Kyle Stevens is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, Kyle worked at the Owatonna People’s Press, as well as KWLM and KLFN in Willmar. You can contact Kyle by phone at (651) 301-7879, via e-mail at email@example.com, and follow him on Twitter @RE_KStevens.
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It could be plastic wrap or Plexiglas, but whatever the lid is made of on top of Red Wing’s basket should be removed as soon as possible. The Wingers, winners of four of their first five games, dropped their fourth straight Friday night as Farmington walked out of Sonju Gymnasium with a 43-31 Missota Conference victory. About the only thing that went wrong for Red Wing was the ability to make shots. The Wingers had open looks throughout most of the game, including 20 3-point attempts that were rarely taken with a defender nearby.
With just seven games remaining in the regular season, the time is coming for Red Wing to start “climbing the ladder,” as head coach Scott Haley likes to say. The Wingers took a big first step toward postseason play Thursday with an 8-0 victory over Missota Conference rival Shakopee. “Candidly, I thought this was our best game of the year. They played us tough up there, (a) 3-2 (Red Wing win), and they were up 2-0 at one point,” Haley said.
Coming off back-to-back losses at the Robbinsdale Tournament, and five losses in eight games dating back to Dec. 12, a fast start and a victory was on the list of important things Friday for the Red Wing girls hockey team. And in just their third home game since Dec. 5, the Wingers got checked off both of those items with a four-goal first period, and a 5-2 Missota Conference victory over Northfield. “It was a game we played some of our best hockey of the year at times, (and) we played some of our worst hockey at times,” said Red Wing head coach Scott Haley.
ROCHESTER -- The future of the Big Nine Conference is a competitive one. But, in the here and now, there are a lot of underclassmen in need of some seasoning. And that comes with playing time, minutes that are accumulating as this season rolls on. Take Saturday’s seventh-place in the Rochester Rotary Tournament. Red Wing, at times, had zero seniors on the floor.
ROCHESTER – At the midway point of the first half, Rochester Lourdes took its second lead of the game against Red Wing. It would be more than eight minutes into the second half before the Wingers would again gain an advantage. But it would not hold as the Wingers scored just nine points in the last 8 minutes, 39 seconds, and dropped their first-round Rochester Rotary Tournament game against the Eagles, 63-51. “We quit competing. We didn’t box out. Second shots killed us, third shots (too),” said Red Wing head coach Dave Muelken of the Wingers second-half woes.
ROCHESTER – With a little more than seven minutes to play in Thursday’s Rochester Rotary Tournament first-round game, Goodhue’s Mikayla Miller hit the floor hard. Miller stayed down, holding her head before standing and walking off the Mayo Civic Auditorium court. The Wildcats held a tenuous nine-point lead over Rochester Century, a lead that was cut into immediately following Miller’s exit. Four minutes later, Miller checked back into the game. Goodhue still had a lead thanks to stellar defense, composed ball handlers and an offense that hit 4 of 6 free throws.
It’s been an up-and-down two weeks for Red Wing. Three losses in four games, and just two home games to bookend the 14 days had the Wingers searching for something more. That something came to Prairie Island Arena Saturday, and Red Wing was able to step up to the occasion with a 3-2 victory over visiting Breck. “I think the good part about it is we’re learning a lot about ourselves as a team, as far as our strengths and our weaknesses,” said Red Wing head coach Scott Haley.
AUSTIN, Minn. – The last echoes of the Star Spangled Banner were still bouncing off the walls of Austin High School’s gymnasium when Ty Buck hit a 3-pointer to open the scoring of Friday’s highly anticipated matchup between two top-five Class 3A teams. The raucous crowd, nearly all dressed in Packer red, were silenced.
A week ago, Fritz Belisle sparked a frenzy with an overtime, game-winning goal against Winona. The student section at Prairie Island Arena erupted after Belisle claimed the Barge Rope trophy for the Wingers for the first time. Thursday, Belisle again caused a commotion, though this time it rumbled through the bleachers and into the hallway outside the Red Wing locker room. “How long has it been?” asked several people. Coaches, trainers, managers, players and media had no concrete answer. Ten years? Eleven?
LAKE CITY – Cannon Falls is on a bit of a hot streak, putting together three-straight impressive performances against the meat of its schedule. A one-point victory over fourth-ranked (Class 2A) Rochester Lourdes last Friday, and a three-point win over defending Class 2A champion Minnehaha Academy Saturday led into the Bombers’ first Hiawatha Valley League Blue Division game at Lake City Tuesday evening. And by riding a group of seniors, Cannon Falls got its third win in a row against the Tigers, 66-32, in a game that, on paper, the Bombers shoul