SAUK RAPIDS—The Granite City Lumberjacks have had the Willmar WarHawks' number this season. Entering Friday's West Division playoff opener, the Lumberjacks had a 7-1 regular-season record against Willmar, they outscored the WarHawks by 40 goals and only once allowed more than two goals in those eight games. The trend didn't waver on Friday as Granite City got goals from four different players and outshot the WarHawks 44-20 in a 4-1 victory before 794 fans at the Armadillo Sports Deck.
MOORHEAD — Hancock went cold in the closing minutes and Mahnomen/Waubun took full advantage, outscoring the Owls by a dozen points in the final seven minutes and winning the Section 6A championship 71-64 on Friday at Concordia-Moorhead. Hancock, looking to make the school's first Class A state tournament appearance since 2003, finished 25-3. The Thunderbirds improved to 18-11 and will open the Class A tournament on Thursday at Williams Arena. Mahnomen/Waubun led the Owls by four at halftime, but Hancock tied the game 52-52 with 9:45 left.
The Willmar Cardinals defeated DeLaSalle 52-47 in overtime in their Class AAA quarterfinal game Wednesday afternoon. The Cardinals move on to face Robbinsdale Cooper in a Class AAA semifinal at noon Thursday at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Curt and Jake run down the All-Area girls basketball First Team from this season: Kelsea Lund, LQPV guard Shea Oman, NLS guard Cayle Hovland, Willmar forward Anna McCosh, YME forward Makenna Steffel, BOLD forward
MOORHEAD — Hancock boys basketball players played with heavy hearts on Monday but also with conviction, downing Ortonville 61-54 to advance to the Section 6A championship game. The Owls played just hours after learning several people from Hancock schools were injured in a crash involving a van from the school and a semi at an intersection north of Holloway. Prior to the game, the Owls held a team meeting and, led by their captains, came to the decision to play the game.
The Willmar girls basketball team opens the 2018 Class AAA state tournament against DeLaSalle at noon Wednesday at Williams Arena. Willmar (25-2) drew the No. 5 seed. DeLaSalle (19-8) is the No. 4 seed. Willmar's Central Lakes Conference rival Alexandria (23-5) is unseeded and plays No. 1 seed Robbinsdale Cooper (26-2) at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Williams. The winners of those two games meet in the semifinals at noon Thursday at Target Center.
The Kandiyohi County Historical Society inducted three men as Class of 2018 inductees into the West Central Minnesota Hall of Fame. Randy Haats, Wade Adamson and Mike Johnson were inducted during a ceremony on Tuesday in Willmar.
BIRD ISLAND—A balanced BOLD team took control early and coasted to a 68-44 victory over Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity to open the Section 2A playoffs on Tuesday. The game was delayed a day by bad weather conditions on Monday. Drew Sagedahl led the Warriors with 14 points and Gavin Vosika finished with 13 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals. Carter Henry also scored in double figures, finishing with 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds. BOLD next plays New Ulm Cathedral at 7:45 p.m. Thursday at St. Peter High School.
MINNEAPOLIS - The Willmar 400 Freestyle Relay team placed eighth and earned All-State honors while setting a new school record on Satuday at the Minnesota State Swimming and Diving Meet at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota campus. Willmar's team of Jacob Meyer, Ayden Schueler, Mateo Marin-Mera and Garrett Shuldes finished in 3:17.82, shaving 0.60 seconds off the previous school mark. The Cards swimming multiple events swam eight races in two days, but a shot at the 400 free relay mark gave them motivation, Willmar head coach Carl Shuldes said.
MINNEAPOLIS - Willmar's 400 Freestyle Relay team earned a spot in the finals during Friday's preliminaries at the Minnesota State Swimming and Diving Meet at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota campus. The 400 free relay team of Jacob Meyer, Ayden Schueler, Mateo Marin-Mera and Garrett Shuldes dropped 3.36 seconds off its personal best and finished eighth in 3:18.42. The top eight prelim finishers qualify for finals while places nine through 16 compete in consolation finals.