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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LAKE CITY - With a pair of second-place finishers and a third-place finish at the 30th Annual Lake City Invitational on Saturday, the host Tigers finished in sixth place with a team score of 119.5. With three weeks to go until Section 1A wrestling gets underway, Lake City head coach Lonnie West hopes Saturday's 10-team tournament serves as a launching pad for his team. "When you're in the middle of the pack, there are some good things and some things you want to work on, and I'd say (Saturday's tournament) was your typical day," West said.
Falling behind by double digits to Shakopee, Red Wing had to make a switch on the defensive end. Unable to contain the Sabers' post players in a man-to-man defense, the Wingers switched to a 1-3-1 zone and made the final nine minutes of Thursday's Missota Conference game a mad dash to the end. "When we got in the 1-3-1, we finally started clicking as a team," said Red Wing sophomore guard Ty Buck. The Wingers were able to cut the gap to three, but they were unable to complete the comeback as Shakopee left with a 58-53 victory. "You can't fault the effort of our kids tonight," said Wing
The Red Wing School Board laid the framework for a return to the Big 9 Conference after giving activities director Matt Schultz the go-ahead to apply for the conference in a 7-0 vote on Tuesday night. The Missota Conference is in a state of disarray, with Farmington leaving for the South Suburban Conference, while Shakopee has applied for entry in the South Suburban. Chaska and Chanhassen also have explored other conference options. Other members of the Missota Conference include Academy of Holy Angels, New Prague and Northfield.
Red Wing had to ride with the ebbs and flows of Chanhassen's shooters on Tuesday. Thanks to some hot shooting to open the game, the Storm bolted out of the gate for a 23-7 lead midway through the first half. Once the shooters went cold, the Wingers were able to storm back, making it a 1-point game at halftime. But in the second half, the Storm's snipers were sharp with eight 3-pointers after half, putting the team up by as much as 22 points in a 70-52 Missota Conference victory Tuesday.
Friday's Missota Conference hockey game between Red Wing and Chaska was a game of minutes. Through the first 34 minutes, the Wingers and Hawks were playing even, with Chaska holding a slim 2-1 lead through two periods.
GOODHUE - With Triton sporting three ranked wrestlers from 145 pounds and up, a fast start was paramount for the Goodhue wrestling team. Starting Thursday's Hiawatha Valley League dual with four straight pinfalls, the Wildcats got the boost they needed to manhandle the Cobras on the way to a 65-15 home victory. "It's nice to match up with teams and we showed some strength in those matchups when I thought we were going to be closer," said Goodhue head coach Josh Grant.
Tied at 25-25 against an upset-minded Academy of Holy Angels, Red Wing figured it had two options. "We knew we could do one of two things: we could shut down in the second half," said Wingers senior forward Macy Kelly, "or we could show them our real team.
The Red Wing boys hockey team gave itself a point in the Missota Conference standings on Tuesday with a 2-2 tie at New Prague. Outshooting the Trojans 33-19, the Wingers (0-12-2, 0-3-2 Missota) got on the board at 14 minutes, 25 seconds of the first period when Michael Bigelbach popped in a goal off passes from Nick Sammon and Jamie Nevitt.
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