Robert has been the Sports Editor for the Focus since 2010 covering multiple state and national championship teams and is a mainstay at state tournaments each season covering the successful, athletic programs of Perham and New York Mills High Schools.
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The New York Mills boys basketball team, (18-6) seeded fifth in Section 6A North, travel to Ulen to take on the Ulen-Hitterdal Spartans (17-9), seeded fourth, tonight, Thursday, Mar. 10. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. The two teams met in early February, in NY Mills, where the Spartans came away with a 60-54 victory. "We're out for blood this time," Tristan Huwe said. "I thought we should have been able to beat them last time." With only three seniors on the team, the Spartans will be playing shorthanded on experience compared to the Eagles, who boast nine upperclassmen.
The Perham boys basketball team finished the regular season like they have every game but one, with a victory. After defeating the number one ranked Class A Sebeka team, 65-60, earlier in the week, the Yellowjackets traveled a bit south down highway 71 to take out the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines, 65-34. The game was over early as the Jackets were cruising comfortably by the half, up 41-18. Nick Tobkin poured in 27 points to lead Perham. Jordan Cresap scored 10 points. In total, nine Yellowjackets got on the score sheet. "We have been playing well," Head Coach Dave Cresap said.
The Crosby-Ironton girls basketball team upset Perham on its home floor 46-42. The Rangers, #6 seed (18-9) will play #2 seeded Hawley (21-4) at Hawley. #3 Perham finishes its season with a record of 18-6. The Rangers controlled the tempo in a seesaw affair, trailing most of the second half before taking control late in the second half. Steph Miller gave the Yellowjackets a 31-29 lead. She grabbed the rebound on a Lexi Karvonen miss and made the basket in traffic with eight minutes to go. Jana Anderson tied the game at 31 on the next trip down the floor.
#8 New York Mills Eagles (4-21) at #1 Ada-Borup Cougars (22-2) The two teams have not met this season. NY Mills is 2-8 in their last ten games; Ada-Borup is a perfect 10-0. Ada-Borup is 12-1 at home. NY Mills is 1-13 on the road. NY Mills averages 38.9 points per game while giving up 59.4. Ada-Borup scores 57.3 points per game allowing only 36.7. The Eagles gained this matchup after defeating Norman County West 49-35 in the play-in game Monday night, Feb. 28. Ada-Borup last played Saturday, Feb. 26, a 66-59 victory over Bagley. The Cougars have won 19 consecutive games.
#6 Crosby Ironton (17-9) at #3 Perham (18-5) Perham won the only meeting between the two schools 70-59, on the road, December 9. Katrina Moenkedick had 20 points and six rebounds. Kaylan Huber added 16 points. Becky Stoll scored 10. Jana Anderson led the Rangers with 19 points. Missy Foote and Chelsea Bonsante each scored 14. Both clubs are 6-4 in their last 10 games. Crosby-Ironton is 7-4 on the road. Perham is 7-2 at home. Perham averages 58.2 points per game while giving up 48.6.
Four Perham wrestlers are headed to the individual portion of the 2A state wrestling tournament this coming weekend. Luke Sailer, 125 pounds, Cody Nylander, 215 pounds and heavyweight Jesse Hein all won titles at sections. Brandon Lueders, 119 pounds, finished in true second to qualify. Hein, who has held the number two state ranking all year breezed his way to state pinning all three of his opponents. After receiving a bye in the first round, he met Roseau's Keeren Oksanen.
Three New York Mills wrestlers are headed to the individual portion of the 1A state wrestling tournament this coming weekend. Shane Novak, 112 pounds, Seth Hofland, 152 pounds, and Noah Pesola, 171 pounds, will all be making the trip to St. Paul. Novak took out Ottertail Central's Dylan Schwartz by fall at 1:41 and Stuart Brandt of Barnesville by major decision, 11-3, in the semifinals. In the finals, Novak faced Mitch Andrews of Border West.
After a 2-4 start to the season against some stiff competition, the New York Mills boys basketball team has sprinted to the finish of the regular season going 15-2, including three victories last week. The Eagles completed season sweeps of Menahga, 74-67, and Pillager, 69-53, along with defeating Underwood 63-49. "Over the last three game stretch we really started to put some stretches of solid basketball together," Head Coach Bryan Dunrud said. Adam Snelgrove continues to lead the Eagles in scoring. He knocked in 22 points versus Menahga, 20 versus Underwood to lead the team.
The New York Mills girls basketball team opened up 6A section playoffs with a 49-35 victory over Norman County West. EmaLeigh Roberts was all over the court scoring 19 points and flirting with a triple double grabbing eight rebounds, along with nine steals. Ellie Rutten controlled the inside notching another double double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. The game was close for a half. Norman County West led at the break by a point, 19-18. "We started out the game very sluggish," Head Coach J.J. Weller said.
The 2011 Minnesota State Class A Gymnastics meets were incredibly rewarding experiences on multiple levels for everyone involved. Over the course of two days of competition, emotions ranged from pain to ecstasy. Satera Montella tweaked an ankle on a landing, grimaced, walked it off and proceeded to the next apparatus, where any evidence of even the slightest twinge was hidden by a great performance on uneven parallel bars. Carly Petersen missed the landing on her first vault and with steely determination stormed back on her last attempt to gain her second state vault title.