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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A bad second half sank the Red Wing boys basketball team as it dropped the title game of the Red Wing Tip-Off Tournament to Byron 53-48 Saturday in Red Wing. The Wingers (1-1) shot almost 46 percent on 3-pointers in the first half and scored 30 points while keeping turnovers low. In the second half, Red Wing went ice cold, shooting 23 percent from the field and making two field goals in a 21 possession stretch. They shot 0 of 8 from the 3-point line during that stretch. "We have a lot of kids who are good shooters," Wingers' head coach Doug Toivonen said.
Paige Haley scored a hat trick in the third period and the Red Wing girls hockey team got six goals in the final two periods to defeat Albert Lea 8-2 Saturday in Red Wing. "I think we wore them down in the second part of the second and the third due to playing more kids and all three lines," Wingers head coach Scott Haley said. "I was pleased we got to play the whole bench and gave some kids some valuable varsity experience." Paige Haley, a junior, connected on four goals to lead Red Wing (4-2, 1-0 Missota) and sophomore Nicole Schammel added a hat trick.
No seniors, no problem for the Red Wing gymnastics team. Junior captain Molly Hart is the team's leader and with the previous club experience of freshmen Irina Anderson and Maria Furlong, the Wingers have all they need to compete this season. "(Hart) is a very strong leader," Red Wing head coach Beth Mayer said. "She does a great job of pulling the girls together. She's a good go-between." Hart is in her second year as captain and brings stability to a young team hoping to develop as the year goes on. "I do my best to support them and keep them healthy," Hart said.
Red Wing junior Ryan Boldt started the season off with a bang but the Wingers' boys basketball team needed to claw their way to a 45-34 victory over Faribault Friday during the opening game of the Red Wing Tip-Off tournament in Red Wing. Boldt scored Red Wing's first two points on an emphatic dunk but it was on the defensive end where the Wingers (1-0) made their mark. "Our kids competed defensively," Red Wing head coach Doug Toivonen said. "There weren't a lot of open shots.
Red Wing head girls basketball coach Dave Muelken spent more time yelling from the bench than usual Thursday in Red Wing. The Wingers kept getting beat on the glass and he was urging them to work harder. Red Wing (3-0) responded in the second half, using a 10-0 run midway through to push its lead to 49-30 and coasted to a 67-57 victory over Winona. "It was just effort," Muelken said. "We didn't play 36 minutes tonight and we have to. ... We've got to do a better job rebounding.
In its second consecutive overtime game the Red Wing girls hockey team came up short in a 5-4 loss to fifth-ranked Mound-Westonka Tuesday in Red Wing. The Wingers (3-2, 1-0 Missota) overcame a 3-2 deficit going into the third period but could not hold the lead and gave up the game winning goal less than a minute into overtime. "It was a Jekyll and Hyde type game," Red Wing head coach Scott Haley said.
Little remains from last year's Red Wing boys basketball team. Senior Joel Newman is the lone returning starter as the Wingers attempt to make up for the lost production of 10 graduated seniors. Six of Red Wing's top scorers last season were seniors, including Isaac Sevlie who averaged 15.6 points and 7.7 rebounds a game. "That will be one of the biggest challenges," Red Wing head coach Doug Toivonen said of replacing graduated players.
Marisa Toivonen is a skilled three-sport athlete at Red Wing High School. She was the No. 1 singles player on the tennis team and is the starting center on the Wingers' basketball team, notching a double-double Saturday against Goodhue. But after leading Red Wing to the Class A state golf title last spring, Toivonen was recruited by Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., and recently signed a letter of intent to play golf for the Vikings. "I'm really looking forward to being a part of the atmosphere," Toivonen said of going to Augustana.
Tesha Buck nearly secured a triple-double in the championship game of the Red Wing Invitational Saturday against Goodhue, scoring 27 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and handing out seven assists to lead the Wingers to a 73-63 victory. Buck overcame an injury to her left ankle midway through the first half and led Red Wing (2-0) to victory with aggressive playmaking. "She really stepped up," Wingers' head coach Dave Muelken said. "She didn't settle. Down the stretch, she attacked the basket.
Red Wing head coach Scott Haley usually refrains from stacking his top line but this season the players are rewarding his decision with elite performances. The Wingers (2-1) No. 1 line of freshman Reagan Haley, sophomore Emily Stegora and sophomore Nicole Schammel played a part in all seven goals for Red Wing in a 7-4 victory Tuesday against Shakopee in Red Wing. The group also accounted for five of seven goals against Hastings last week.