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
- 6 years 2 months
Jaelin Beachy is known for everything but scoring baskets. Staples-Motley’s five-year varsity player is an intelligent post defender and an unselfish passer. That didn’t stop Beachy from becoming the seventh Cardinals girls basketball player from reaching 1,000 career points. The four-year varsity starter reached the milestone in S-M’s 68-33 North Subsection 6-2A quarterfinal win over Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Thursday.
BEMIDJI — With a seven-point lead it all went wrong for the Crosby-Ironton Rangers. Top-seeded and Class 2A’s third-ranked Rangers held a 31-24 lead early in the second half, but suffered three straight possessions that resulted in turnovers to turn the tide for No. 2 seeded East Grand Forks Green Wave. The Wave turned that momentum into a 50-46 upset victory in Tuesday’s North Subsection 8-2A finals at Bemidji State University.
Sarah is the last of the Moenkedicks. And every Verndale Pirates opponent is happy to hear it. The problem is Sarah Moenkedick is only a sophomore. The last Moenkedick is one of six siblings who have dominated on the field, court and mat for more than a decade at Verndale. Sarah Moenkedick is no different. The sophomore dropped 32 points on Browerville during the Pirates’ 78-70 victory Feb. 18. She followed it with 21 points against Sebeka to lead the Pirates to a 65-58 Park Region Conference win.
Seth Auger drained a 3-pointer. The senior for the Staples-Motley Cardinals boys basketball team has drained many 3-pointers in his four-year varsity career. This 3-pointer, however, was special. The 6-foot-2 guard collected a kick-out pass from a driving Jalen Busker, fired up the shot and sank it to become the 15th member of the Cardinals’ 1,000-point club. Auger is the first to do it since the phenomenal pair of Jordan Riewer and Derek Wolhowe accomplished the feat before graduating in 2010.
Thirty-three area wrestlers will descend on the Xcel Energy Center for a chance to climb the podium of the state individual tournament. All one has to do is win four matches against the 16 best the state has to offer in each of the three classes. ■ Class 1A Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale’s Anthony Kern opens the 106-pound weight class against Badger/Greenbush-Middle River’s Isaak Isane. Both are juniors. Kern enters with a 39-2 record and ranked third in the state. Isane comes in unranked at 20-9.
Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus is paving a new road this season. For the first time in program history the Road Crew will compete in the Class 2A state team tournament Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center. PL/PRB knocked off top-seeded Perham in the Section 8-2A semifinals and No. 2-seeded Detroit Lakes in the finals. Next the Road Crew, ranked 11th in 2A, will face No. 2-seeded and second-ranked Foley in the state quarterfinals. PL/PRB enters the tournament with an 18-4 record, while Foley owns a 25-3 mark.
Persistence. Katy Johnson had it Tuesday. Maria West did, too, as the lone Brainerd Warrior senior wasn’t going to be denied her moment to shine at Brainerd High School. The two varsity veterans hit key shots down the stretch to lead Brainerd to a 49-45 victory over the Little Falls Flyers. For the second straight game the Warriors rallied for a victory. On Monday, Brainerd overcame a 35-21 halftime deficit to beat Sartell 69-64.
Rachelle LeBlanc called last season a blessing. She’ll be praying even harder this weekend. The Little Falls Flyers senior gymnast will be competing in her fourth Class 1A state meet and third as an all-arounder. During last year’s Class 1A state tournament, LeBlanc placed third with a 37.425. She tallied a 9.175 vault, a 9.2 on bars, a 9.55 on beam and a 9.5 on floor. Her vault score placed her 20th. She finished ninth on bars, third on beam and fourth on floor.
For Chris Ortman it’s all about feet. Quick feet plus fast attacks equals takedowns, which will hopefully lead to state tournament success. The Pierz senior wrestler is already headed to state as part of the Section 7-1A championship Pioneers. He’ll look to qualify as an individual for the fourth time Saturday.
On senior night, a sophomore grew up. Brainerd’s Kobe Ahonen, a 6-foot-5 first-year varsity player, erupted for a career-high 21 points, 13 coming in the second half, to help the Warriors to a 63-53 victory over the Little Falls Flyers Thursday night at Brainerd High School. Ahonen, who has started every game this season, was coming off a 15-point performance Tuesday against Sauk Rapids. He topped that Thursday by shooting 7-of-9 from the field and 7-of-10 from the line. Combined with Isaiah Smith’s long-range attack, the two tallied 46 of Brainerd’s 63 points.