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Spring Valley/Elmwood's Carter Merth and Nick Hofacker entered into the Division 3 Sectional Tournament at Osceola on Saturday, Feb. 17 hoping to make another trip to the Kohl Center. Both Cardinal wrestlers qualified for the 2017 WIAA Individual State Tournament, but only Merth will be competing in Madison this year.
Luke Baier has been a standout Dunn-St. Croix player all season, but the Elmwood/Plum City senior made an even bigger name for himself when he recorded 37 points in his team's 62-59 win over the Colfax Vikings on Tuesday, Feb. 13. Baier shot 64 percent from the field making 16 of his 25 shot attempts. The senior center also recorded 16 rebounds for a double-double performance. Baier and the Wolves (7-13, 2-11) were down 34-31 at halftime, but bounced back to claim a three-point win over the fourth-best Dunn-St. Croix Vikings team (10-11, 7-6).
Seven Pierce County wrestlers qualified for the 75th WIAA Division 2 Individual State Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 17 by finishing as a runner-up or champion in their brackets at the Amery Division 2 Sectional-A Tournament. Seven of the six qualifiers are members of the Ellsworth wrestling team, while Ty Sanford will be the lone Prescott Cardinal at the individual state tournament. The state tournament will be held Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 22-24 at the Kohl Center. Division 2 preliminaries are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday. AMERY SECTIONAL RESULTS:
Many Pierce County freshmen basketball players have proved themselves worthy of varsity playing time this season, but none have put up 27 points in a varsity game. Except for Prescott's Bella Lenz. Lenz recorded her career-high 27 points on Monday, Feb. 12 in the Cardinals' 75-28 win over the Glenwood City Hilltoppers (4-18). "I felt really confident in my shooting, but I think as a team we had the best ball movement we've had all season," Lenz said, "which allowed for so many open looks and helped me to reach 27."
Thursday, Feb. 15 was an emotional night for the Elmwood/Plum City girls basketball team's seniors who said goodbye to the Plum City High School gymnasium with a win over Glenwood City. The Wolves (9-13, 6-8) claimed a 59-40 win over the Hilltoppers (4-18, 3-11) in their last regular season game, a game that senior Ellie Funk referred to as being "bittersweet." "This has been my home for four years," Funk said of the court she's played both volleyball and basketball on throughout high school.
Ty Sanford has wrestled under the bright lights of the Kohl Center. He's witnessed the thousands of fans who travel to Madison to watch Wisconsin's best wrestlers compete. Sanford has experienced what it's like to step onto a state tournament mat in an atmosphere much more intense than what he's accustomed to. The Prescott wrestler entered the 2017 WIAA Individual State Wrestling Championship Tournament as a seventh-seeded, underdog junior. But Sanford left with a fourth-place finish, and earned recognition for the Prescott wrestling program.
It's official. As expected, the Ellsworth wrestling team will be making its way to the UW Field House in Madison on Saturday, March 3 for the 2018 State Team Tournament. Ellsworth sealed a state spot after defeating Somerset and Spencer/Columbus Catholic at the Division 2 Sectional-A tournament in Hayward on Tuesday, Feb. 13. The Panthers defeated their Spartan conference opponents 67-12 in their first match of the night, then moved onto the championship where they defeated Spencer/Columbus Catholic 47-21.
With a 67-12 win over the Somerset Spartans, the Ellsworth Panthers are now one dual away from making another appearance at the WIAA Division 2 State Team Tournament. The Panthers will face Spencer/Columbus Catholic in the Division 2 Sectional-A championship at 8 p.m. Ellsworth 67, Somerset 12 285: Caleb Linder (Ellsworth) received a forfeit. 106: Bailey Poellinger (Ellsworth) over Brody Shipe (Somerset) (Fall 0:07). 113: Carter Huppert (Ellsworth) received a forfeit. 120: Charlie Stuhl (Ellsworth) over Tyler Hantsbarger (Somerset) (Maj 11-1)
The Elmwood/Plum City girls basketball team was taken down by the Elk Mound Mounders on Tuesday, Feb. 6 despite a 19-point performance from the Wolves' own Rowan Rupakus. Rupakus shot 5-for-8 from behind the arc and was 2-for-2 from the free-throw line to lead the Wolves (8-12, 5-8) in scoring against the third-best Dunn-St. Croix Mounders team (16-4, 10-3). Elk Mound led 38-28 at the half and went on to win by 24 in their 83-59 victory.
Two Spring Valley/Elmwood wrestlers qualified for sectionals on Saturday, Feb. 10. Carter Merth, the Cardinals' 170-pound wrestler, took second place in his weight class after losing to Boyceville's Justin Malean by a 3-2 ultimate-tiebreaker decision in the championship match. Merth said he felt he wrestled "very well" at regionals. "I wish my match against Malean would have ended different," Merth said, "but it was a great match."