My career at the Brainerd Dispatch began May 11, 1999 after graduating from North Dakota State University.
My areas of emphasis includes local high school sports, Central Lakes College, the lakes area golf mecca and once a year I dabble in the NHRA when the Lucas Oil Nationals come to Brainerd International Raceway.
- Member for
- 4 years 2 weeks
MINNEAPOLIS — Pequot Lakes’ Kayla Miller scored the game’s first basket. It was all Providence Academy after that. The Lions dominated Friday’s Class 2A state semifinal matchup to the tune of 61-32 at Target Center. After Miller’s basket, 12 minutes rattled off before the Patriots would make another field goal. In that time, the Lions built a 24-4 advantage. Pequot shot 2-20 (10 percent) in the first half, while Providence shot 48 percent and attempted 11 more shots thanks to nine offensive rebounds and eight Pequot turnovers. All that resulted in a 34-6 halftime lead.
Kayla Miller has always scored points. It’s the other statistical categories that separates the Pequot Lakes sophomore from the rest. Miller’s line during the Class 2A state quarterfinal victory over Zumbrota-Mezeppa Wednesday is a prime example. She tallied 18 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals to lead Pequot to a 57-46 victory. It’s the same performance she’s been providing Pequot the entire postseason.
Caleb Baker plans on playing football next fall. The secondary might be a good fit for this ball hawk. Even on the basketball court, the Crosby-Ironton junior has a knack for the “pick six.” His defense is a part of his game that often goes unnoticed. This particular play is becoming a staple of Baker’s. While defending a point guard at the top of the key, Baker waits until his opponent attempts to drive on him. With quick hands, Baker picks the ball away from the player and heads the other way for an uncontested layup — or in football terminology a pick six.
MINNEAPOLIS — Mattie Lueck had the best seat in the house for a change. The Pequot Lakes senior, and lone returning starter from last year’s state team, sat for most of the first half in Tuesday’s Class 2A State quarterfinal at Williams Arena. When she returned in the second half, she put the finishing touches on Pequot’s 57-46 victory over the Zumbrota-Mazeppa Cougars.
About the only letter missing from the name Zumbrota-Mazeppa Cougars is V. The Pequot Lakes Patriots would like to keep it that way, and in the process add an L to the southern Minnesota team when they square off at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Class 2A state quarterfinals at Williams Arena. This is the fifth state appearance for the Patriots. They knocked off Hawley in the Section 8-2A championship game 55-52 in triple overtime to return to state after last year’s one-and-done experience.
BEMIDJI — The Bagley Flyers were the big kids on the block this year. And they muscled their way into the Section 8-2A championship Tuesday by upsetting the top-seeded, but younger Crosby-Ironton Rangers 70-50 to secure the Northeastern Subsection title at Bemidji State University. Bagley outrebounded C-I 36-20, with 20 of those rebounds coming on the offensive end. The Flyers collected 20 second chance points and attempted 18 more field goals.
MOORHEAD — Jon Dale didn’t think his team was very good defensively. Hawley would beg to differ. The Pequot Lakes Patriots held the Southwestern Subsection’s No. 1 seed scoreless in the third overtime to return to the state tournament with Friday’s 55-52 Section 8-2A championship victory at Concordia College.
Kelly Pearson could always produce copious amounts of points. The Staples-Motley Cardinals junior just didn’t have to. The three-year varsity player led the Cardinals in scoring last season with 340 points (11.3 per game). She added 90 rebounds, 75 assists and 78 steals to a team that advanced to the Section 6-2A final. This season, however, Pearson was surrounded by shooters. But on Feb. 17 one of those other shooters — Jasmine McGillvray — went down with an injury.
Ben Newman sees the world a little differently. He plays hockey a little differently, too. The junior center for the Little Falls Flyers boys hockey team became the 18th member of the Flyers’ 100 career point club this season. He joined his linemate, Joey Hanowski, who made the list earlier this season, as the two current members of the Little Falls team on that list. Newman’s 100th point came on an assist on Luke Majerle’s second goal in the Flyers’ 8-1 blowout of Sartell Feb. 25 in the Section 6-1A semifinals.
It’s time for the rubber match. For the third straight season the Section 8-2A championship will belong to either the Pequot Lakes Patriots or Hawley Nuggets. Those teams will battle once again for the chance to advance to the 2A state tournament 7 p.m. Friday at Concordia College in Moorhead. On March 9, 2010, the Nuggets eliminated Pequot Lakes 59-44 in the subsection final. The Nuggets later advanced to state.