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ELLSWORTH -- Second-ranked Ellsworth was able to come away with a split decision at Saturday's triangular. The Panthers beat Tomah 56-12 but lost to No. 1 Apple Valley 59-10 Saturday afternoon. Ellsworth had three winners against Apple Valley. Shawn Helmueller defeated Matt Hechsel by a 15-2 major decision at 160. Nick Oeltjen won at heavyweight 4-0 over Joe Sullivan and Sam Huppert beat Steven Mincey 7-1 at 112 pounds. All but Oeltjen were winners against Tomah.
ELLSWORTH -- Colfax may be in first place in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference, but it didn't play that way in Monday's non-conference contest. The Panthers exploded for 48 points in the first half and won handily 85-57. Tempo control keyed the game. The Vikings played exactly the way the Panthers wanted them to by trying to run with them.
ELLSWORTH - Ellsworth's hustle, drive and energy kept the Panthers in contention with Prescott for much of Friday's Middle Border Conference contest. They had the rebounds, steals, bruises and floor burns to show for it. Then Prescott's top players emerged in the fourth quarter to lead the 12-1 Cardinals to a 50-38 victory. Ellsworth took a 31-28 lead at the start of the fourth quarter after Shannon Campbell sank her third 3-point shot. However, the Panthers did not score another field goal for the rest of the game. Their remaining points came at the free-throw line.
PLUM CITY -- The Blue Devils relentless press helped them defeat the rival Raiders 71-44 Friday. Plum City led 11-6 at the end of the first quarter and just 13-10 early in the second. But the Devils sped up the tempo of the game with a full-court press in the second quarter that led to a 21-0 run. "I think our team is better off when the tempo of the game is fast and where we can use our quickness and tenacity on defense to give us an advantage," Plum City coach Wayne Radle said.
ELLSWORTH -- Despite leading for much of the game, Ellsworth couldn't close out Somerset on Tuesday evening. The Spartans took the lead with 35 seconds to go on Luke Buerkley's 3-pointer and went on to win 58-56 in Middle Border Conference action. Ellsworth led 27-18 after the first quarter and seemed to be in control. "Cripes, everything was working for us in the first quarter," Ellsworth coach Cory Brathol said. "We hit outside shots and took it to the basket and made layups.
LA CROSSE, Wis. - Ellsworth had 10 of their 14 wrestlers place in the top 12 Wednesday, including champion Hayden Hauschildt, to win the Division 2 title at the Bi-State Classic at the La Crosse Center. Hauschildt won first place at 145 pounds. He defeated Dawson Lovestrand of Bloomington (Minn.) Kennedy in the evening's championship match 7-0. Earlier in the day Hauschildt won 9-0 over Joey Reidel of Black River Falls, Wis., in the semifinals.
ELLSWORTH -- When you've wrestled three of the top 10 ranked schools in Minnesota's biggest class, facing an unbeaten Amery squad in a Middle Border Conference showdown doesn't seem quite so daunting. That played a key role in No. 2 Ellsworth's 51-10 win Thursday over the Warriors. "We pride ourselves on wrestling the best competition there is and not being afraid of anyone," Ellsworth coach Jack Radabaugh said. "We're not afraid to lose. If you get beat by a team that's better than you, it happens.
COLFAX, Wis. -- Plum City didn't just get up on the wrong side of bed last Saturday. It looked like the Blue Devils never woke up at all in 67-51 loss at Colfax. Besides ice cold shooting, the Blue Devils committed plenty of turnovers, had players in the wrong spots and couldn't catch passes or grab rebounds. "It was a terrible performance," Plum City coach Wayne Radle said. "We didn't play well and I give credit to Colfax for doing all the little things right and that made a big difference considering how bad we played." Despite such poor play, Plum City actually led 24-23 at halftime.
PRESCOTT -- Ellsworth might have its best basketball team in a decade, but nothing is going to come easy. The Panthers discovered that Friday against Prescott, but managed a 62-54 win. Ellsworth was ahead 8-2 in the first quarter when a 15-0 Prescott run, fueled by nine points from Cardinals center David Jerrick, put the Panthers down by nine points. But thanks to baskets from Drew Hipple, Caleb Peterson, Chris Niedfeldt and a pair of free-throws from Nick Niedfeldt, Ellsworth led again 18-17 at the end of the first quarter. Peterson was effective sinking mid-range jumpers.
Conrad Bekkum announced his retirement as Ellsworth's football coach Monday evening at the December meeting of the Ellsworth School Board. Bekkum has been associated with the Ellsworth football program for three decades. He started as the freshman coach back 1981. He became one of the main assistant coaches in 1988 under coach Craig Olson. Together they were part of the 1990 state championship squad that finished with a 12-1 record.