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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Life on the court has been swell for a guard called Bubba. McKayla Muelken, Red Wing’s senior point guard, has been a driving force for a Wingers team that has added nine wins from a season ago and sits as the No. 4 seed in the Section 1AAA tournament beginning Wednesday. But for as long as she can remember, McKayla hasn’t really gone by her legal name. McKayla has always been called Bubba.
ROCHESTER – With losses of 30 and 43 points during the regular season against Hayfield, Zumbrota-Mazeppa knew it would be an uphill battle to knock off the second-seeded Vikings in the Section 1AA tournament. But over the first eight minutes of Monday's section quarterfinal game, the 10th-seeded Cougars gave Hayfield some pause, forcing the Vikings to take a timeout with 7 minutes, 23 seconds to go before halftime. “That's something they haven't had to do before,” said Z-M head coach Scott Paukert.
ROCHESTER – Four Red Wing swimmers – Ian Johnson, Ben Schaffer, William Meacham and Jayden Jech – punched their ticket to state right away in the Section 1A championship Saturday as a part of the 200-yard medley relay. And for Meacham and Schaffer, state will be another chance to add another medal to their collections. In the section championship at the Rochester Rec Center, the Wingers placed seventh out of 10 teams with a score of 180. Northfield was the section champion with a score of 358.
ROCHESTER — If nothing else, Tyler DeFore is persistent. During Saturday’s Section 1A semifinal against second-seeded Rochester Lourdes, DeFore’s attempts to score through the five-hole on Eagles’ goaltender Adam Renn came up unsuccessful. In overtime, tied 3-3, DeFore tried to give it the ol’ college try one more time.
Red Wing's season was over. The Wingers trailed Albert Lea 5-2 in the Section 1A quarterfinals with four minutes to play. All game, the sixth-seeded Tigers just seemed to be one or two strides faster than third-seeded Red Wing. And the Wingers' vaunted offense was unable to break through the defense and a stellar performance from Albert Lea goaltender Benjamin Witham. Forty-seven minutes of game clock seemed to seal the Wingers' season. But in a four-minute span, the Wingers played their most inspired hockey of the season for an improbable comeback.
Up by just two at halftime against Big Nine Conference foe Mankato West, Red Wing girls' basketball coach Jesse Nelson wanted to try to work the ball inside for more high-percentage shots. Then the Wingers hit 15 3-pointers in the game, and senior Morgan Zebro turned in a 23-point effort to become the latest member of the school's 1,000-point club. After Tuesday's 73-56 win over the visiting Scarlets, coach Nelson could only shrug his shoulders about the proposed inside attack not going exactly to plan.
The Red Wing boys’ hockey team will head into the postseason as the hottest team in Section 1A after picking up its sixth straight victory with an 8-1 win at Faribault on Saturday. Tyler DeFore finished the game with three goals and an assist while Jackson Maroushek and Teddy Lillico both came up with a pair of goals and an assist apiece. Jack Nevitt got the team's final goal. Cam Blue tallied three assists in the victory.
MINNEAPOLIS — Dance with the stars and fly with the angels. This statement proved to be both a heartbreaking reminder of what the Lake City Dance Team had lost this season and a motivation to succeed in honor of a fallen teammate. On June 8, 2016, Katie Goihl went to the doctor because of fatigue and growing pains. When the diagnosis came back, Goihl found out she had chronic myelogenous leukemia. Goihl was diagnosed on a Wednesday. By Saturday, Goihl, 15, had passed away.
MINNEAPOLIS – When Cannon Falls needed to make changes to its High Kick routine, the member of the Bomber Dance Team were going to find a time to work out the kinks before the next competition. “We would spend time in study hall working on our routines and it was worth it in the end,” said Cannon Falls junior Brooke Kimmes. “On our team, if we're not getting something in practice, we'll go home and work on it until we get it.”
MINNEAPOLIS – Zumbrota-Mazeppa and Randolph both took a step up on Friday. But it was not enough for the Z-M Dance Team and the Rockettes to advance to finals in the Class 1A Jazz state dance team championship Friday at the Target Center.