Star News » Sports http://erstarnews.com The Star News covers community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for Elk River, Otsego, Rogers and Zimmerman, Minnesota and their surrounding areas. Sun, 29 Mar 2015 18:16:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Athlete of the week: Mitchell Weege, Elk River, basketball: Mr. Reliable http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/28/athlete-of-the-week-mitchell-weege-elk-river-basketball-mr-reliable/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/28/athlete-of-the-week-mitchell-weege-elk-river-basketball-mr-reliable/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 02:06:54 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=787646 by Bruce Strand, Sports Editor

The first time Mitchell Weege got written up in the local paper was in 10th grade when he sank 13 points, off the bench, including a clutch buzzer-beater, to help Elk River beat a good Edina team. “I remember Porter had about 20 points and I got more of a write-up than he did, so I had some fun with that,” Weege chuckled, referring his good friend Porter Morrell.

Weege isn’t a big talent like Morrell but has been an important cog on the Elks team for three seasons as a 3-point shooter and heads-up, tenacious defender. He’s been picked as one of the Elk captains the past two years. Next year he plans to rejoin Morrell on the Northwestern (St. Paul) basketball team.

Mitchell Weege, all-conference this winter, has 10 letters in four sports. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Mitchell Weege, all-conference this winter, has 10 letters in four sports. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

“Mitchell is a great team player and hard worker and has a very good understanding of the game,” coach Randy Klasen said. “A lot of times I will ask him, ‘Mitch, what do you see?’ and he helps set up what defense we’ll use. He’s a smart defensive player within the team concept, and he’s always in the right place when we rotate. He’s also one of the leaders of the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes).”

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound guard made all-conference this season when he averaged 9.6 points and 1.4 steals, was second on the team with 17 charges taken, and made 42 3-pointers at 34.2 percent clip, on a 13-15 team. He finished his career with 104 treys.

Weege was a top sub on the Elks’ 20-9, section runner-up team as a sophomore and got honorable mention to all-conference as a junior when he averaged 10.8 points and 1.3 steals and set a team record with 48-percent 3-point shooting (49-for-102), on a 16-11 team.

A busy student-athlete, Weege has lettered three years each in basketball, soccer and track, along with cross-country in ninth grade.

In soccer last fall, Weege played center back and got honorable mention to all-conference on a young 4-11-1 team, where his job was to help rudder the defense and make sure everyone’s in the right place. He was a backup as a junior on a state tournament team. He enjoys recalling his one career goal, his junior year against Buffalo. “It the luckiest thing. I made a crossing pass from about 40 yards out, and it went over the goalie.”

In track, Weege’s best events are the 800 and 1600 (personal-bests 2:03 and 4:43). While he’s not fast enough to place individually in conference, coach Brian Gilbertson appreciates his range — “He can run anything from the 400 to the 3200”— and cites him as a young man of “great integrity.” Weege went to state with a 4-by-800 relay in 10th grade.

Weege said his top prep thrills include beating Anoka in overtime for the section soccer title his junior year, beating Rogers three straight years in basketball, and upsetting a powerful Osseo basketball team in 10th grade.

Looking ahead, Weege said he’s not sure what he wants to do but is leaning toward a return to prep sports as a teacher and coach.

 

THE WEEGE SCORECARD

Mitchell Weege

Mitchell Weege

Personal file — Age: 17 … Family: parents Mitch and Diane; brother Noah … Sports: soccer, basketball, track … Other activities: Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, LINK … College plans: University of Northwestern, St. Paul, basketball … Career plans: probably teaching/coaching

Favorite stuff — Class: Sports Marketing … TV show: Any time the Badgers or Packers are on … Movies: “God’s Not Dear,” “Hoosiers” and “Glory Road” … Music: Christian, especially Toby Mack … Food: Texas Roadhouse fare … Drink: Gatorade blue … Reading: “Outdoor News” … Athlete: Ben Brust … Hobbies: hunting, fishing

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Basketball: Star News area 1,000-point club adds 3 members http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/28/basketball-star-news-area-1000-point-club-listed-with-3-new-members/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/28/basketball-star-news-area-1000-point-club-listed-with-3-new-members/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 02:01:30 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=787642 Jake Knollenberg of Spectrum

Jake Knollenberg of Spectrum

 

by Bruce Strand, Sports Editor

The Star News area’s 1,000-Point Club expanded by three this winter: Rogers senior Cole Murray, Elk River junior Abi Scheid and Spectrum junior Jake Knollenberg.

Scheid went over 1,000 early in the season and moved past five former Elk stars into second place in ERHS girls scoring with 1,465 points. Tempestt Wilson, who played collegiately for South Dakota, has held the record of 1,783 since 2009.

The Elk overall record is 1,808 points by 1993 Mr. Basketball Skipp Schaefbauer, who played for Illinois State, and took up triathlons (thus the helmet in the photo) in Illinois.

Scheid has a chance to pass Wilson and Schaefbauer. After logging 542 and 531 points the last two seasons, Scheid needs 535 to reach 2,000.

Murray, who’ll play for Minnesota-Moorhead, rolled up 1,065 points along with 544 rebounds.

Knollenberg, a 6-foot-5 forward, averaged 20.4 points, and notched his 1,000th point in the final minute of close win against St. Paul Humboldt. He finished the season with 1,052. The Sting record is 1,678 by Grant Spark (2009).

The Star News has only one 2,000-point scorer: Casey Mann, who tallied 2,108 and helped the Rogers girls reach state tournaments in 2006 and 2008.

Two Elks with a good chance to reach 1,000 next year are Matt Keller, who has 696 points after his junior year, and Gabi Haack, who has 680 after her sophomore year.

 
STAR NEWS AREA THOUSAND-POINT CLUB

Elk River

BOYS
Skipp Schaefbauer ’93 .. 1808
Clay Elrod ’14 ……….. 1606
Matt Annen ’03 ……… 1292
Tyler Macomber ’06 ….. 1249
Jack Gavin ’09 ………. 1121
Tom Ostby ’67 …….… 1094
Ben Erickson ’11 ….… 1035

GIRLS
Tempestt Wilson ’09 ….. 1783
Abi Scheid ’16 …….… 1465
Rachel Davis ’03 …..… 1448
Sara Belanger ’92 ……. 1387
Lindsey Dietz ’02 ……… 1198
Janet Madsen ’86 ……. 1182
Courtni Metcalfe ’09 .… 1156

Rogers

BOYS
Tony Cain ’09 ……..…. 1382
Cole Murray ’15 …..…. 1065

Michael Schreiber ’12 .. 1058

GIRLS
Casey Mann ’08 ………. 2108
Jennifer Dowd ’09 …… 1634

Zimmerman

BOYS
Brandon Giese ’11 ……. 1368
Jake Wilson ’13 ….…… 1085
Zach Mettling ’08 ……… 1037

GIRLS
Kaitlyn Houser ’08 ……. 1139
Ashley Schleper ’06 …… 1099

Spectrum

BOYS
Grant Spark ’09 ………. 1678
Jake Knollenberg ’16 …. 1052

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Eleven ex-Elks are playing college baseball http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/28/eleven-ex-elks-are-playing-college-baseball/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/28/eleven-ex-elks-are-playing-college-baseball/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 01:56:32 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=787640 by Bruce Strand, Sports Editor

Eleven Elk River graduates are playing college baseball this spring, three of them at Northwestern in St. Paul, announced Elk coach Ryan Holmgren.

Tucker Morrell is a junior infielder and pitcher at Northwestern (St. Paul) after two seasons at Anoka-Ramsey. His brother Porter Morrell is a freshman catcher for Northwestern, joining late after averaging 10.9 points to help the basketball team go 20-10 with the first two NCAA wins in their history.

Tucker is hitting .348 in nine games (8-for-23) for the Eagles (6-7) and has a 4.00 ERA and 0-2 record in 18 innings. Porter is 1-for-9 in three games.

Also with North-western is freshman pitcher Erik Nyquist, who has won his first three collegiate starts. He has a 4.30 ERA in 23 innings.

Sam Krick is a junior outfielder at South Dakota State (Division I). He is currently 3-for-21 in 11 games for the Jackrabbits (9-11).

Terry Hadden is a sophomore pitcher at Bemidji State. He has a 1-4 record in five starts. He was 3-3 as a freshman.

Brandon Meyer is a freshman infielder for Bethel. He has appeared in seven games for the Royals (11-3), hitting .385 (5-for-13) with four RBIs.

Joey Hudson is a sophomore pitcher for Rainy River Community College in International Falls and signed last fall to continue his career at Northern State in South Dakota.

Sam Wirtz, a first baseman, and Mylo Hommes, an outfielder and catcher, are freshmen on the Anoka-Ramsey roster.

Alex Babcock is a freshman first baseman at Bethany Lutheran in Mankato.

Joe Gonrowski is a freshman pitcher for St. Scholastica in Duluth.

Nyquist, Meyer, Wirtz, Hommes, Babcock and Gonrowski were members of the 2014 Elk team that placed fifth in the state tournament, the school’s best-ever finish.

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Golf: Anantophong gets ERGC’s first ace of 2015 on March 15 http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/24/golf-anantophong-gets-ergcs-first-ace-of-2015-on-march-15/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/24/golf-anantophong-gets-ergcs-first-ace-of-2015-on-march-15/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 05:39:34 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=787486 The first hole-in-one of 2015 at Elk River Golf Club came early this year.

Lang Anantaphong of Elk River aced the 180-yard No. 4 hole on Sunday, March 15, using a five iron. He shot 40 for nine holes. It’s his fourth year of golfing.

Golf clubs around the state were able to open much earlier than the last two years when wintry weather extended into April.

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Athlete of the week: Matt Kiersted, Elk River, hockey: Aiming high http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/21/athlete-of-the-week-matt-kiersted-elk-river-hockey-aiming-high/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/21/athlete-of-the-week-matt-kiersted-elk-river-hockey-aiming-high/#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 06:10:14 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=787422 by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Elk River hockey got two superb seasons from Matt Kiersted, but the junior defenseman has left the program a year early, with the blessings of his coaches and the good wishes of appreciative Elk fans.

That’s what often happens with elite skaters who aspire, as Kiersted does, “to make a career out of hockey.”

A Star Tribune All-Metro second-team pick, Kiersted has already joined Chicago of the USHL, along with senior teammate Jake Jaremko, to play the Steele’s last 12 games. They got into three games last weekend. Both will return to Chicago for the full season next year.

Matt Kiersted, all-metro defenseman for the Elks as a junior, has moved on already to the Chicago Steele of the USHL. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Matt Kiersted, all-metro defenseman for the Elks as a junior, has moved on already to the Chicago Steele of the USHL. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Kiersted is continuing classes online and will finish the year at ERHS when hockey is done. Next year, he’ll complete his senior year online or attending a Chicago high school.

North Dakota, historically one of the best collegiate hockey programs, recruited Kiersted, and he verbally committed to them last summer. “They told me they like my skating style, and that I’m a more offensive player than most defensemen,” he said.

Said coach Gordie Roberts: “Matt has played on all the select teams. He is not a secret in the hockey world outside of Elk River.”

While bolstering the Elks defense, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Kiersted also notched nine goals and 32 assists on the Elks’ conference champion and section runner-up team that finished 22-5-4 and ranked No. 8 by Let’s Play Hockey. As a sophomore, Kiersted had six goals and 19 assists on an 18-6 team. In his two years, the Elks went 31-4 in the Northwest Suburban.

“Matt is a real good skater and good puck handling and shooting skills,” assessed Roberts. “Learning to see the ice and make quick decisions is a work in progress. With the puck on his stick he can make things happen. He is a kid who can’t wait to  get on the ice.  He has that extra level of passion, inner drive, you need to be really good.”

Kiersted played forward his first year of bantams but moved to defenseman his second year and stayed there. “I like it because you can see the whole rink.”

Physicality was the one concern while he was emerging as a standout in bantams, but he has toughened up in the weight room working with conditioning coach Mike Breyen the last two years. And he uses his head.

“I’m not as big as most defensemen,” Kiersted acknowledged. “The coaches teach me to be smart. Don’t go looking for someone to hit. Let them come to you and hit them.”

Elk River’s season and Kiersted’s prep career ended in stinging disappointment when they were upset by Duluth East 5-4 in double overtime in the section finals after leading 3-0. Kiersted, contacted in Chicago, said he wasn’t over it yet. “No. It’s still hard to comprehend.” But he was willing to pronounce it a successful season. “We won the conference,” he noted (the Elks’ first NWSC title since 2007), “and we got to the section finals.”

Lacking a state tournament, Kiersted said it was easy to pick his high school highlight: Hockey Day Minnesota last year when Elk River hosted the sports’ biggest regular-season event and beat Stillwater at Handke Pit before thousands of fans and a big television audience.

In Kiersted’s case, that won’t be the last time he plays on a big stage.

 

THE KIERSTED SCORECARD

Matt Kiersted

Matt Kiersted

Personal file — Age: 16 …. Sport: hockey … Family: parents Bob Kiersted, Candace Hartwig; brothers Mitch, 20, Drew, 13 … Academics: 3.3 GPA … College: North Dakota, hockey, major undecided

Favorite stuff — Class: Nets and racquets in PE … TV show: “Lost” … Movie: “Miracle” … Music: country … Team: Kansas and Kentucky men’s basketball … Athlete: Duncan Keith, Black Hawks … Wants to visit: Fiji

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Hockey: Elk B-1 bantams 2nd at state tournament http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/18/hockey-elk-b-1-bantams-2nd-at-state-tournament/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/18/hockey-elk-b-1-bantams-2nd-at-state-tournament/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 05:24:02 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=787264 Elk River B-1 Bantams

Elk River B-1 Bantams

 

The Elk River Bantam B1 Black team was runner-up in the state tournament March 13-15 in Rochester, finishing a 45-7-4 season.

The Elks beat Prior Lake 6-5 (overtime) and Moorhead 4-1 before falling to Wayzata Blue in the finals 7-2 after it was tied 2-2 after two periods. Zac Cellette, Mitch Maass, and Tucker Budreau made all-tournament.

Coach Kurt Remick said this was the first Elk River team to play in a state championship game, although a previous bantam team played in a VFW state championship.

Bantams are age 14-and-under, the level before high school. The classifications are AA, A, B1, B2 and C. Elk River has an AA and B1 team. Only the larger hockey associations such as Edina and Wayzata have both AA and A, Remick said.

The Elks won tournaments at Hibbing, Elk River and Thief River Falls, along with District 10 regular season and East Regional. They took third in the Eden Prairie tournament and District 10 tournament.

LEADERS —Points: Jaz Brodzinski (46 goals, 49 assists, 95 points), Zac Cellette 41-45-86, Mitch Maass 44-39-83 … Austin Eggert 40 assists … Plus-minus: Evan Junker 95, Kole Beese 90, Cole Tveit 88 … Fewest penalties: Jake Ballenger, none …Goalkeeping: Parker Huber 25-3-2 record, .918 percentage, 1.65 goals-against; Nolan Thomas 20-4-3, .874, 1.98.

Coaches — Kurt Remick; head; assistants Tim Marchand, Rich Simon, Nate Hildenbrand (dry-land coach.)

Players — Parker Huber (goalie), Brock Hildenbrand, Noah Hansen, Mitch Larson, Evan Junker (assistant captain), Mitch Maass, Jaz Brodzinski, Cody Simon, Austin Eggert, Zac Cellette (captain), Cole Tveit, Jack Wilson, Tucker Budreaum Jake Ballenger, Zach Buchert, Kole Beese (assistant captain), Nolan Thomas (goalie)

Manager — Jennifer Farmer

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Athlete of the week: Marina Nowak, Rogers: Moving on http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/16/athlete-of-the-week-marina-nowak-rogers-moving-on/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/16/athlete-of-the-week-marina-nowak-rogers-moving-on/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 20:53:44 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=787211 by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Marina Nowak has given basketball all she’s got through 12 years of school at Rogers with a couple premier goals in mind — to cap it off with a state tournament, which won’t happen, even though the Royals gave it a good run, and to move on to a college team, which will happen.

The next level, at Jamestown College, is what Nowak has to look forward to now after her high school career came to its jolting conclusion with a loss to Elk River in the section semifinals last Saturday. It’s the moment all players know will come, but ….

Marina Nowak will move on to Jamestown College after a solid four-year tenure with the Rogers Royals. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

Marina Nowak will move on to Jamestown College after a solid four-year tenure with the Rogers Royals. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

“It was sad to realize we won’t be playing together anymore,” Nowak lamented Sunday. “For us seniors, we are really good friends, too. We cried a lot. I didn’t think It would be that bad, but it was.”

The squad has played together since fifth grade.

“And me and the two Taylors, we’ve played summer ball together, too,” said Nowak, referring to Anderson and Paulsrud, also talented enough to land on college teams next year.

The 5-foot-9, 145-pound Nowak, a strong, nimble forward, was one of the main reasons the Royals posted a 20-8 record, conference runner-up finish, and a 13-game win streak. Her contributions included 12.5 points, nine rebounds and 1.6 steals per game, in a lineup with several good scorers. Her high games were 21 in a 75-61 win over Brainerd and 20 in a sectional 81-71 win over St. Cloud Tech.

“We had a lot of talent this year, and I thought we could make it to the state tournament,” Nowak said. Asked about personal goals, she said, “Just give my all in my last year, and help the team win as many games as possible.”

Nowak’s main jobs, designated by coach Karlee Anderson, were “to rebound, and attack the basket,” said Nowak. She’s got a jump shot, too, which she uses in AAU ball because her college coach said she’ll need it.

Nowak made all-conference last year, averaging nine points and five rebounds on a 15-13 team. In her sophomore year, she was a starter on an 18-10 team.

Anderson described Nowak as a hardworking, physically strong, bright and versatile.

“Jamestown is lucky to have her,” Anderson said. “She is a good rebounder, good scorer and a tough defensive player. She can defend anyone from guard to post. She was a real spark for our team. She plays with a high energy level every game.”

Nowak’s next basketball event will be a camp for Jamestown players the week after graduation. Until then? “I don’t know what I’ll do after school,” she said. “Probably work out, for college.”

The little North Dakota school she chose is “in the middle of nowhere” but she was impressed by the Jimmies’ coaches, and the small, intimate campus, with just a thousand students, appealed to her. And there’s four more years of basketball waiting for her there.

 

 

THE NOWAK SCORECARD

Marina Nowak

Marina Nowak

Personal file — Age: 18 … Family: parents Steve and Julie; younger sister Meaka … Sport: basketball … Academics: 3.6 GPA … Other activities: National Honor Society, Impact … College plans: Jamestown (North Dakota), basketball … Ambition: athletic trainer

Favorite stuff — Class: anatomy … TV show: “One Tree Hill” … Movie: “White Chicks” … Music: country … Food: “My grandparents’ spaghetti” … Drink: Coke Zero … Team: Timberwolves … Wants to visit: Italy

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Basketball: Elk girls beat three state tournament teams http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/16/basketball-elk-girls-beat-three-state-tournament-teams/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/16/basketball-elk-girls-beat-three-state-tournament-teams/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 18:58:00 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=787195 Elk River did not qualify for the state girls basketball tournament that starts Tuesday but went 5-0 in conference against three of the teams that did make it.

The No. 5 ranked Elks finished 25-4 with a loss to No. 3 ranked St. Michael-Albertville 72-64 last Thursday in the Section 8AAAA finals.

In Northwest Suburban play, the Elks beat Andover 59-53 and 61-51, Centennial 78-74 and 70-53, and Park Center 75-61. Andover (19-10) won Section 7AAAA, Centennial (21-8) won Section 5AAAA, and Park Center (22-7), the defending Class 3A champion, won Section 3AAA.

The Elks lost twice to STMA. Their other losses came against two Class 4A section runners-up, No. 6 ranked Rochester John Marshall and No. 4 Minnetonka.

Sections will be re-arranged next year but the only change in Elks’ section will make it harder, not easier.

The Elks, who had four sophomores and a junior starting, will remain with STMA and Rogers in 8AAAA, and Maple Grove will move in, replacing one of the weaker teams, Bemidi, which will drop to 3A. Maple Grove was 17-10 this year and the Elks edged them 60-55.

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Basketball: Elk girls (25-4) denied state trip by STMA, again http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/13/basketball-elk-girls-25-4-denied-state-trip-by-stma-again/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/13/basketball-elk-girls-25-4-denied-state-trip-by-stma-again/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 05:23:53 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=787120 Somber Elks line up for the  awards ceremony including (from left) Sidney Wentland, Jayme Langbehn, Abi Scheid, Gabi Haack, xxxx. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Somber Elk River players  line up for the awards ceremony, including (from left) Sidney Wentland, Jayme Langbehn, Abi Scheid, Gabi Haack, and Anna Rollag. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

 

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Elk River is a better team than some that will play in the state girls basketball tournament next week, but the Elks won’t be here. St. Michael-Albertville always makes sure of that.

Not even with a 15-point lead in the first half could the No. 5 ranked Elks avert their third straight Section 8AAAA finals loss to the No. 3 ranked Knights, who trailed most of the game but were in complete control the last three minutes to pull out a 72-64 win, Thursday evening in Monticello.

Ava Kramer drives to the hoop for two of her 11 first-half points. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

Ava Kramer drives to the hoop past Lizzie Heil  for two of her 11 first-half points. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

STMA (25-3) made its first 21 free shots — you read that right — to stay within striking distance and finished 28-for-31 at the line. And that was the ballgame. The Elks made 27 field goals to STMA’s 20 and were even in rebounds at 25, but made only seven free shots in 14 attempts.

The Knights also spooked the Elks into their old bad habit of turning the ball over, something they’d gotten under control this year. The Knights turnover edge was a significant 21-10.

But the Elks could still have won if the Knights were not ridiculously hot at the free throw line. It marked the second straight year that the Knights have beaten the Elks at the line; they made 35 of 45 last year.

Rae Johnson, who scored 13 points for STMA, works against Elk River's Anna Rollag. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

Rae Johnson, who scored 13 points for STMA, works against Elk River’s Anna Rollag. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

Elk River finished 25-4, also losing to STMA 69-56 at home in February. The Elks are 0-6 vs. STMA the last three years. This is the first year in that span the Elks have been one of the state’s top teams.

With four sophomores and a junior starting for the Elks, there would appear to be a glimmer of hope for next year, with STMA having two excellent seniors in its starting five. Then again the Knights have graduated good players before and always seem to replace them without a hitch.

Elk River led by as much as 29-14 in the giddy first 12 minutes. They were still up 33-24 and had the ball in the final 10 seconds before halftime when an ominous turn of events occurred.

Gabi Haack drove the lane for an open layup, but put it up too hard and missed. Knight sub Jayme Hansen got the rebound, and was fouled, with four seconds left. She made both free shots, of course, so instead of an 11-point lead it was seven points. That seemed to signal the trouble ahead for the Elks.

Gabi Haack drives against STMA's Rae Johnson (4) and Bobbi Brendefur. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

Gabi Haack drives against STMA’s Rae Johnson (4) and Bobbi Brendefur (3). (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

Elk River did regain the lead the first two times STMA passed them in the second half, but could not hold the Knights off. The perennial champs kept making free shots and found their 3-point range, too, making four in the second half after going 0-for-5 in the first half.

Senior guard Bobbi Brendefur had two points at half-time but finished with 24 for the Knights, including 12-for-14 at the line. Junior forward Sydney Tracy hit 15 points and soph guard Rae Johnson 13. Senior post Jordyn Walker had eight points and 11 rebounds, and intercepted three passes intended for Elk post Abi Scheid.

Scheid tallied 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to cap her junior season. Haack scored 18 points and the other sophomore guard, Ava Kramer, had 13.

This marks Elk River’s fourth section runner-up finish this winter, following those of the top-seeded boys and girls hockey teams, and the boys swimming team. Meanwhile STMA has won the Elks’ section in boys and girls basketball, wrestling and swimming.
STMA 72, Elk River 64

Elk River — Abi Scheid 21 (14 reb), Gabi Haack 18 (6 reb, 4 ast, 4-5 FT), Ava Kramer 13 (4 ast), Kelsie Cox 4, Sidney Wentland 4 (6 reb), Anna Rollag 2 (4 ast), Jayme Langbehn 2 … Team totals: 27 FG (3 3fg), 7-14 FT, 27 rebounds, 21 turnovers, 16 fouls

STMA — Bobbi Brendefur 24 (2 stl, 2 3fg, 12-14 FT), Rae Johnson 13 (3 stl, 7-8 FT), Sidney Tracy 15 (5 reb, 2 stl, 5-5 FT), Kitri Zezza 3, Jordyn Walker 8 (11 reb, 3 stl, 2-2 FT), Lizzie Heil 7, Jaymie Hansen 2 …. Team totals: 20 FG (4 3fg), 28-31 FT, 25 rebounds, 10 turnovers, 12 fouls

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Girls basketball: Elks will try end STMA section dynasty in duel of metro powers http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/12/girls-basketball-elks-will-try-end-stma-section-dynasty-in-duel-of-metro-powers/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/03/12/girls-basketball-elks-will-try-end-stma-section-dynasty-in-duel-of-metro-powers/#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 09:14:00 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=787075 by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Two girls basketball teams ranked in the top five in the state will duel for a trip to the state tournament when Elk River faces St. Michael-Albertville  in the Section 8AAAA finals.

The No. 5 ranked Elks (25-3) and No. 3 ranked Knights (24-3) will tip off at 7 p.m. in Monticello, with the Elks hoping to end STMA’s three-year reign.

The Elks have lost to the Knights five times in the last three years, including 69-56 at home earlier this season, and in the last two section finals, 75-66 last year and 68-59 in 2013.

“We can beat them, but they are very good,” Elk coach Reed Caouette assessed, praising the Knights not only for their talent but for their confidence and aggressiveness in big games under coach Ken Hamre.

When the Elks lost to STMA on Feb. 12, they were 0-for-10 on three-point shots while the Knights were torrid at 10-for-20. For the season, the Knights have made 180 three-pointers and the Elks 117 (with 33-percent accuracy) so the gap on three’s might not be so extreme this time. At least, that’s what the Elks hope.

The Elks are a little better rebounding team than the Knights, and have vastly improved this year on protecting the ball, which was a downfall against STMA the last two title games.

STMA senior guard Bobbi Brendefur, averages 15 points and has made 76 three-pointers. Sophomore guard Rae Johnson averages about 13 points, junior guard Sidney Tracy 11.5, and senior forward Jordyn Walker and junior guard Kitri Zezza each about 9.3, so you won’t find any weak links. Zezza and Brendefur are defensive menaces in particular with four steals per game each.

Both teams are coming off a resounding semifinal win, STMA over Buffalo 80-42 and the Elks over Rogers 80-59.

For the Elks, junior center Abi Scheid is averaging 18.5 points after her school-record 40 against Rogers, along with 10 rebounds. The other starters, all sophomores, are guard Gabi Haack with 14.5 ppg, guard Ava Kramer 9.3, guard Kelsie Cox 7.8 and forward Sydney Wentland 7.3.

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