Chris Harrell is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he interned at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and The Daily Caller in Washington, D.C. For updates on local sports, follow Chris on Twitter at @RECHarrell.
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ZUMBROTA- Zumbrota-Mazeppa's Lucas Ziemba put in extra work on his jump shot leading up to Tuesday's boys basketball game against Goodhue in an attempt to get out of the early season slump he said he was experiencing. It certainly paid off. Against the Wildcats (6-3, 0-1 HVL Blue), Ziemba was one missed free throw away from a perfect shooting night, going 9 of 9 from the field, including 4 of 4 on 3-pointers and leading the Cougars' (4-3, 1-0 HVL Blue) with 25 points in a 57-53 victory to open the conference season. "We've got a lot of kids who can shoot and it was Lucas' turn tonight," Z
ZUMBROTA - The Goodhue girls basketball team struggled from the free-throw line but used a 10-0 run early in the second half to pull away from Zumbrota-Mazeppa Tuesday in a 62-46 victory. The Wildcats (10-1, 1-0 HVL Blue) shot just 35 percent from the field and 19 of 38 from the free-throw line but got 18 offensive rebounds and forced 25 turnovers in the victory. "We got real anxious," Cougars' head coach Scott Paukert said.
LAKE CITY - Foul trouble slowed two starters for the Lake City boys basketball team, but the Tigers had an opportunity to tie the game in the final seconds before falling 52-49 to Kasson-Mantorville Tuesday. Tigers guard Coleman Sweeney, a junior, sat much of the first half as he continued to struggle with foul trouble. He fouled-out with 23 seconds left against the KoMets and said he needs to be more careful at the beginning of games. "I need to let stuff go," Sweeney said.
LAKE CITY -- It took the Ellsworth boys basketball team five minutes to score its first points Tuesday in the opening game of the Lake City Holiday Tournament and the Panthers fell 46-42 to Legacy Christian Academy. Ellsworth (3-2, 2-1 Middle Border) struggled to make jump shots against Legacy Christian Academy but used defense to fight back into the game after falling behind 11-0 in the opening minutes of the first half. "None of our shots were falling," Ellsworth junior Alex Campbell said.
GOODHUE - Home court advantage was an understatement Tuesday night in Goodhue as the Goodhue boys basketball team got plenty of help from the crowd as it knocked off fifth-ranked Spring Grove 61-58. Spring Grove had a chance to tie the game 60-60 with 3.8 seconds remaining in regulation but missed two free throws as the roar of the crowd rattled the Spring Grove player. "That was nice," Goodhue senior Michael McNamara said. "Home's always good. We defend our home court." Senior Jacob Staehli led the Wildcats (4-2) with 20 points and four assists.
GOODHUE - Mikayla Miller knew her shots would start falling and in the second half they fell on a consistent basis. Miller led the second-ranked Goodhue girls basketball team with 29 points in a 53-47 victory over fourth-ranked Spring Grove Tuesday in Goodhue. 19 of Miller's 29 points came after halftime and she made 7 of 9 free throw attempts. It took Miller a little while to heat up but neither player nor coach was worried. "There's a lot of confidence that she has and rightfully so," Goodhue head coach Josh Wieme said.
Nathaniel Rauen worked hard to keep the Zumbrota-Mazeppa boys basketball team close against Montgomery-Lonsdale Tuesday in Zumbrota but the Cougars ran out of gas in the second half, losing 56-48. It was the second game in as many days for Z-M (3-3) and it showed with the defense moving a step slow and jump shots hitting the front of the rim. "We were tired but that's not an excuse," Rauen said. "We weren't feeling good and I guess that affects every part of your game." Rauen, a junior, led the Cougars with 16 points.
Every shot the Zumbrota-Mazeppa girls basketball team took in the first half against Dover-Eyota seemed to fall Monday but the quick pace of the game wore down the Cougars in the second half of a 68-64 loss in Zumbrota. Both teams supplied plenty of offense but Z-M's ineffectiveness on the defensive end was costly in the final minutes. "I think fatigue is a little bit of a factor," Cougars' head coach Scott Paukert said. "We gave up the baseline.
Marisa Toivonen pulled down rebound after rebound for the Red Wing girls basketball team Saturday against Holy Family Catholic but with a depleted roster the Wingers fell 44-37 in Red Wing. Toivonen, a senior, finished with 21 rebounds, 10 in the first half and 11 in the second half, eight points, five assists and two blocks as she outplayed everyone on the court. "Their coach even said the best player on the floor was Marisa," Red Wing head coach Dave Muelken said. "Their game plan was Marisa. Just the effort Marisa gave and that was against some good bigs.
The hits kept coming for the Red Wing boys hockey team as it wore down Hudson Saturday in a 5-2 victory in Red Wing. Wingers' head coach Mike Belisle said his team's goal is to have 30 or more hits tallied by the end of the game but against the Raiders, they finished with 53. "Physically, we just wore them down," Belisle said. "It obviously had an effect on Hudson. There was some good physical play tonight." Junior Taylor Hanson led the Wingers with three points on two goals and an assist.