Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.
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ROCHESTER - In a perfect match, Cannon Falls/Randolph head wrestling coach Dudley Flodeen thinks his team could win seven matches against Kasson-Mantorville in the Section 1AA finals. But up against the top Class 2A team in Minnesota, and the 19th-ranked team nationally, things go far from perfect. The Bombers only got three wins in a 50-12 loss in the section finals at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester on Saturday as the KoMets won the section title for the fourth straight year. "Our goal was to get to the finals of the section tournament and we did," Flodeen said.
ROCHESTER - Both Goodhue and Zumbrota-Mazeppa saw their Section 1A title hopes end early on Saturday at the Mayo Civic Center as both teams lost in the semifinals. Goodhue kept up with top-seeded Chatfield before falling 38-34, while Z-M was derailed by seven wins in eight matches by Kenyon-Wanamingo on the way to a 36-27 loss. But afterwards, the moods were completely different. The Wildcats were celebratory after their first section semifinals appearance since 2005. "We came out firing in our first four weights.
Once it got a handle on the ball, nothing slowed down the Red Wing girls basketball team. Turning the ball over 10 times in the first 10 minutes of Friday's Missota Conference game against Northfield, the Wingers committed just six giveaways in the remainder of the game en route to a 56-39 victory at Red Wing High School. "With those turnovers you take away a shot each time, so we gave up 12 shots in that first half," said Red Wing head coach Dave Muelken.
Red Wing believed that if they could do the little things right, they could stick with the 20th-ranked (1A) New Prague on Tuesday. And with a first-period goal by Alex Rezansoff, the Wingers' mindset switched: they could upset the Trojans. "We competed hard, played good defense at the end," Rezansoff said.
Goodhue junior Mikayla Miller had a career night on Tuesday with 37 points, pushing the Wildcats past Kasson-Mantorville 69-57 in Kasson. Miller also finished with 16 rebounds. While Goodhue was able to control the game on offense, the defense, especially the defensive play of 5-foot-7 forward Meredith Watson in the paint, was the biggest factor according to head coach Josh Wieme. Watson limited KoMets post player Erin Schlotthauer to 15 points. "She was just an incredible defensive player tonight," Wieme said. "She's 5-7 and she's always playing against a 6-footer.
ELLSWORTH - With Lake City bolting out to a 21-9 lead after the first quarter, Ellsworth looked like it was going to spend the next three quarters licking its wounds against the Tigers' inside duo of Taylor Koller and Madi Green. The duo accounted for 18 first-quarter points. "We were firing right away," said Tigers head coach Candace Olstad. "We were getting to our posts, no problem." Said Ellsworth head coach John Kleppe, "At the end of that quarter, I said to the girls, 'You look scared.
MAZEPPA - Since winning the Section 1A tournament for a third straight time last year, Zumbrota-Mazeppa knows it has a target on its back. And a team that has had the Cougars in its sights all season is ninth-ranked (1A) Chatfield, which was upset as the top seed in last year's section semifinals by fifth-seeded Z-M. "Since last year, we've had a lot more fans from other schools cheer against us," said Cougars' head coach Link Steffen.
There's just something about beating New Prague that makes the Red Wing girls basketball team break out in song. After a 61-51 victory over the Trojans on Jan.
Mitchell Breuer wrestles two different types of matches. On the mat, he is a standout middleweight for the Goodhue wrestling team, working his way up to a 114-59 record and a state berth last season as a junior in a varsity career that started in seventh grade. Internally, Breuer wrestles with grief, sorrow and the memories of a brother and father who were gone much too soon. On Feb. 22, 2007, Bryce Breuer, 8, died of leukemia. Then nearly 18 months later, on July 19, 2008, Tim Breuer, 37, died suddenly from a brain aneurysm.
After a season that saw Lake City reach the Section 1AAA finals, win a second straight Hiawatha Valley League Gold Division title and garner a top 10 Class 3A ranking, the Tigers' Christian Custer and Ben Schramski will represent the team on a new platform: college football. Custer, the 2012 Republican Eagle All-Area Player of the Year, is headed to South Dakota State, a top 20 Football Championship Subdivision team, as a preferred walk-on. Schramski will sign with Division II Concordia-St. Paul on Wednesday for national signing day.