.
LUVERNE—Top-seed Luverne played the part, blanking Willmar 6-0 in the Section 3A quarterfinals on Thursday at Blue Mound Ice Arena. The outcome wasn't unexpected as Luverne, also nicknamed the Cardinals, defeated Willmar 10-0 at Blue Mound on Jan. 13. Willmar finished the season 2-23-1 while Luverne, now 19-6-0, moves on to play either Hutchinson or New Ulm in the section semifinals. Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato plays Marshall in the other 3A semifinal. Both games are Saturday in St. Peter. LDC 5, Windom 2
The basketball playoffs are underway and the guys from the WCT Sports Show are here to help break down the upcoming action.
KERKHOVEN — KMS opened the match with six straight wins and the Saints advanced to the Section 5A semifinals with a 48-24 quarterfinals win over Benson on Tuesday night at KMS High School. KMS' Coy Gunderson (106), Chase Magaard (113) and Will Magaard (120) spotted the Saints to an 18-point lead three matches in with pins. KMS' Jared Carlson scored a decision at 126 and Jonathan Tostenson (132) and Luke Hoefer (138) also notched wins to put KMS up 33-0 before Benson's Aaron Zosel scored the Braves' first points with a pin at 145.
WORTHINGTON — Minnesota West's defense created problems for the Ridgewater women's basketball team and the Jays thumped the Warriors 77-52 on Wednesday night. MN West's Katherin Ihnen scored 25 points and Emily Haubrick added 19. Ridgewater managed just 27 first-half points, then put up just eight points in the third quarter. The Warriors' Mariah Adams scored 16 points and Abby Oberg finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. Heidi Sellmann, who has been on a tear the second half of the season, was limited to six points by the Jays' defense.
The Willmar Cardettes dance teams put an exclamation point on their season at the Cardettes Dance Show on Monday night at the Willmar High School gymnasium. The Minnesota State High School League dance season wraps this weekend with the State Girls Dance Team Tournament Feb. 16-17 at the Target Center in Minneapolis. The state tournament kicks off with the Jazz competition Feb. 16 and the High Kick competition is Feb. 17. Teams in Class A, AA and AAA compete beginning at 11:30 a.m. both days.
Last, week, Curt revealed his mid-season "All-Stars" in area boys hoops in the Four-Point Play. On this week's show, the guys go through that list of players and "draft" their All-Star teams, a la NBA style.