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Gopher GBB finishes perfect

Fri, Feb 28th, 2014
Posted in All Sports

Not too many teams go through an entire regular season undefeated in conference. Fewer trek through undefeated overall. League championships aren’t exactly handed out like candy at a parade either. The #3 in AA Chatfield Gopher girls have accomplished all three. They end the regular season 19-0 in the 3-Rivers, 22-0 overall; the 2013-2014 South Champions. It’s the school’s first out-right girls basketball title in a long time.

Chatfield got their biggest test of the year versus fellow TRC power Plainview-Elgin-Millville (#11 in AA; 16-1, 20-3). The Gophers fell behind by nine in the first half (21-12), got to even (four ties), only to trail 36-32 at halftime. Chatfield then fell behind by 10 in the second (42-32), only to again get to even (49-49 with 8:00 left). With 3:55 to go, a Kirsten Keefe bucket gave Chatfield its first second half lead (54-53). Bulldog sophomore standout Sarah Hart answered with a couple FT’s (55-54 PEM). Brook Irish then hit a short jumper (56-55 Chatfield), only for P-E-M’s Tessa Hubbard to answer with a 3-point play (58-56 PEM), only for Irish to knock down another short jumper (58-58; 2-plus left)!

After a PEM turnover, Brian Baum diagrammed a play that got Keefe an open lefty lane-up (60-58 Chatfield). Bulldog coach Jason Melbostad then diagrammed a play to get Hart a bunny. It rolled around and didn’t fall (something that happened often for both teams). Sidney Irish was (eventually) fouled (0:23). In a one-and-one situation, Irish’s first attempt rattled around and dramatically hung on the front of the rim before dropping. Irish nailed the second too (62-58 Chatfield).

Hart then found the opponents spot in Chatfield gym (south basket, left of center, top of the key, deep; ala Devin Decker of St. Charles). She buried a three (0:13.6). Sidney Irish was again fouled. Irish’s front end again took a Magellan-like route to its home. The second fell too. In the final seconds, P-E-M could only hoist up an errant two-pointer. By a final of 64-61, Chatfield prevailed. Keefe (15 pts, 5 stls) and the Irish’s, Brook (11 pts, 10 in the second half, 11 rebs, 5 stls) and Sidney (11 pts, 4-4 FT’s), set the pace. Hart was P-E-M’s standout (26 pts, 7 rebs, 4 stls). Hayley Rau chipped in a double-double (11 pts, 10 rebs). Chatfield’s FT shooting (18-20; 90%) probably won the game because P-E-M was excellent at the line also (20-26; 76%).

Chatfield then downed Caledonia 70-48 for the Gophers senior night. B-Irish (12 pts, 5 rebs) led the way. Senior Camille Rasmussen, typically a rebounder and defender, hit 3 of 4 three’s for a season high 11 points. Maddie Talamantes added 10, eleven Gophers scored, as Chatfield officially snagged the 3-Rivers South. Their season finale versus fellow South 20-win team, fellow Sub-Section top seed, Rushford-Peterson, was a play-off prelude.

On the Trojans’ senior night, Chatfield used a good start (8-0) and a good finish (9-0) to take control (39-24) at the half. They doubled standout senior G Kendra Crawford amidst their press, which impacted the Trojan efforts. R-P hung around though. When Crawford scored her 1,000th career point in the second half, it spurred the green. They got as close as seven midway thru, but could never get within true striking distance. Free throw shooting (15 for 29) and turnovers (30) were hindrances (Chat: 15-21 and 24). The Gophers snapped R-P’s 7-game win streak win a 66-52 win. Keefe (16 pts, 6 rebs, 3 assists, 4 stls), B-Irish (12 pts, 8 rebs, 3 stls), and Maddie Kammer (10) led the way. Crawford (15 pts, 5 rebs, 3 assists) and Brianna Koop (15 pts, 7 rebs) led R-P. It’s the third straight year a Lady Trojan has topped 1,000 points (Kenzie Lind, Amy Todd). They finish the regular season at 20-4 (15-4 in TRC). They are 1A East’s 1-seed and will play 9-seed Lanesboro (5-12, 8-18) who beat 8-seed Houston (7-11, 8-15). Chatfield (19-0, 22-0) is 1AA East’s 1-seed and will host 8-seed L-A.

Goldsmith, Holm head section champion’s cast

Seven county wrestlers are section champions. Eleven total are heading to state. Topping the list are ‘undefeated’ section champs Jared Goldsmith (Chatfield) and Monty Holm (FCLMC).

Goldsmith, a junior (ranked #4 at 113), posted a pair of wins by fall. He then toppled two defending section champs. Kenyon-Wanamingo’s Jared Clawiter (ranked #6, 30-14), who beat Goldsmith for the 2013 106-pound crown, fell first, 5-4. Zumbrota-Mazeppa’s Joey Majerus (ranked #3 at 120, 37-3), the defending 113-pound champ and three time state placer (3rd, 3rd, 4th), fell second, 3-2. Goldsmith hadn’t wrestled either elite foe in Chatfield’s multiple meetings with Z-M and K-W. He heads to state with a 28-0 record.

Holm, a 195-pound senior, flew mostly under the radar this year for the Wolves. He replicated teammate Niko Anderson’s rise a year ago. Ranked #7, Holm pinned his way to the finals (bringing his season total to 20). There he faced Triton’s Lucas Etchason (#3, 29-0, a 2012 section champ, a 2013 section runner-up and state 4th place finisher) in a battle of undefeateds. Holm’s second period takedown proved the difference. Holm moved his season record to 32-0 with the 3-1 victory.

Fellow Wolves standout Niko Anderson repeated as Section champ, moving up a weight from 170 to 182. Anderson (#1, now 33-1) won 16-6 and 17-1 before downing Z-M’s Hunter Prodzinski (#10, 36-6) 6-4 in the finals.

Three other Gopher wrestlers, Hank Friederichs (#1 at 138), A.J. Riley (#5 at 145), and Harvey Friederichs (#3 at 152) joined Goldsmith as section champs. The Friederichs’ both repeated. Hank, a junior, has now gone to state each of the last three years at different weights (106, 120, 138). Harvey, a senior, won 132 last year. The brothers each have 38 wins on the season. Harvey holds a ½ game lead in the loss column (1 versus 2)! Sandwiched between them, weight-wise was Riley. The senior won three hard-fought matches (6-3 over FCLMC’s Andy Love, 3-2 over Z-M’s #8 Cody Heitman, & 3-1 over K-W’s Trent Brossard) to earn his title. Riley (33-3) was section runner-up at 126 a year ago.

By virtue of second place finishes, Gophers Cody Bly (Sr., #5 at 170), Ryan Meeker (Jr. 132), and Ty Van Sickle (Fr. #10 at 120) moved on to state. Van Sickle (34-8) and Meeker (30-7) won true second matches. Meeker (30-7) was Mr. OT, losing 3-1 in triple OT in the championship, but then beating Lake City’s #10 Andrew Schmidt 2-1 in quadruple OT. Bly just lost in the finals 7-6 to K-W’s Drew Sathrum.

Chatfield had seven individual state qualifiers, the most of any Section 1A team. They had eight last year. Eight-graders Treyc Van Sickle (106) and Jake Mandt (126), junior Jacob Bleess (#8 at 220) each lost true second matches (took third). Mandt wrestled for the 126-pound title. Alex Haffner took third (without wrestling for a trip to state). The Gophers thus took either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd at 11 of 14 weights! Like Goldsmith, the Friederichs’, Riley, and Anderson, Bly and Meeker each qualified for state last year.

In Section 2A, GMLOK junior Wyatt Richardson (#8, 25-4) won the 195-title, beating Maple River’s #5 Casey Decker in the finals 3-2. It is Wyatt’s first state appearance. He is the Bulldogs only qualifier, though Brenn Olson (Fr., 106), Jace Bunne (Jr., 138), Parker Hale (So., 145) each took third. Olson wrestled a true second match. In Section 1AA, LARP freshman McCoy Tekautz (#8, 29-4) took second at 126. He won 5-4 in the semis before falling to Cannon Falls’ Keston Lopez 17-15 in the finals. Josh Doerr (Fr., 113) lost a true second match to take third.

Burros ride unexpected hero to quarterfinal win

Lanesboro boys basketball this year has been a lot of Kole Ruud and Luke Rogers. The 1,000-point duo have carried the Burros’ offense. In Lanesboro’s (4-seed; 16-9) 1A East quarterfinal match-up with Kingsland (5-seed; 6-20), Knight Head Coach John Fenske went so far as to employ a triangle-and-two defense to curb R/R’s offensive efforts. And breaking from a trend all-season long, John Smith’s Burros got huge contributions elsewhere. He got a stand-out performance from freshman Cole Schwichtenberg.

The 5’8” G single-handedly took Kingsland out of its special defense by burying four three-pointers in the first 10 minutes. Behind his 16 first half points, Lanesboro led 37-28 at the break. The Knights got an Isiah Bubany 3-point play right out of the gate to get within six (37-31), but a 7-0 Burro run (5 by Schwichtenberg) ensued (44-31). Lanesboro’s lead would stay in double digits the rest of the way. They sank 22 of 26 second half FT’s (30-36 for the game) and downed the Knights 77-55.

Schwichtenberg, who played full-time B-squad, part-time varsity (as the year progressed), entered with 47 varsity-level points. He finished the game with 23 points (9-11 FG’s, 4-5 three’s), an easy career high. The Burros had five guys score. All were in double figures (a first this season). Ruud (21 pts, 14-15 FT’s, 5 assists), Liam Dorn (12 pts, 4-4 FG’s, 4-6 FT’s, 14 rebs), Rogers (11 pts, 10 assists) and Garret Boggs (10 pts, 7-10 FT’s, 5 rebs, 6 assists) all contributed to a great Burro team-effort.

Kingsland fought to the finish, but hit on just 9 of 34 three’s (26.5%). They were 30% from the field. Lanesboro was 48%. Junior G Jacob Rindels had 13 (5-19 shooting), sophomore Quinn Larson 9. Marcus Plaehn had 8 (pts) and 5 (reb). The Knights season ends at 6-21.

M-C upsets FC in quarters

Earlier in the year, Mabel-Canton’s boys notched their first win over SEC rival Lanesboro in 16 meetings (2006-2007). In the first round of the 1A East play-offs, the 6-seed Cougars (14-11) got another big win. They upset 3-seed Fillmore Central (11-15). It’s their first win over the Falcons in 10 meetings, dating back to 2006-2007. Doug Wyffels’ boys started the game hot from deep. Noah Manning, Hunter Johnson, and Keyser Wenthold each hit a pair of first half trifectas. The Cougars did what they did to FC in the regular season (up 17-8) and bolted ahead (up 30-16). They led 35-26 at halftime.

Unlike the regular season, where the Falcons came back and Logan Masters won the game (57-56) with a late driving lay-up, the Falcons couldn’t recover. A 6-0 run out of intermission helped M-C (up 41-26). The Falcons got to down 42-31, but then a 10-0 Cougar run (52-31). The closest FC got from there was 12.

M-C curtailed Masters (6 pts, 4 assists, 7 stls). He had 20 the first meeting. They executed better offensively, passed the ball well (had twice as many assists), and thus shot a better percentage (44% to FC’s 31%). They also hit their free throws in the second half (17 of 25/68%) and for the game (20 of 30/67%). FC was 9 of 18 (50%) and 14 of 26 (54%). They prevailed 71-56. Johnson led the way (game-high, career-best-tying 25 pts, 3-4 three’s, 6-8 FT’s). Manning flirted with a triple double (15 pts, 10 rebs, 9 assists). Donnie Lind had a double-double (11 pts, 12 rebs). For FC, Nick Powell finished off a fine season/career doing what he does (20 pts, 18 rebs, 4 stls, 3 blks). Carter Rindels chipped in 10. FC’s season ends at 11-16.


FC junior G Morgan Malley, with her team trailing 54-52, was fouled taking a three-pointer with less than a second to go versus Southland. She hit all three free throws to give the Falcons a 56-55 win! Malley finished with 26 points (5-11 three’s, 7-8 FT’s). FC has won 8 of 12. The losses have come to teams with a combined 87-8 record (L/P, R-P, Chatfield, P-E-M). They (8-11, 12-12) are 1A East’s 2-seed.

R-P’s girls knocked off Kingsland to register their first 20-win season since 2006-2007. Kingsland (3-17, 4-22) is the 6-seed and will play at 3-seed Spring Grove.

M-C’s girls used a second half surge (they trailed 30-28 at halftime), and a season high 19 from senior G Carly McCabe, to push past Houston 67-56. Abbey Loken was huge for the ‘Canes (25 pts, 18 rebs). M-C (13-4, 14-9) is the 4-seed and will host W-K (5-seed).

Houston’s boys’ season (6-17) came to an end with an 87-73 loss to Schaeffer Academy in a 1A East play-in game. Schaeffer then fell 82-33 to R-P. Sixteen Trojans scored. In 1AA East, 3-seed Chatfield handled 6-seed La Crescent 65-46. Jayme LaPlante had 21 (pts) and 11 (rebs).

Boys Basketball


1A East Play-in; 9-seed Houston 73, 8-seed Schaeffer Academy 87 (H: Austin Peplinski 19 pts (5-10 three’s); Sam Ross 18 pts, 5 rebs, 6 assists; Trevor Lundberg 10. SA: Zach Sanger 26 (9-9 FT’s); Dan Streifel 21 (11-13 FT’s); Roman Lahr 15; Joe Vaughan 13 pts, 13 rebs. Lions were 30-40 from FT line, ‘Canes 12-24. Hurricanes finish year at 6-17)


1A East Quarters; 8-seed SA 33, 1-seed #3 in A R-P 82 (R-P: Cole Kingsley 10 pts; 5 assists)

1AA East Quarters; 6-seed La Crescent 46, 3-seed Chatfield 65 (C: J. LaPlante 21 pts (10-14 FG’s), 11 rebs; Christian Bance 12 pts, 6 rebs, 4 stls; Nate Skare 12; Brandon Adler 8 pts, 12 rebs)

Girls Basketball


Southland 54, FC 55 (FC: M. Malley 26 pts, 7 rebs; Kendyl Bennett 12 pts (4-5 FG’s, 4-6 FT’s), 12 rebs)

M-C 67, Houston 56 (M-C: C. McCabe 19 pts, 5 rebs; Lydia Geving 15 pts, 13 rebs, 4 assists, 6 stls; Sara Lind 13 pts, 11 rebs; Abby Hanson 12 pts, 6 rebs. H: A. Loken 25 pts (9-16 FG’s), 18 rebs; Kelly Jerviss 15 pts (7-12 FG’s), 6 rebs, 4 assists)

R-P 68, Kingsland 48 (R-P: B. Koop 18 pts (9-15 FG’s), 8 rebs 5 stls; K. Crawford 15 pts (3-18 FG’s; she’s closing in on 1,000-points), 5 rebs, 4 assists, 6 stls; Hope Morrison 12 pts all in the second half (4-11 three’s); Keela Brand 11 pts (4-6 FG’s), 8 rebs, 6 stls; Sierra McNamer 10 pts all in the second half, 7 rebs, 4 assists. K: Marissa Bornholdt 12 pts, 9 rebs, 8 blks. On senior night, Knights fought Trojans to first half draw (26-26) before R-P executed better in second. First game was 74-40)


Grand Meadow 40, M-C 53 (M-C: S. Lind 19 pts, 10 rebs; L. Geving 12 pts, 8 rebs, 6 stls)

Kingsland 43, Southland 71 (K: M. Bornholdt 13; Melinda Woods 10. Game was tied 29-all at halftime)


Kingsland 61, L-A 48 (K: M. Woods 14 pts, 12 rebs; Kailynn Hamersma 13; M Bornholdt 12 pts, 8 rebs; Gracie Schmidt 10. Knights end 13-game losing streak)

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