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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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.
CANNON FALLS – The past two years were unkind to Zumbrota-Mazeppa. In 2014-15, the Cougars got just one win, followed by seven wins in 2015-16. Following Thursday's 58-46 Hiawatha Valley League victory over Cannon Falls, Z-M already has surpassed that two-year total at 9-1. After years of futility, the Cougars appreciate being the ones to deliver the lumps to other teams now.
RANDOLPH – Through the first eight games of the season, the Randolph girls' basketball team was having trouble with its identity through a 4-4 stretch. But now, following a 58-27 home Southeast Conference victory over Glenville-Emmons on Tuesday, the Rockets are rolling with a four-game win streak. “It's been fun,” said Randolph junior forward Hannah Neil. “We are finally starting to play as a team with all the different ages.”
With the team anxious to end a four-game losing skid, there’s a delicate balance for Red Wing boys’ basketball coach Drew Olinger to maintain. While the players are anxious to make plays in order to stop the struggles, playing hero ball can be detrimental if it strays away from the game plan. “It’s a hard place to be because it sometimes sounds like ‘Don’t hustle’ or ‘Don’t work in transition’ or ‘Don’t be aggressive,’” Olinger said. “We want those things but it’s making sure we have our teammates’ back and the teammates can help them in the correct situations.”
What Red Wing was able to do in the first period against Champlin Park Thursday, that's the way the Wingers' boys' hockey team plays at its best. After the visiting Rebels scored a goal 30 seconds into the game, Red Wing managed to put the surprise deficit behind them and score three straight goals. The rest of the game, that was a lesson to the Wingers about never letting off as Champlin Park scored six goals over the final 34 minutes in a 7-4 non-conference win over Red Wing at Prairie Island Arena.
CANNON FALLS – The system for Goodhue is thriving. At the start of the season, the Wildcats were missing key cogs like Ben Opsahl, Nicholas Thomforde and Cooper Davidson due to injury. Opsahl has made his way back to the lineup, but Thomforde and Davidson aren't expected to return until February. But, the next man steps up and the success continues for Goodhue, which moved to 6-0 on the year after a 56-42 Hiawatha Valley League win over Cannon Falls on Tuesday night.
The way the Red Wing boys' hockey team played Thursday, Anthony Boser doesn't want to blink and miss it. The Wingers' co-head coach walked off the Prairie Island Arena ice...
After two periods Monday, Red Wing saw itself trailing Big Nine Conference rival and Section 1A standout Northfield 2-1. With five seconds before the second intermission the Raiders took the...