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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The final three weeks of the regular season will be a grind for the Red Wing girls' basketball team. With three straight three-game weeks, the Wingers are trying to find the right mix of practice and game time without exhausting the team both physically and mentally. So far, so good for Red Wing as the team went 2-1 in its first three-game week. The Wingers took a lost to Owatonna Monday, 67-54, before winning two straight against Austin on Tuesday, 55-36, and Thursday against Albert Lea, 70-41.
LAKE CITY – With major Section 1AA implications involved, Lake City and St. Charles sprinted out the gate on Saturday. The Tigers and Saints may as well left tire marks on the parquet floor at Lincoln High School as the two teams combined for 83 points and 12 3-pointers while having seven lead chances and three ties over the first 18 minutes. St. Charles was able to keep the pace up in the second half. However, Lake City struggled to keep up as the Saints came away with the 78-67 road victory.
RANDOLPH – Know when to pick your spots. As much as the Randolph boys' basketball team would like to press more frequently, having a young team with little depth makes that a tough proposition. So the team has to pick its spots to ratchet up the intensity. And Thursday against Southeast Conference West division leaders Schaeffer Academy, the Rockets picked the perfect time to pick their spots. Down by as much as eight in the second half, Randolph's defense proved to be the catalyst in a 51-48 come-from-behind victory that came down to the final minute.
For a team that typically gets off to quick starts, it was jarring for the Red Wing girls' basketball team to be down 16-11 to Rochester John Marshall eight minutes into Tuesday's Big Nine Conference contest. Heads were down. Shoulders were slumped. So instead of coaching up the Xs and Os during halftime, Wingers head coach Jesse Nelson preached body language in hopes of elevating the squad.
Defending Northfield’s Grace Touchette at the top of the 3-point line against, Lindsay Reps took her chances, knowing the rest of the Red Wing squad would have her back if she missed on a steal. “You just have to take risks and hope your team would help you out if you get beat,” Reps said. Fortunately, Reps’ risk paid off as she stole the ball from Touchette and scored a layup with 18 seconds to go in Friday’s Big Nine Conference match-up at Sonju Gymnasium.
With two wins from Ben Schaffer, a come-from-behind win from Patrick Beech and a pair of relay victories, the Red Wing boys' swimming and diving team managed to secure a 101-85 Big Nine Conference victory over Austin Thursday at Twin Bluff Middle School. After a grueling practice Wednesday to go with Thursday's victory, the Wingers are hoping momentum is on their side when they're back in the pool this weekend with another trip to True Team state on the line.
ST. PAUL – Trying to stop a piece of vulcanized rubber is plenty tough for any hockey goaltender. But trying to do that job with the sun shining, bright glare off the ice and the smell of bonfire in the air, that was an entirely unique experience for Red Wing goalie Tyler McGrath. But it was an experience McGrath and the rest of the Red Wing girls' hockey team were plenty excited for when the team found out at the start of the year they would face Moorhead at the seventh annual St. Paul Winter Classic at the North Dale Rec Center in Como Park.
PINE ISLAND – In the Section 1AA standings, Pine Island wants to stand out from the pack. With teams like Rochester Lourdes, St. Charles, Zumbrota-Mazeppa and Plainview-Elgin-Millville all lumped together behind Lake City and Caledonia among the section's top teams, the Panthers wanted a net a standout win Thursday night at home against Lourdes. But the Eagles' defense and 3-point shooting left Pine Island in a tizzy as part of a 66-58 Hiawatha Valley League win on the Panthers' home court.
KENYON – Two of the Hiawatha Valley League's premier players took the court Monday with Kenyon-Wanamingo's Mara Quam and Kasson-Mantorville's Kristin Scott. And the duo did not disappoint as Scott scored 36 points and 12 rebounds, and Quam with 33 points. What Monday's conference match-up ultimately came down to was the effort of the other players on offense. And that's where the KoMets gained the advantage.
Ellynn Braunreiter helped make Red Wing’s return home into a block party. Thirty-one days after the Winger girls’ basketball team’s last home game, back on Dec. 6, the team returned home to face Big Nine Conference foe Faribault on Friday night. And with Braunreiter tallying seven blocks along with a strong defensive effort by the team as a whole, Red Wing secured a 43-39 victory over the Falcons at Sonju Gymnasium.