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Fillmore County Sports

Fri, Mar 8th, 2013
Posted in All Sports

Gopher Wrestling Posts Best Finish Ever

If someone had told the Chatfield wrestling team that they’d end the 2012-2013 season with a win, the Gophers would’ve naturally been ‘all-in on that one.’ A third place finish probably wasn’t their dream, but it’s certainly special. It’s the best finish the school has ever had in wrestling. It might also be just the beginning. The Gophers (5-seed, 29-1), who finished the season ranked #8 in Class A, opened with a contest versus Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunberg (4-seed, 16-2), ranked #4. Chatfield made hay from 120-145, getting five straight wins from #5 at 120 Hank Friederichs (10-2 MD), #4 at 126 A.J. Riley (4-1 over #2 Cody Peters), #3 at 132 Harvey Friederichs (4-1), #5 at 138 Alex Haffner (12-3 MD), and Ryan Meeker (7-3). The Gophers built a 23-3 lead. A trio of K-M-S falls reduced the lead to 23-21. Cody Bly (182; pin), Jacob Bleess (220; a big 7-6 decision over #8 at 195 Chase Norton), and #7 at 195 Justin Viss (285; pin) then cemented things with three wins. Chat downed K-M-S 38-24.

That put the Gophers up against Jackson County Central (21-2), the #1 seed. JCC spent the entire season ranked #1 in Class A. After 132, things were deadlocked at 9 points apiece. An Alex Haffner 6-4-decision win at 138 gave Chatfield a brief 12-9 lead. JCC then rolled out their studs (two #1’s, a #2, and a #4). They racked up six points in five straight matches, taking in insurmountable 39-12 lead. Chatfield won the final three weights and fell to the eventual state champions 39-25.

The loss put Chatfield in the 3rd place match with #9 Sibley East (23-9). The Gophers beat the Wolverines in December (35-31) at the New Prague duals. The re-match was similarly tight. Chatfield built a 25-11 lead after 152. They then lost the next three matches to trail 28-25. A Cody Bly 10-0 MD (195) got Chat the lead back (29-28). Sibley East won 220 via TF (33-29). It all came down to Justin Viss at 285. Viss got a dramatic pin, and got his team the 3rd place trophy, 35-33. Hank Friederichs, Bly, and A.J. Riley were All-Tournament. That trio, 8th-ranked 106-pounder Jared Goldsmith, and Viss all went 3-0. The Gophers end the season a magnificent 31-2. Graduating just two seniors (Viss, Sam Fryer), it’s good reasoning they won’t begin next year unranked. It’s good reasoning they could make a return trip to state.

Three State Runner’s Up

One could say the status of high school wrestling in Fillmore County is pretty good. All one had to do was or follow the state individual wrestling tournament. County-based grapplers were everywhere. Of the 13 entrants (8 from Chatfield, 3 from LARP, 1 each from GMLOK and FCLMC), three wrestled for state titles, five others placed, and all but two got at least two wins under the brightest wrestling lights.

Highlighting the action were Chatfield’s Harvey Friederichs, Lanesboro-native, FCLMC representative, Niko Anderson, and Lewiston-Altura attendee, LARP representative, Jordan Theede. Each wrestled for a state championship. Friederichs (132) started with a couple decision wins (4-0 and 2-0). He then pinned USC’s 4th-ranked Dylan Herman to make the finals. His opponent was his kryptonite: JCC’s #1 ranked Elliot Jurries. Harvey lost 5-1. He’ll finish his junior year as state runner up at 132 (44-3 record). All three losses came to Jurries. Niko Anderson, who began the year unranked at 170 and finished at #8, surely got some respect. He started with a 2-1 win, then beat #6 Isaac Josephson 4-2 in OT in the quarters, and then beat #3 Maverick Whitcomb 3-1 in OT in the semis. In the finals, he fell to JCC’s #1 ranked Darick Vancura 5-2. Anderson finishes his junior year as 170-pound runner up (37-2 record). Jordan Theede’s state experience included some irony. He moved his way to the finals with three wins (12-6, pin, 3-1 OT), two over top 10 wrestlers. There, the 3rd-ranked Theede faced 2nd-ranked Brady Ayers of WEM/JWP. Jordan beat Ayers for the Section 1AA 160-title. Ayers handed Theede his only loss earlier in the year. The third installment had Ayers go over, 8-3. And thus, Theede is 1AA 160-pound champ, but Ayers, from Section 1AA, is the 160-pound state champ. Theede ends his junior year with a 28-2 record.

Five other county wrestlers placed. Chatfield’s Hank Friederichs (120) opened with a pin, lost to JCC’s Jordan Biehn 7-2, then rattled off four decision wins (5-1, 5-1, 4-2, and 6-2), the last over Biehn for 3rd place. It was (at least) the fourth meeting between the two with Hank winning three. He finishes his sophomore year with a 47-2 record. Hank finished 5th last year at state. Teammate Justin Viss finished out his stellar wrestling career nicely. Viss won (6-1), lost (6-5 to #1 Nathan Rose, the eventual state champ), won (9-3), won (15-3), lost (4-2 to 3rd ranked Lucas Etchason of Triton, the guy Viss beat for the Section 1A title), before winning 7-2 to claim 5th place. Viss’ ends his senior year with a 36-9 record. He improves upon last year’s 6th place finish. LARP seniors Greg Johnson (182; 32-10) and Evan Bain (285; 30-8) both took 6th (going 2-3). Bain pinned his way to the semis only for lose three straight. GMLOK senior Lucas Roe (152; 41-5) also took 6th. He went 3-3. Gophers Goldsmith (106; 39-7), Riley (126; 43-5), and Haffner (138; 41-4) each went 2-2 (didn’t place). Meeker (145; 30-14) and Bly (170; 37-6) each went 0-2. Each Chatfield Gopher wrestled up to three team matches Thursday, and then their allotment of individual matches Friday and Saturday. They are manimals (definition, ½ man, ½ animal).

Fouls and Free Throws

It wasn’t a shock that top-seeded Rushford-Peterson (15-12) and 2nd-seeded Spring Grove (22-6) met up for the 1A-East girls title. R-P had little trouble downing 4-seed LeRoy-Ostrander in the semis. They jumped ahead 25-2 and coasted from there to a 65-33 victory with Amy Todd (18 pts, 8 rebs) and Sierra McNamer (13 pts, 11 rebs) leading the way. Spring Grove, on the other hand, walked through 3-seed Grand Meadow for a third time this season, 63-41. Meeting number two between R-P and SG was a close affair, one dominated by fouls and FT’s, and some more fouls and FT’s. The Trojans weren’t on the good end of it either situation. R-P’s trouble began almost right way. SG went in the bonus early in the 1st half. Still, R-P took a 30-25 lead into halftime mainly cause the Lions had 20 TO’s. The 2nd half was similar; fouls, FT’s, and R-P clinging to small leads. With just over 2:00 left, the Trojans led 52-48. A minute and a half later, they trailed 56-52. A Keela Brand offensive-rebound put-back closed the score to 56-54. Lion Samantha Bratland then went to the FT line. She made both, but the second was waived off per a lane violation. Kendra Crawford then came down court and buried a game-tying three with 0:15. SG had a chance in the last few seconds, but if didn’t go, sending the game to OT.

There the Trojans led 62-61 with 1:00 left. SG’s Addy Cross subsequently banked home a mid-range jumper to put the Lions up 63-62 (0:24). Hope Morrison took a three. It rimmed out. Cross made a FT (0:08). With four players fouled out, R-P couldn’t even get the ball across half-court in the final seconds before turning it over. By a final of 65-62, the Lions won their third straight 1A East crown, their second straight over R-P (whilst getting revenge for a Dec. loss). Senior Amy Todd went out leading the Trojans (24 pts, 10 rebs, 5 assists). McNamer had 16 points and Mariah Mueller 10. Nicki Ellingson (15 pts, 10 rebs), Cross (14 pts, 12 at the FT line, 7 rebs), Bratland (14), and Randi Mehus (13), all reached double figures for SG, which had no foul outs. The teams combined to shoot 70 freebies. SG was 30 for 44, R-P 15 of 26. And R-P’s foul outs (Crawford, McNamer, Mueller, Brand) effectively offset the 34 TO’s R-P’s physical full-court press forced. The Trojans had their chances. They seriously out shot SG (20 of 75 to 16 of 39), but made just 26.6% (to SG’s 41%). R-P finishes the season at 15-13 as 1A-East runners-up. They’ll graduate starters Todd, Mueller, and Cody Manfull, plus Emily Wade.

No Welcoming Back Cotter

It’s a reference that about 1% of the Chatfield student population would get. None of them were born when the show was popular. ‘Old-timers’ will get it. In an odd rarity, both Gopher basketball teams were upset by Winona-Cotter in their Sub-Section tournament games.


It’s been a trend for the Chatfield girls; too many turnovers. In recent history, TO’s have spelled the Gophers demise in some big games. Throughout most of 2012-2013, they stayed away from the ‘demise’ part of that equation. They were, at times, loose with the ball, but it never critically came back to haunt them, at least not as much as it did in their 1AA-East semifinal contest versus 4-seed Winona-Cotter. The ugly turnover ghost ended their season. Chatfield committed 27 turnovers, or more than twice that of Cotter (13). Without just a few of them, the Gophers probably would’ve played for a Sub-Section title.

Chatfield led by as many as eight (27-19) in the 1st half, 27-21 at the half, and by as many as seven (43-36) past the midpoint of the 2nd half. A few minutes later, they turned the ball over on six of seven possessions. With about a minute to go, they trailed the Ramblers 52-47. Sophomore point guard Kirsten Keefe then hit a big three (52-50). After Cotter point guard Paige Gernes missed the front end of a one-and-one, Maddy Kammer took the ball to the basket and was fouled. The sophomore sank both FT’s, and the Gophers tied the game at 52. In the final seconds, Gernes missed a point blank lay-up. Cotter missed another close contested shot before turning the ball over. The match-up went to overtime.

There, Chatfield had a couple early TO’s. Cotter took the lead 55-54 on a Gabrielle Bowlin FT. Chatfield then missed their final four shots, each more desperate. Gernes and Julia Charron hit 6 of 6 FT’s between misses. By a final of 61-54, the Ramblers ended the Gophers season. On top of inciting all the turnovers, Cotter owned the FT line. They made 18 of 25 freebies (to Chatfield’s 9 of 11). Senior PG Paige Gernes set the tempo with her pressure defense and speediness up and down the court. She scored 17 points, dished out 9 assists, and grabbed 6 rebounds. Many of those passes went to Kelsey Stenzel, who hit base-line shot after base-line shot in tallying a team high 18 points. For Chatfield, MaKenzie Miller finished off a splendid career, leading all scorers with 21 points. She was 8 of 9 FG’s, 5 of 6 FT’s, with 10 rebounds. Keefe handled the Cotter pressure and played well (12 pts, 7 assists, 6 rebs, 4 stls). Maddie Talamantes added 10. The Gophers season ends at 19-8.

Too Slow, Too Little, Too Late

The Chatfield (4-seed, 15-11) boys hosted Winona-Cotter (5-seed, 14-11) in a 1AA-East quarterfinal. Out of gate, Garrett Crowley welcomed himself to Chatfield gymnasium by making four first half three-pointers. The first basket of the game was a Crowley three. Saved for trailing 4-3, Cotter led the entire stanza, slowing it down versus the athletic Gophers. Chatfield struggled to solve W-C’s 2-3 zone, or struggled to shoot. They hit just 1-13 first half triples. At the half, Cotter led 25-15.

In the second half, Chatfield ratcheted up its defensive intensity. They went man-to-man and Cotter struggled to find field goals. Jon Eichman hit a three to start the Ramblers second half scoring, but they wouldn’t get another FG until 0:28 seconds remained. In between, however, they hit 11 of 14 FT’s. They kept a hard charging Gopher team, which fed its beast Jayme LaPlante, from making the second half comeback. With just under a minute to go, Jake Neis fed LaPlante. The contested lay-up finally got Chatfield back to even, 39 all. And that’s when Cotter got its second second half FG. On an under the basket out-of-bounds play, John DeMarais lobbed a perfect pass to Eichman, who put the ball in the basket. It put Cotter back in front, 41-39. The Gophers came down and Reid Danielson missed an open go-ahead three, poetic of how the Goph’s deep shooting went (2-20 for the game). DeMarais was fouled and hit two FT’s (his only two points). Via a 43-39 final, the Cotter Ramblers downed a Chatfield team that could’ve been dangerous in Section 1AA-East play-offs. They came in playing well, and re-matches with P-E-M and Caledonia would’ve forced both squads to beat the Gophers a third time. Crowley and Eichman shared top scorer honors for the winners. Each had 13. Matt Schrupp added 10 of the W-C bench. Senior Mitch Irish’s 12 points and 9 rebounds led Chatfield. LaPlante scored the Gopher’s final 9 points, in the last 6:00. He finished with 11 (all in the second half). On top of their poor outside shooting (getting 9 total points from guards Nate Skare, Neis, and Danielson), Chatfield lost the FT battle. Cotter made 14 of 18 to Chat’s 5 of 7. Chatfield’s season ends at 15-12.

Trojan Boys Share 3-Rivers Title

For a few days, the Rushford-Peterson boys held out hope they’d be the sole Three Rivers conference champions. Then Plainview-Elgin-Millville took care of business in its season finale versus Caledonia, narrowly downing the Warriors 63-61. The win clinched PEM a 17-3 record in conference. R-P (16-3), to keep pace, needed a win in their season finale with Kingsland. Early on, the Trojans weren’t hitting. Kingsland capitalized. Not quite midway thru the first half, the Knights led 14-9. Then Trojan G Austin O’Hare hit a trio of trifectas in the span of about a minute. Sophomore G Charlie Krambeer followed with three trifectas of his own before the half was over. After starting 4 of 17 from the field, R-P finished the half 9 of 14. They took a 35-21 lead into the halftime. A 14-4 run out of the intermission then made things rather academic (R-P led 49-25). The Trojans rotated players from it first thru third teams the rest of the way and got the win 61-47. They are co-Three Rivers conference champions. Point guard Cole Kingsley led R-P in scoring with 15. Per the norm of the talented 5’11” sophomore, he wasn’t just a scorer. Cole added 10 rebounds, 5 steals, and 4 assists. O’Hare also reached double figures, scoring 14. Sophomore F Marcus Plaehn paced Kingsland. He had 11. Filip Swanson (8 pts, 9 rebs) and Marshall Oeltjen (9 pts, 11 rebs) were effective when the Knights could get the ball inside. R-P finishes the regular season with 17-3 and 22-3 records. They are Sub-Section 1A’s top seed and ranked #7 in state. They’ve won 8-straight and 21 of there last 22. Kingsland finishes the regular season with 7-19 and 5-15 marks. They are the 6-seed in Sub-Section 1AA West.

Boys Sub-Sections

The Mabel-Canton Cougars kicked off the boys half of the post-season. M-C (7-seed, 6-19) hosted Houston (10-seed, 2-23) in a 1A-East play-in game. The contest played out like the two regulars season meetings (55-36 and 62-36 M-C wins). The Coug’s got off to a 31-8 halftime lead and cruised to a 63-48 victory. Justin Ward (18 pts) and Hunter Johnson (17 pts) supplied the offense.

The win moved the Coug’s into a match-up with 2nd-seeded rival, Lanesboro (17-7). The Burros jumped out to a 25-7 lead early, but then M-C junior G Noah Manning hit a trio of trifectas in sequence. By halftime, the Burro lead was 34-30. The Coug’s had upset on their minds. Lanesboro decimated that notion in the second 18:00. Their lead methodically grew from 10, to 20, to 30. They won handily 82-49. Lanes’ two junior phenoms, Kole Ruud (29 pts, 5 of 7 from deep, 6 assists) and Luke Rogers (22 pts, 6 of 12 from deep, 11 rebs) led the way. Daulton Gartner (10 pts, 10 rebs) and Erik Peterson (11 pts, 5 rebs, 5 assists, 4 stls) also left their mark. As a team, Lanes made 15 of 29 three’s (an impressive 53%). Manning (15 pts, 6 rebs), Johnson (15 pts, 6 rebs), and Ward (10 pts, 5 assists) led the M-C, which finishes at 7-20.

In other 1A-East action, 1-seed R-P (22-3) and 4-seed Fillmore Central (6-20) vanquished 8-seed Hope Lutheran (9-14) and 5-seed GM (16-9) respectively. R-P led just 23-13 at the half but they turned it on to win 70-37. Twelve Trojans scored led by Seth Thompson (13) and Jorli Hauge (11). FC controlled the Super Larks in the normally competitive four-five match-up. The Falcons led by four at halftime, but turned it on to win 71-50. FC’s big-weapons, senior Dan Gatzke (17 pts, 12 rebs) and junior Nick Powell (17 pts, 13 rebs) led the way. Jake Tammel (14) and PG Logan Masters (13) both also reached double figures. In Class AA action, county teams weren’t so successful. Kingsland (#6 in the West, 7-19) took the long trip to Lake City (3-seed, 20-4) and fell 77-51. Filip Swanson (16) and Marshall Oeltjen (11) were the leading scorers. The Tigers had four in double figures. Kingsland’s season ends at 7-20.

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