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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With two of Class 1A's top-10 teams in the water Saturday, No. 8 Red Wing set its sights on knocking off No. 5 Austin. And with one race to go in the Winger Invitational, the Wingers were within four points of the Packers, with the 400-yard freestyle relay remaining. "As they announced the score, being tied at one point after the backstroke, the energy was really building up," said Red Wing head boys swimming coach Kevin O'Brien.
Ninth-grader Brady Kuchinka had the best game of his young career for Lake City Friday night in Lake City. Kuchinka scored 18 of his career-high 22 points in the second half and overtime to help the Tigers recover from a 30-13 halftime deficit to defeat Zumbrota-Mazeppa 60-55 in overtime. Lake City (12-1, 5-0 HVL Blue) shot just 6-for-21 in the first half but recovered to shoot 50 percent in the second half while forcing 10 second-half turnovers by the Cougars. Reid Lundell had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers while Ben Schramski also scored 15 points to take sole possession of f
MAZEPPA -- In 3 1/2 years on the Zumbrota-Mazeppa wrestling team, senior Mitchell Watkins had never missed a single practice. Then came Monday. "I've never had influenza my whole life," Watkins said. "Then Monday came and I never felt anything like it before. I went to the doctor and I had Influenza Type B. I was worried about it and I took two days off. ...
LAKE CITY - Things looked troubling early on for Goodhue, even before tipoff. Facing off with Lake City in a Hiawatha Valley League Blue division game Tuesday, leading scorer Mikayla Miller was dealing with an illness, according to Wildcats head coach Josh Wieme.
ZUMBROTA - With Carley Henning sitting on the floor, clenching onto the ball in a frenzy, the Zumbrota-Mazeppa girls basketball team finally felt like they got a handle onto its season. "That was awesome," Henning said, admitting that no one was going to take the ball out of her grasp. "I saw it and was like, 'Oh my gosh, Carly,'" said teammate Laura Brunner.
The goal was simple: don't turn the puck over. With the top goal scorer in the Missota Conference in Northfield's Andrew Scofield across the ice, the Red Wing boys hockey team wanted to do everything it could to keep the Raiders' senior off the board. And it worked for the first 16 minutes of Thursday's home game.
LAKE CITY - It took nearly 5,000 miles, but Ryan and Ben Swanson finally stepped onto their hometown's basketball court for the first time as high school players on Thursday. Spending their youth in Lake City, the Swanson family moved to Honolulu, Hawaii before either Ryan or Ben got to play for the high school team. Though the family moved, the Swansons always kept in touch with their friends in Lake City. "(Ryan) always could shoot," said Tigers guard Ben Schramski. "he was one of our better players back in the day, and he still would be if he were with us today. ...
Red Wing has faced plenty of adversity in the wake of an 0-9 start. So instead of dwelling on a 2-0 hole early in the second period against Farmington, the Wingers decided to fight through it. "We're used to that adversity," said Red Wing head boys hockey coach Mike Belisle.
LAKE CITY - In order to pick up a win on Thursday, Lake City had to shut down one of its own. Playing Mid-Pacific Institute, a private school based in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Tigers' goal was to shut down Owls senior forward Ryan Swanson, who was averaging 21 points per game entering Thursday's game. Ryan, along with his brother Ben, grew up in Lake City before the family moved to Hawaii.
LAKE CITY - Coming back from Christmas break, Lake City sophomore guard Breanna Gates admitted there were some nerves about the long layoff. But after practice on Wednesday, the Tigers' concerns were alleviated. "We work really hard at practice to make sure we're always working running and keeping conditioned, and we were worried we weren't going to be in shape after the five-day break," Gates said.