Archive for HJ Sports

PREP SPORTS SCHEDULE: Tuesday, Jan. 10

BOYS BASKETBALL 

CENTRAL MN CONFERENCE

Eden Valley-Watkins at Annandale

HLWW at Kimball

Osakis at Holdingford

B-B-E at Parkers Prairie

 

MN CHRISTIAN ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

Spectrum at Bethany Academy

St. Croix Prep at Heritage Christian

Legacy Christian at New Life Academy

West Lutheran at Maranatha Christian

Trinity at SW Christian

 

WRIGHT COUNTY CONFERENCE

Holy Family at Watertown-Mayer

Waconia at Minnetonka

Mound Westonka at Breck

Willmar at Hutchinson

Eden Valley-Watkins at Annandale

Chaska at Orono

 

MN RIVER CONFERENCE

Belle Plaine at Mayer Lutheran

Jordan at NYA

Tri-City United at LeSeur-Henderson

 

GIRLS BASKETBALL

CENTRAL MN CONFERENCE

Kimball at Eden Valley-Watkins

Pierz at HLWW

Holdingford at Paynesville

 

MN CHRISTIAN ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

Maranatha Christian at West Lutheran

PACT Charter at LP/HT

New Life Academy at Legacy Christian

Trinity at SW Christian

Heritage Christian at St. Croix Prep

 

WRIGHT COUNTY CONFERENCE

Hutchinson at Delano

Litchfield at Rockford

Annandale at New London-Spicer

Holy Family at Waconia

Watertown-Mayer at Mound Westonka

Dassel-Cokato at Glencoe-Silver Lake

 

MN RIVER CONFERENCE

GFW at LeSueur-Henderson

New Ulm at Jordan

 

 

Orono at Edina

 

 

 

KIP KOVAR: Ziermann exemplifies what being a top-notch athlete is all about

By Kip Kovar

Herald Journal Sports Editor

LESTER PRAIRIE – It was another cold and chilly Minnesota evening  Jan. 5. The Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity boys basketball team was scheduled to host SW Christian in their Minnesota Christian Athletic Association opener at home.

After spending a majority of the day in the office working on things, I stopped at home quick to get a bit of a break and some dinner. In fact, I got almost too comfortable, and if you combined that with dealing with a cold, I was very tempted to just stay home and lay in bed for a bit.

After contemplating this, I threw on a pair of blue jeans, stuffed my pockets with a handful of Kleenexes, filled my backpack with my clipboard, Ipad, and camera; and headed out the door.

As a sports editor, I always think about what might happen at the game that I’m covering and heading to at the moment. Of course, as almost everyone does, I was hoping for a good game. Heck, maybe even a buzzer-beater or an overtime thriller.

As I entered the gym at the Lester Prairie High School, I did so reluctantly. I would much rather have been trying to kick this cold while laying in bed and relaxing, but I owe it to the teams I cover, and to the fans to be there and be able to report on the game.

It started as all games do. A shot made here. A shot made there. The Bulldogs,  who had won just two games all season coming into this one and were coming off a 31-point loss  Tuesday night, trailed by 10 at the half.

It was a good game through the first 18 minutes, as both teams were playing well, and the score was close. As the second half began, much of the same continued to happen.

Later in the half, the Stars began to pull away from the Bulldogs, and it looked as if the game was about to slip away from them again. That wasn’t the case, though.

zierman

Remember when I said I was hoping for a possible buzzer-beater or overtime thriller on the way to the game? Well, that didn’t happen. It was nothing like that at all actually. It was something even better.

The Bulldogs rallied to cut the lead to just two points after trailing by as many as 12 points in the second half. Trailing by just two points with just over a minute to go, Rees Schuette came up with a huge block that appeared to go off a SW Christian player. Without any hesitation, the referee awarded the ball to Lester Prairie, and it looked as if they would have a chance to tie the game, or even take the lead.

I looked down at my Ipad to type the play that just happened, and when I looked out the corner of my eye, I saw sophomore Michael Ziermann having a conversation with the referee. After a few seconds, Ziermann walked away, and to my surprise, the ball was given back to SW Christian with a two-point lead.

At first, I wasn’t sure exactly what I saw. When I realized what happened, and I had to confirm with Ziermann after the game just to make sure, I couldn’t help but be impressed by this young man.

He and his team, who have had a lot of struggles this season, went out of his way to tell the referee that he touched the ball last, and that the Stars should get the ball, all while trailing by just two points late in the game.

Following the interaction, the Stars scored the game’s next six points and the Bulldogs lost their second-straight game, falling to 2-6 on the season.

There wasn’t a buzzer-beater. It wasn’t an overtime thriller. It was something much better.

In today’s day and age, sportsmanship takes a back seat to winning at many levels. Ziermann easily could have just inbounded the ball and the Bulldogs would have had a chance to tie or take the lead. But he didn’t.

I was a fan of Michael Ziermann. the basketball player, before. He’s a talented kid with a nice shot and plays hard. Now, I’m a fan of Michael Ziermann, the person, and in fact, those two versions are the same, as was displayed at Lester Prairie High School Thursday night.

To see that from a sophomore in high school amazes me. There’s hardly ever a game  that I cover where it doesn’t sound like there are at least 15 or more referees in the crowd. I always joke that there should be a promotion at high school basketball games where the first 100 fans to enter should get a whistle, since they think they’re a referee anyway.  That way, the referees can hear the fans in the crowd to make sure they got the right call, that is, as long as it benefits their team.

I applaud Michael Ziermann for the way he handled that game Thursday night. There should be more athletes like him in every sport. In fact, there should be more people like him in everyday life. People who do the right thing, whether it means a win or a loss.

It wasn’t a buzzer-beater. It wasn’t an overtime thriller. In fact, it wasn’t even an exciting comeback. It was something more.

 

PREP SPORTS SCHEDULE: Thursday, Jan. 5

BOYS BASKETBALL

CENTRAL MN CONFERENCE

Paynesville at Benson

Maple Lake at St. Cloud Cathedral

B-B-E at Swanville

 

MN CHRISTIAN ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

Legacy Christian at West Lutheran

Spectrum at Heritage Christian

SW Christian at LP/HT

Maranatha Christian at St. Croix Prep

PACT Charter at New Life Academy

 

WRIGHT COUNTY CONFERENCE

Litchfield at Hutchinson

St. Croix Lutheran at Watertown-Mayer

Benilde-St. Margaret’s at Orono

Glencoe-Silver Lake at Belle Plaine

New London-Spicer at ACGC

 

MN RIVER CONFERENCE

New Ulm Cathedral at NYA

Glencoe-Silver Lake at Belle Plaine

Mayer Lutheran at Jordan

Tri-City United at J-W-P

 

GIRLS BASKETBALL

CENTRAL MN CONFERENCE

Paynesville at Pierz

HLWW at Holdingford

Eden Valley-Watkins at Maple Lake

B-B-E at Kimball

 

MN CHRISTIAN ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

Trinity at Tri-City United

 

WRIGHT COUNTY CONFERENCE

New Prague at Prior Lake

Delano at Waconia

GFW at Glencoe-Silver Lake

 

MN RIVER CONFERENCE

Trinity at Tri-City United

 

 

 

PREP SCOREBOARD: Tuesday, Jan. 3

BOYS BASKETBALL

CENTRAL MN CONFERENCE

Maple Lake 58, B-B-E 54

HLWW 54, Pierz 47

Eden Valley-Watkins 69, Kimball 63

 

MN CHRISTIAN ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

ACGC 87, LP/HT 56

SW Christian 60, Litchfield 58

West Lutheran 58, Mounds Park Academy 54

Minnehaha Academy 59, New Life Academy 54

St. Croix Prep 71, St. Paul Academy 68

Concordia Academy 52, PACT Charter 36

NYA 84, Legacy Christian 46

 

MN RIVER CONFERENCE

Glencoe-Silver Lake 69, Jordan 62

NYA 84, Legacy Christian 46

Belle Plaine 80, LCWM 72

 

WRIGHT COUNTY CONFERENCE

SW Christian 60, Litchfield 58

New Prague 67, Farmington 43

Hopkins 85, Waconia 64

Glencoe-Silver Lake 69, Jordan 62

Watertown-Mayer 72, Providence Academy 49

Delano 76, Benilde-St. Margartet’s 68

Becker 77, Dassel-Cokato 64

Orono 88, Chisago Lakes 71

 

GIRLS BASKETBALL

CENTRAL MN CONFERENCE

Spectrum 51, HLWW 34

Kimball 49, Pierz 32

B-B-E 72, Paynesville 40

Maple Lake 55, Holdingford 47

 

MN CHRISTIAN ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

Minnehaha Academy 74, New Life Academy 28

West Lutheran 41, Breck 22

St. Croix Prep 51, St. Paul Academy 35

Spectrum 51, HLWW 34

Watertown-Mayer 80, Heritage Christian 55

 

MN RIVER CONFERENCE

Glencoe-Silver Lake 74, Jordan 60

NYA 54, Holy Family 41

Bethlehem Academy 70, Belle Plaine 60

Tri-City United 68, J-W-P 17

 

WRIGHT COUNTY CONFERENCE

Glencoe-Silver Lake 74, Jordan 60

NYA 54, Holy Family 41

Delano at Dassel-Cokato

Watertown-Mayer 80, Heritage Christian 55

PREP SPORTS SCHEDULE: Tuesday, Jan. 3

BOYS BASKETBALL

CENTRAL MN CONFERENCE

Maple Lake at B-B-E

Pierz at HLWW

Eden Valley-Watkins at Kimball

Holdingford at Paynesville

 

MN CHRISTIAN ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

ACGC at LP/HT

Litchfield at SW Christian

West Lutheran at Mounds Park Academy

Minnehaha Academy at New Life Academy

St. Croix Prep at St. Paul Academy

PACT Charter at Concordia Academy

Legacy Christian at NYA

 

MN RIVER CONFERENCE

Jordan at Glencoe-Silver Lake

Legacy Christian at NYA

Belle Plaine at LCWM

Blake at Maranatha Christian

 

WRIGHT COUNTY CONFERENCE

Litchfield at SW Christian

New Prague at Farmington

Hopkins at Waconia

Bloomington Kennedy at Mound Westonka

Jordan at Glencoe-Silver Lake

Providence Academy at Watertown-Mayer

Delano at Benilde-St. Margartet’s

Dassel-Cokato at Becker

Orono at Chisago Lakes

 

GIRLS BASKETBALL

CENTRAL MN CONFERENCE

HLWW at Spectrum

Kimball at Pierz

Paynesville at B-B-E

Holdingford at Maple Lake

 

MN CHRISTIAN ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

Minnehaha Academy at New Life Academy

West Lutheran at Breck

St. Paul Humboldt at Trinity

St. Paul Academy at St. Croix Prep

HLWW at Spectrum

Legacy Christian at Pine Island

Watertown-Mayer at Heritage Christian

 

MN RIVER CONFERENCE

Jordan at Glencoe-Silver Lake

NYA at Holy Family

Bethlehem Academy at Belle Plaine

J-W-P at Tri-City United

 

WRIGHT COUNTY CONFERENCE

Jordan at Glencoe-Silver Lake

NYA at Holy Family

Delano at Dassel-Cokato

New Prague at Kasson-Mantorville

Wayzata at Orono

Hutchinson at Willmar

Redwood Valley at New London-Spicer

Watertown-Mayer at Heritage Christian

 

 

Boys Hockey: Delano pushed off the top by Hermantown

In a battle between Class A’s top-ranked teams Wednesday in Duluth, No. 2 Hermantown, the defending state champion, showed No. 1 Delano that it is still the team to beat

Matt Kane
Sports Editor
DULUTH — The fans at Mars Lakeview Arena in Duluth Wednesday night got what they wanted when the Nos. 1 and 2 ranked teams in Class A met in the semifinals of the Hilltopper Holiday Classic — a great game.

Delano entered as the No. 1 team and Hermantown came in ranked No. 2, and, as was made apparent by four lead changes, both teams belonged in those top two spots.

The order of the Tigers and Hawks in those two spots changed, however, as, that fourth lead was taken by Hermantown, the defending state champion, which scored two goals in the final five minutes of regulation to claim a 4-3 victory over Delano.

The result moved both teams’ records to 7-1-1 entering Thursday’s final day of the tournament.

Delano improved to 8-1-1 with a 6-5 overtime win over Roseville in the third-place game.

Hermantown met Duluth Marshall for the tournament championship. The result of that game was not known at the early press deadline Thursday.

Delano’s penalty kill has struggled a bit, and that was the case Wednesday night, as Hermantown scored two goals on three power-play chances.

Hermantown’s Ryan Sandelin slips the puck past Delano goaltender Erik Peterson to score the Hawks’ first goal  Wednesday evening in at Mars Lakeview Arena in Duluth during a semifinal game of the Hilltopper Holiday Classic. Sandelin burned the Delano for three points and led the No. 2 Hawks to a 4-3 win over the previously-ranked No. 1 Tigers. Photo by Steve Kuchera/Duluth News Tribune

Hermantown’s Ryan Sandelin slips the puck past Delano goaltender Erik Peterson to score the Hawks’ first goal Wednesday evening in at Mars Lakeview Arena in Duluth during a semifinal game of the Hilltopper Holiday Classic. Sandelin burned the Delano for three points and led the No. 2 Hawks to a 4-3 win over the previously-ranked No. 1 Tigers.
Photo by Steve Kuchera/Duluth News Tribune

Tyler Watkins tied the game 3-3 with the second of those power-play goals for the Hawks, at 12:49 of the third period, with Delano’s best player, Ben Meyers, in the penalty box serving a tripping minor.

Less than three minutes later, Watkins found the back of the net again, this time with an even-strength goal, giving Hermantown the 4-3 lead with 1:55 remaining in regulation.

Earlier in the third period, Meyers gave Delano its second lead of the game, scoring on a power play at 4:38, to give the Tigers a 3-2 edge.

The goal was Meyers’ only point of the game, which is significant considering the senior had scored no less than four points in each of Delano’s previous eight games.

The goal was Meyers’ state-leading 19th goal of the season. He also led the state in assists (24) and points (43) heading into the third-place game against Roseville. (Statistics from the third-place game were not available.)

Meyers became Delano’s career points leader Dec. 22 in a 9-1 win at Mound-Westonka. His four points in Tuesday’s win over Cloquet and his goal against Hermantown upped Meyers’ career points total to 201 through Wednesday.

Meyers’ 90 career goals is 20 less than Tyler Heinonen’s 110 with 15 regular-season games remaining. His 111 assists is already the record.

Meyers’ Legion of Zoom line mates, Brian Halonen and John Keranen, both finished with two points against Hermantown.

Keranen and Kyle Ylitalo had the two assists on the Meyers goal.

Keranen and Gabe Halonen set up Brian Halonen’s second-period goal, which tied the game, 2-2, at 12:55.

Ylitalo helped the Tiger take the initial 1-0 lead at 7:35 of the first period, setting up Gabe Halonen for the goal.

The early advantage did not hold up, though, as the Hawks answered with two goals, the second coming on a power play with seven seconds remaining in the period, to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

Logan Judnick scored the power-play goal for Hermantown. Eight minutes earlier, Hermantown’s Ryan Sandelin scored to tie the game 1-1.

Sandelin, who is a Minnesota State Mankato commit and the son of UM-Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin, finished with three points in the game. He had the primary assist on the two Watkins goals in the third period.

Dylan Samberg, who is committed to UM-Duluth, had a pair of assists, helping on the Sandelin goal and the Watkins power-play goal.

For the second game in as many days at the tournament, a  Delano goaltender was busy.

Senior Erik Peterson made 37 saves on 41 Hermantown shots. That effort came on the heels of a 46-save performance by junior Jackson Hjelle Tuesday afternoon in Delano’s 7-6 double-overtime win over Cloquet-Esko-Carlton in the quarterfinals.

The Hermantown attack and stingy defense kept Delano away from goalie Cade McEwen and in its own defensive end for most of the game, limiting the Tigers to 15 shots.

McEwen made 12 saves.

It’s early to begin seriously discussions about the postseason, but members of the Hermantown team would love another game against Delano.

“I would like to, after a fun game like that,” Samberg told the Duluth News Tribune of meeting Delano at state.

“Really good team. Really good team. I hope they get to the state tournament,” Hermantown coach Bruce Plante told the newspaper. “They deserve it.”

16TH ANNUAL HILLTOPPER CLASSIC
Hermantown 4, Delano 3
Wednesday, Dec. 28
Mars Lakeview Arena – Duluth
1    2    3    -    F
Hermantown    2    0    2    -    4
Delano             1    1    1    -    3
Scoring
First Period
1. D — G. Halonen (Ylitalo), 7:35; 2. H — Sandelin (Samberg), 8:09; 3. H — Judnick (Peterson, Gotz), pp, 16:53.
Second Period
4. D — B Halonen (G Halonen, Keranen), 12:55.
Third Period
5. D — Meyers (Keranen, Ylitalo), pp, 4:38; 6. H — Watkins (Sandelin, Samberg), pp, 12:49; 7. H — Watkins 2 (Sandelin), 15:02.
Shots on goal
Delano 15; Hermantown 41
Saves
Delano: Peterson 37
Hermantown: McEwen 12.