Archive for Kip Kovar

WELCOME HOME, NO. 25: W-M’s Czinano returns home as Hawkeyes top Gophers

MINNEAPOLIS — When Monika Czinano was just a little girl, there were plenty of influences on her by her family.

Living in Minnesota, Czinano was a big Gophers fan, and would often have her birthday parties at Williams Arena. Her grandfather, an Iowa Hawkeyes fan who passed away when she was young, did all he could to nudge her the other way.

Flash forward to Monday night, and the story comes full circle. In front of her family, friends, former teammates, and friends at Watertown-Mayer High School, Czinano returned home with a little bit of that influence on each side. She was back at Williams Arena once again, but this time, in an Iowa Hawkeyes jersey.

“Monika’s grandpa, a huge Hawkeye fan, passed away when she was 8,” Monika’s mother, Theresa Czinano said. “So. to see her play for them is a bit mind-boggling. And then to see her play in The Barn in front of so many Watertown fans was pretty surreal. It almost felt like a home game, and I guess, in a way, it was.  There were tears for sure, but happy tears.”

Monika Czinano battles for rebounding position in Iowa’s matchup with the Minnesota Gophers Monday night. It was Czinano’s first trip back home with the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Monika Czinano battles for rebounding position in Iowa’s matchup with the Minnesota Gophers Monday night. It was Czinano’s first trip back home with the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Czinano, a freshman on the Iowa women’s basketball team, was making her first trip back home. While it was a bit of a weird feeling at first coming home, it’s a moment and memory she’ll remember forever.

“This is where I came when I was a kid,” Czinano said. “I was telling my teammates that this is weird coming back to Minnesota and being on the opposing end having birthday parties here when I was a kid. Getting a win against the Gophers on top of it is huge.”

Czinano’s biggest fans

Czinano played just four minutes in Iowa’s 81-63 victory over the Gophers. Although most people knew Czinano’s playing time would be limited, that didn’t stop them from coming out in full force.

More than 65 people made the trip to Williams Arena to support Czinano in her first game back in her collegiate career. Whether it was family, her former teammates at W-M, youth basketball players who look up to her, or kids from the W-M Unified Sports in which Czinano was so active during her time W-M, the loudest cheers of the night came for No. 25.

“This is insane,” Czinano said about the support. “I didn’t expect anything like this. My mom told me that people were coming, but I had no idea that it was to this level. This is amazing. It’s great to come back, and to be able to play in a conference where I do get to come back home every once in a while.”

While Czinano was busy taking care of business during the game, her friends and family who made the trip were soaking it all in. Coming from a small town, the town of Watertown has rallied around Czinano, claiming her as one of their own.

Monika Birthday

A birthday party at Williams Arena was the perfect place for Czinano. Of course, tha had to include a picture with Goldy.

“I was leaving a boys’ game about a month ago and was teasing a friend who begrudgingly watched one of Monika’s games on TV,” Theresa Czinano said. “He admitted he actually enjoyed watching it, and I told him that I kind of have a horse in the race, but I would understand if he didn’t want to watch.  He leaned down and said, ‘Ya know, to be honest, I kind of feel like I have a horse in the race, too.’ I may never forget that.  I hope our community feels a little of that. So many people helped her get where she is. I hope she’s made them proud.  She asked me if I thought anyone would come to a game when she’s a senior and I said, ‘maybe, especially if Lindsey Whalen was still coaching.’  But if not, we’ll still be there, her family, and we’ll probably still make signs. The excitement of watching her play will never wear off.”

Learning from the best

When Czinano decided to attend Iowa to continue her basketball career, she knew there was a highly-touted player by the name of Megan Gustafson already there. Both Czinano and Gustafson play a similar position, and instead of choosing to play somewhere else, Czinano saw an opportunity.

While Czinano was used to playing 30 to 34 minutes a game in high school, she’s lucky to see the floor for 10 minutes or so in her freshman season. While that can be tough to deal with after being a Miss Minnesota Basketball finalist, Czinano has accepted her role this season for the Hawkeyes.

“I know what my role is this year,” Czinano said. “I’m just a huge sponge. This year, I’m just soaking up everything. In different years, I’ll have different roles. My role right now is to be a big morale booster and to be really good in practice. When I get in the game, just know what is happening, so in future years, I can have a bigger role.”

One would think that Czinano has had a love for the game since an early age, but that’s not the case. She wanted to quit basketball entirely when she was in fourth grade, and endured even more later on her in life with injuries to get where she is now.

Monika Baby

Even when Monika Czinano was little, it’s always been about Iowa and Minnesota. Her grandfather was a huge Iowa Hawkeyes fan, while Czinano would often have her birthday parties at Williams Arena for Gopher basketball game. When Czinano returned home Monday night as part of the Iowa Women’s basketball team, the two collided once again as Czinano returned home to play against the Gophers for the first time in her collegiate career.


“Monika was my child who wanted to quit basketball after fourth grade because it was too hard, too much running, and too much sweating,” Theresa said. “So, to see how far she’s come, and how much she’s overcome to get here, it is pretty amazing.”

While Czinano might not see the floor this season as much as she wishes, she knows the opportunity that is in front of her. She has a whole season to learn from one of the best players in the Big 10 – if not the country.

When it comes to records at Iowa for the women’s basketball program, Gustafson is the only name that comes to mind. An All-American, the Big 10 Player of The Year last season, and the player who holds nearly every single record for Iowa is what Czinano has the chance to learn from. Gustafson was the only player in the country last season to average more than 25 points per game, and shoot better than 67 percent from the field. Gustafson will go down as one of the best players of all time at Iowa, and Czinano is soaking up and learning as much as she can along the way from her.

“The amount I’ve learned here, even in the first week, is insane,” Czinano said. “She’s amazing. I’ll go shoot with her on her off days. There’s knowledge that you think you know, and she’ll tell me just to tweak this little thing. Then you’re like, wow. How have I never thought of that? She’s just an amazing player and an amazing teammate, and she makes us all better.”

Getting to go up against Gustafson every day in practice only bodes well for Czinano. While it’s been an adjustment, she’s hoping this year prepares her for the years to come, when it’s her turn to dominate in the paint for the Hawkeyes.

“It was definitely a big adjustment,” Czinano said. “Coming from a school where I’m the only one like that, going against her every day was a huge adjustment in the beginning. It’s made me a better player overall. I can never trade that for anything.”

WALK IT OFF: Mathison’s pin completes rally for HLWW against Kimball

HOWARD LAKE –  The Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted wrestling team isn’t the most experienced team by any means. With several young athletes being relied on at the varsity level this season, their youth is bound to show.

It did just that in the early going of a big matchup with the Kimball Cubs Thursday night on their home mat. Although the Lakers youth and inexperience showed up at times, it’s their resilience and fight that helped them rally back for a thrilling 39-37 victory over the Cubs.

“I just said to them that we didn’t wrestle perfect,” HLWW coach Joe Puncochar said. “The message was that we weren’t perfect, but we were successful. It was a lot of fun, but we got to be better next time. They’re going to come for us now.”

With a lot on the line when it comes to section seeding, the Lakers gambled a bit with their lineup. The Lakers moved some of their wrestlers around, hoping to gain an edge, but in the end, it ultimately backfired.

“We made a move at the lower weights,” Puncochar said. “We thought for sure we could pick up two wins. We lost them both. The gamble kind of failed on us.”

Steven Heber and Wiley Wiegert got the Lakers off to a good start with pins in the first two matches, but that’s when the gamble started to fall apart for the Lakers. Kimball won the next three matches to grab a 13-12 lead.

Trailing for the first time all night, Hunter Decker looked as if he was going to put the Lakers back on top. Decker led in his match nearly throughout, but one wrong move found himself on the wrong side of a pin, and Kimball extended their lead to 19-12.

“We had two matches that we were in,” Puncochar said. “Hunter Decker was winning that match for most of the match. He kind of gets caught there at the end, and gets stuck. It’s a huge momentum swing. Just to have everybody else do their job and not dwell on what happened. The match at that point was not in our favor. We didn’t have any momentum. We slowly gained it back and found a way.”

With their backs against the wall after losing four-straight matches, it was freshman Isaac Busse who stepped up for the Lakers. Busse led his match 2-0 after one period, and finished his match with a 4-1 decision to give the Lakers a much-needed spark.

“We had to come all the way back and get some big wins out of some not so experienced wrestlers,” Puncochar said. “Isaac Busse is a freshman, but he’s only been wrestling since sixth grade. He’s still learning. He’s brand new. He’s really a junior varsity kid out there doing the best he can.”

After Busse gave the Lakers some life, Collin Boese got the crowd going even more. A third-period pin for Boese put the Lakers back up 21-19, and the crowd was right back in it.

“We love the crowd,” junior Quinn Mathison said. “Without the crowd, we’d be nothing. They are the most important thing to this team to get us riled up. It’s just fantastic.”

Just when it looked like HLWW had their swag back, Kimball answered right back with pins at 160 and 170, taking a 10-point lead with just four matches to go.

Joseph Schanus delivered with a first-period pin at 182 to keep the Laker’s hopes alive, but once again, Kimball had the answer with a pin at 195 to push their lead back to 10 with just two matches to go.

A pin at 220 gave the Lakers some life, and it all came down to Mathison, who’s in his first season of wrestling with HLWW.

“He’s a first-year kid who started out the year probably 0-5,” Puncochar said. “In a lot of matches, he was actually winning. He would get the first take down, and then would not be really sure what to do. The kid is a workaholic, though. He works every day. He’s here after practice almost every day. He just soaks everything up like a sponge.”

While in his first year, Mathison is new to a lot of things at the varsity level. Despite all that, the junior found himself in a position that he never thought he’d be in this early in his career.

“Not at all,” Mathison said about thinking he’d be in a moment like this. “I was pretty nervous. It was fun, though. I was very happy with the outcome.”

That hard work and dedication put in by Mathison this season would pay off immensely. The junior delivered with a first-period pin, completing the comeback and handing the Lakers a thrilling comeback victory over the Cubs,

“I’m very happy,” Mathison said about the moment. “I couldn’t have done it without our team, though. They brought us to that point. I was just the closing statement, I guess. Without them, we wouldn’t have won.”

It’s a big win for the Lakers who feature multiple wrestlers who haven’t competed in big matches like this one. With the win, they’ll use it for motivation going forward, and be even hungrier to get better.

“There’s a lot of people over in that group there that have never experienced anything like that,” Puncochar said. “Now, they know what it tastes like. They know what that feels like. Now, they have something to relate to. Before, it was me just telling them they’re good. They’ve got to figure it out on their own, though. They’ve got to still believe in themselves, and I think this one right here is going to put a lot on confidence in our room for us.”

“We love to grind,” Mathison said. “We grind every day. I’m just so happy right now. This was just great.”

ON A ROLL: Royals pick up another section win with victory over HLWW

WATERTOWN – Both the Watertown-Mayer and Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted boys basketball teams came into their matchup riding high Tuesday night. While both were looking to pick up another win against a section opponent, it was the Royals who used a late push to come out on top in an exciting 51-42 victory over the Lakers on their home floor.

“Good teams find ways to win even when they’re not playing well,” W-M coach Kent Janikula said. “Not everything went our way tonight. It was kind of a slugfest, and not the prettiest basketball game to watch. It’s a sign of a good team if you can win in different ways.”

“This was a high-intensity basketball game between two rivals,” HLWW coach James Carr said. “It was a lot of fun. It was a great high school basketball game.”

The Royals struggled early, finding themselves down by five at the half after HLWW’s Carson Woolhouse drilled a 3-pointer shortly before the buzzer. Despite being down at the half, the Royals came out ready to roll in the second half, making another late push in the second half.

Keeping HLWW’s Brock Bangasser in check was a big focus for the Royals in the second half.

“Bangasser is a really good player,” Janikula said. “He’s a unique player. He’s a 6-foot-7 back to the basket type player, and he does such a good job working before the ball comes.”

After Bangasser helped lead the Lakers to a lead in the first half, Will McBee stepped up his game, along with his teammates, on the defensive end.

“He stepped it up,” Janikula said about McBee. “We challenged the guys at halftime to step up. They were more physical than us the first half. We just played a really physical team, so we were used to going at it.”

While the defense stepped up their game, the offense came along with it. A 3-pointer from Ethan Tang gave the Royals their first lead of the game at 32-30 with just over 11 minutes left to play.

“I think we’re learning about that,” Janikula said. “Early in the year, we got so caught up in that all of our energy was created off whether a shot went in or not. We’re starting to realize that we’re a really good defensive team. We can create energy from our defense. We can’t control if the ball is going in the hoop, but we can control how hard we are playing on defense.”

After fighting their way back into the game, the Royals made their move late in the second half. With the game tied at 39 with eight minutes to play, it was all Royals down the stretch. A 10-0 run gave W-M their biggest lead of the night, and it was the defense doing it once again.

“I told them in the locker room that our defensive mindset right now is fantastic,” Janikula said. “If we continue to hold teams, and we held them to 42 points, we’re going to win a lot of basketball games.”

During the big run for the Royals, it was Sam Ragner leading the way once again. With a two-possession lead and just under two minutes to go, Ragner knocked down another big jumper out of an out-of-bounds play for the Royals, ultimately sealing the win.

“He’s a gamer,” Janikula said. “No moment is too big for him. One of the things I enjoy about him, is that when we were up six there, and he took that shot with two minutes to go. He’s confident. He’s going to knock it down. He’s that type of kid.”

While the Royals made it four-straight wins and back-to-back wins against Section 5AA opponents, the Lakers had their four-game winning streak snapped. The Lakers came into the matchup playing well, but are still searching for a complete game as a team.

“That full 36 minutes is what we’re going to keep striving for,” Carr said. “That first half, we played fantastic. In the second half, we just had some looks that didn’t go. The effort was there all game. Take your hats off to the guys for how hard they played. Now, the next step for us as a team, is putting that whole game together. We want that statement game where we play from buzzer to buzzer the way I know we can play.”

With their four-game winning streak snapped, the Lakers will look to put this loss behind them. With a tough conference schedule ahead of them, Carr and the Lakers know how important it is to move on.

“We know we’ve got conference games coming up,” Carr said. “They’re a lot of fun. We have Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa on Thursday, so there’s another game where it’s going to be tough and physical on the road. We’ll take it on the chin, move forward, and try to get that win the next game.”

Follow Kip Kovar on Twitter.

Twitter: @Kovar_HJSports 

PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Slow start dooms Bulldogs against Tigers

LESTER PRAIRIE – A cold shooting night combined with a slow start was too much to overcome for the Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity girls basketball team Monday night. The Bulldogs did not make a field goal from the field in the first eight minutes of the game, as the Tigers came out swinging in a 68-34 victory over the Bulldogs.

Belle Plaine opened the game on a 15-2 run as they came out ready to roll. After a dominant first half, the Tigers put the game away early in the second half. The Tigers, who led by 24 at the half, blew the game open even more as they started the second half on a 17-1 run to ruin the Bulldogs’ chances of a comeback.

For the complete story and more HJ sports coverage, check out the Friday, Jan. 11 edition of the Herald Journal. Click here for subscription information.

A YEAR IN REVIEW: A look back at the top 10 moments of the 2018 prep sports season

Another year is coming to an end. It’s one of my favorite times of the year, and not just because it was Christmas, and New Year’s is coming up. It’s one of my favorite times of the year because I get a chance to look back on the last year and realize how many great teams, athletes, moments, and achievements have happened throughout the last calendar year.

Being a sports editor that covers four high schools all on my own, I have the habit of getting through one week of coverage, and then moving right on into putting together the next week’s paper. There’s so much going on that you really don’t have much time to to look back and see what you all did.

That’s what I like about this time of year. It’s been a crazy year, as I’ve taken on more responsibilities with the Delano Herald Journal and Dassel-Cokato Enterprise-Dispatch. Things tend to slow down a bit here in the sports world due to the holidays, and it gives me a chance to look back on a fun year in the world of high school sports.

I absolutely love what I do and I really enjoy looking back at all the coverage from the past year and finding the 10 best moments, games, or performances throughout the year. It’s incredibly tough to narrow it down to just 10, with many great teams and athletes in the area. The best part of this gig is that those talented athletes and coaches are even better people than they are athletes and coaches. I find myself lucky to get to cover you, and I thank you all for following along and look forward to even more coverage in 2019.

With all that being said, let’s get to the good stuff. The following is the 2018 Top-10 sports moments in the Herald Journal coverage area.

10. Rivalry games

It might be a broad subject, but anytime two of the area teams get together, it’s always a fun atmosphere. Whether it’s Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted and Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity, or Mayer Lutheran and Watertown-Mayer, anytime those four schools face off against each is something that is truly special.

It’s the atmosphere, as both sides of the court or field are packed with fans of all ages. It’s knowing that these kids know each other really well, and will give that extra bit of effort in order to gain bragging rights.

I absolutely love when two of those four schools play each other, because you never truly know what might happen. They give it their all in front of a loud crowd, and that’s what it’s all about.

9. HLWW boys track and field

2018 was the year of magical seasons for area teams. The Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted boys track and field team had one of their own. The Lakers won the Section 4A True Team for the second time in three years, but this time, it was all together.

When the Lakers won it in 2016, they did so without their teammate, Gavin Krtizeck, who was injured in a car accident. Fast forward to 2018, and the Lakers won the title once again, with Kritzeck helping claim the title alongside his teammates.

It was a cool moment to see Kritzeck competing once again and then celebrating with his teammates. I was fairly new to the area when Krtizeck was injured, but his story and resilience still sticks with me today. It was a great moment seeing him hold that section trophy, knowing everything he went through to get back to that moment with his teammates alongside him.

8. Orphans get hot at the right time

It was an up-and-down season throughout for the Howard Lake Orphans baseball team. Despite all the struggles midway through the season, the Orphans got hot at the right time, making another state tournament appearance in exciting fashion.

It was an impressive feat by the Orphans just to make the Region 12C tournament in 2018. They needed to string together some wins, while also getting help from other teams in the league. In the end, they snuck in as the No. 7 seed to keep their hopes alive of reaching the state tournament.

After falling to Hutchinson in the first round of the Region 12C tournament in tough fashion, the Orphans rallied for back-to-back wins over Buffalo and Loretto to claim a spot in the Class C State tournament.

The run ultimately came to an end for the Orphans in the first round of the state tournament, but the way they played their best ball down the stretch against tough teams to make it there was impressive and fun to watch.

The Orphans are a team on the rise in the North Star League with a ton of young talent coming up through the ranks.

7. Leadership and character of the HLWW football team

The HLWW football team did not win a single game this season. In fact, they didn’t even play in a game that was determined by less than 20 points. Why are they on this list?

The answer to that question is easy. Despite not winning a single game, and in all reality, not being very close to winning a game all season, the character of the seniors on the team was remarkable.

These kids were playing in their final season of high school football for the rest of their lives. With several younger players being forced to step in due to low numbers, the Lakers struggled all season long. Instead of blaming the younger and inexperienced players, who made mistakes, the seniors on that team blew my mind. They were encouraging. They were supportive. It was refreshing to see, and honestly, it impressed me to see the character these kids had while down multiple touchdowns every game in their final season of high school football. It’s kids like them that make this job so enjoyable. It’s not always about wins. It’s about doing the right thing and playing for the love of the game. Kudos to those young men once again.

6. HLWW wrestling has hard work pay off

The wrestling program at HLWW has not been the gold standard in years past. That doesn’t mean they can’t be someday.

After years of struggling seasons, the Lakers came into the 2017-2018 season with two goals. Get to eight wins, and reach the final four of the section tournament.

While those goals were set high for HLWW, they reached them thanks to their hard work. In the Section 4A quarterfinals, HLWW defeated Norwood Young America 40-34, to advance to the final four, and accomplish their goal.

I didn’t get to as many wrestling events as I wanted to last season, but I made sure to get to this one. I wanted to see if the Lakers could reach their goal, and they sure did.

It was a cool moment to see how they progressed throughout the season, got better, and accomplished their goal. HLWW coach Joe Puncochar has the program headed in the right direction, and I wouldn’t be surprised one bit to see the Lakers back in the section final four this season once again.

5. Crusaders leave a legacy

The Mayer Lutheran boys basketball team had all the talent in the world coming into the 2017-2018 season. They were one of the top-ranked teams in Class A all season long, and under Pat Buchanan’s first year as head coach, the Crusaders did something no other team in school history has done, even the ones I was on.

Mayer Lutheran advanced to the Class A state tournament for the first time since 2000, and just the second time in school history. In their final two wins in the Section 2A tournament, the Crusaders won both games by a total of four points. A shot here or there, and the Crusaders would have missed the state tournament.

It was incredible to watch, as Section 2A was one of the most talented sections in any class last season. Each game brought huge crowds and big games, and there’s nothing like postseason high school hoops.

In the end, reaching the goal of a state title came up just short, but the Crusaders capped off the best season in school history with a third-place finish. As a former player at Mayer Lutheran, it was really cool to be along for the ride and see all those games throughout the year. It’s been a long time since Mayer Lutheran got to showcase what they could do at the state tournament, and it was a joy to be there for it this time.

4. Royals shine at state meet

One of the coolest and most unique events throughout the year is the state gymnastics tournament. The Watertown-Mayer team was back once again, and this past year, they put on a show.

The Royals took second place, finishing just behind Detroit Lakes, which has been at the top of Class A for several years now. On the biggest stage, the Royals put together one of their best performances ever, to take second place.

If you’ve never been to the state gymnastics tournament, I suggest you try it once. It’s different than anything else you may have seen. While all eight teams are competing against each other, there’s a common sense of togetherness that is truly unique. Whether it’s the teams entering for the parade of champions, or each team cheering loudly for each other when results are announced, it’s a special scene to take in.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Royals put on a show, and it wound’t surprise me one bit to see them back there again in 2019.

3. LP/HT’s run to state

When each season begins, I usually take a good look at what teams I think may be able to make a run to the state tournament. When football season came around, I can honestly say that I did not plan on covering LP/HT football at the state tournament this season, and that’s just one of the reason why high school sports are the best.

It was simply a run to remember for the LP/HT football team this past fall. The Bulldogs came together at the right time, advancing to the Class A state tournament for the first time since 2013.

It was simply a run to remember for the LP/HT football team this past fall. The Bulldogs came together at the right time, advancing to the Class A state tournament for the first time since 2013.

It was incredible to watch how the Bulldogs came together and made a run to remember. Although more experienced now, these were mostly the same kids who lost their first-round playoff game at home the past two seasons.

That group of seniors rallied their team together at the right time, and made an impressive run that was fun to watch and cover. Beating rival Mayer Lutheran twice in one season was impressive, but the Bulldogs took care of business in the section title game against Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, as well.

As I have said in previous editions of this paper, it was simply a run to remember, and one of the best times I’ve had covering high school football.

2. HLWW girls cross country makes history

It’s a sport that doesn’t get as much attention or credit as it deserves. What the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted girls cross country team did this season was simply remarkable.

The Lakers took second place at the Class A meet, capping off an incredible season in which they dominated the competition. To end the season, the Lakers won their last three meets heading into the state meet, where they took second.

After making school history, the Lakers got the recognition they deserved as they were introduced and honored between the boys’ and girls’ basketball games between HLWW and Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity Dec. 20.

1. The Shot (Cole Hagen)

It’s something every kid dreams about when they think of basketball. Whether it’s messing around in the driveway or laying in bed dreaming of hoops glory, hitting a game-winning shot is as good as it gets.

Mayer Lutheran senior Cole Hagen is pumped up after sending the Crusaders to the state tournament with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat Springfield 78-75.

Mayer Lutheran senior Cole Hagen is pumped up after sending the Crusaders to the state tournament with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat Springfield 78-75.

For Mayer Lutheran’s Cole Hagen, it couldn’t have come at a better spot or on a bigger stage. Hagen’s buzzer-beater to send the Mayer Lutheran boys basketball team to the state tournament for the first time since 2000 is the top sports moment in 2018 for many reasons. A game-winning shot might be enough reason to be No. 1, but it also knocked off the No. 1 ranked team in the state to send Mayer Lutheran to the state tournament.

To add even more to the moment, it couldn’t have happened to a better kid. After missing two months of the season and dealing with injuries all season long, for Hagen to hit that shot was something I’ll never forget. The patience he showed all season long to be ready for that moment and to deliver in the clutch is incredible. It’s a moment that wasn’t only the best moment, in my opinion, this year, it’s one of the best I’m sure I’ll ever see in my sports writing career.

The video of that shot comes across my computer once in a while and each time I watch it, I still get chills. The moment, atmosphere, and celebration was an incredible moment to take in and one I will never forget.


Follow Kip Kovar on Twitter.

Twitter: @Kovar_HJSports

Holiday Hoops Schedule

HLWW Boys Holiday Tournament

Thursday, Dec. 27

GAME 1: Braham vs. Dassel-Cokato, 3:30 p.m.

GAME 2: HLWW vs. East Central, 5:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 28

Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2, 3:30 p.m.

Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 5:30 p.m.


G-SL Boys Holiday Tournament

Thursday, Dec. 27

GAME 1: Holy Family vs. Belle Plaine, 3:45 p.m.

GAME 2: LP/HT vs. G-SL, 7:15 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 28

Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2, 3:45 p.m.

Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 7:15 p.m.


Tri-City United Girls Holiday Tournament

Thursday, Dec. 27

J-W-P vs. Watertown-Mayer, 10 a.m.

Triton vs. NYA, 12 p.m.

W-E-M vs Tri-City United, 6 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 28

W-E-M vs. NYA, 10 a.m.

Watertown-Mayer vs. Triton, 2 p.m.

Tri-City United vs. J-W-P 8 p.m.


Tri-City United Boys Holiday Tournament

Thursday Dec. 27

Watertown-Mayer 65, J-W-P 47

Triton vs. NYA, 4 p.m.

W-E-M vs. Tri-City United, 8 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 28

W-E-M vs. NYA, 12 p.m.

Watertown-Mayer vs. Triton, 4 p.m.

J-W-P vs. Tri-City United, 6 p.m.



Thursday, Dec. 27

GAME 1: LP/HT vs. B-B-E, 5 p.m.

GAME 2:Wabasha-Kellogg vs. Goodhue, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 28

Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2, 12 p.m.

Winner of Game 1, vs. Winner of Game 2, 2 p.m.