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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ROCHESTER - Lake City never expected its season to end Wednesday night against seventh-ranked Rochester Lourdes at the Mayo Civic Arena. The Tigers were beat up on in the last meeting between the two teams but Coleman Sweeney didn't play in that game. On Wednesday, Sweeney and his teammates showed they belonged against the Eagles and for most of the game it looked like Lake City's season would continue. But a missed shot and a tip-in with 2.7 seconds left on the clock shattered those expectations as second-seeded Lourdes won 56-54 and knocked the third-seeded Tigers out of the Section 1A
CANNON FALLS - Cannon Falls waited all season for Alex Bultena to break out and showcase his talent. Bultena waited until the perfect time: Monday's Section 2AA playoff opener against Kenyon-Wanamingo. The Bombers' junior scored 11 points in a four-minute span during the first half as Cannon Falls overcame a slow start and held on for a 37-34 victory against the Knights. "I thought Alex was a big difference in that first half, he really sparked us," Bombers' head coach Josh Davisson said. "We've waited for the day when that light bulb goes off.
The way the game started for Red Wing, with Macy Kelly's 3-pointer bouncing around the rim and falling in for the first points of the game, it looked like the Wingers might be in for another easy Section 1AAA victory Saturday against Austin. Red Wing forced the Packers into four turnovers in their first five possessions and held a 7-0 lead out of the gate. Simple, right? Not quite. The top-seeded Wingers were pressured and tested by fourth-seeded Austin but escaped with a 61-57 win in Red Wing. "I give all the credit to Austin.
MINNEAPOLIS - The 500-yard freestyle is no cakewalk but that's exactly how Red Wing's Tanner Alms made it appear Saturday at the Class 1A boys state swimming and diving finals at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Alms, the two-time defending Class 1A champion in the 500 freestyle, made it a third consecutive title while breaking his own record with a time of 4 minutes, 36.73 seconds. The second-place finisher, Michael Berg of St.
LAKE CITY - Lake City made quick work of Kingsland Thursday, never trailing in a 77-41 victory in the quarterfinals of the Section 1AA-West Subsection at Lincoln High School. The Tigers led by more than 10 points for 27 minutes, 30 seconds of the game. "We got out of the gate quick," Lake City head coach Shawn Sweeney said. "If anything, we were a little too amped up. I thought we played really well. We got up and in control. We could have been more patient on offense.
ROCHESTER - The frenetic pace and atmosphere of Tuesday's Section 1A-West Subsection semifinal between Goodhue and Lyle/Pacelli caught the Wildcats off-guard. The third-seeded Athletics' speed and pressure defense forced multiple turnovers in the opening minutes of the first half before second-seeded Goodhue settled down and came away with a 70-62 victory at the Mayo Civic Auditorium. "We expected them to want it to be that frantic," Goodhue head coach Josh Wieme said. "We did not do a good job that first eight minutes. ...
Lake City and Pine Island met Feb. 15 to conclude the regular season with Cede Finstuen knocking down the winning free-throw with one second remaining for a 36-35 win. The Tigers were looking to get revenge Tuesday in the Section 1AA-West Subsection semifinal at the Mayo Civic Arena.
When Fridley's Alberto Orejuela decided to swim with his club team rather than the Tigers, Tanner Alms' grip tightened on the Class 1A 500-yard freestyle title. Alms, a junior at Red Wing High School, defeated Orejuela by .31 seconds in the 500 freestyle at last year's Class 1A boys state swimming tournament to grab his second consecutive state championship. The next closest swimmer was more than eight seconds behind Alms and Orejuela. "I was more anxious toward the beginning of the year," Alms said. "Then, I found out that he wasn't swimming it, so the pressure of that is gone.
MINNEAPOLIS - Defense was under attack Saturday when Red Wing and Hastings faced off at the Target Center. The Wingers slowed the Raiders in the first half but struggled to make a single stop in the second half. Hastings had difficulty stopping Red Wing at all. The Raiders' outside shooting bridged the gap between them and the Wingers' athleticism, but Red Wing got to the free-throw line over and over to secure a 79-66 victory. "I thought offensively we played really well," Wingers' head coach Doug Toivonen said. "We did a good job attacking the basket.
ST. PAUL - In Paige Haley's final game for Red Wing Saturday, she made an early statement. The Ms. Hockey finalist uncorked a slap shot from nearly center ice 3 minutes, 5 seconds in for the first goal of the game and the Wingers thwarted a late rally by South St. Paul to grab a 3-2 victory. The win wrapped up third place for Red Wing at the Class 1A girls state hockey tournament at the Xcel Energy Center.