"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Monday, March 7, 2016

New London-Spicer girls roll past Monte

Competition is supposed to get tougher as you rise in the post-season tournament. In theory that's certainly true. But any program that routinely climbs in the post-season, knows the opponent puts on their pants one leg at a time, just like you do.
Conventional wisdom has it that this year's New London-Spicer girls basketball team might not be as strong as usual. A good coach says "balderdash" to such thinking. Go out there and win! New London-Spicer is the team that ended our MACA girls' season. Could NL-Spicer duplicate that success at the next level and the level after that?
On the heels of turning back our Tigers, the Wildcats made a return trip to Granite Falls (of all places, a post-season hotspot), this time to face Montevideo. This was the Section 3AA-North title game. Should NL-Spicer be awed or intimidated by its new opponent? Coach Mike Dreier never feels this way. His Wildcats went out and got the job done as well as always. They pummeled the Thunder Hawks of Monte, walking away with a 54-36 win, an 18-point margin.
Dreier had his squad apply an aggressive defense. The Wildcats were also blessed by getting in some nice grooves for long-range shooting. This 1-2 punch eliminated any sense of suspense.
Let's not think the Thunder Hawks did not get going at the outset, as they jumped up 9-3 (including a 7-0 run). The Wildcats sputtered a little trying to get their long-range shots to fall. Eventually they did, like late in the first half when Shea Oman found the range. Oman is blossoming into a standout Wildcat. She made a pair of 3's to help her team establish an edge before halftime. So the halftime score was 22-17 with New London-Spicer on its way.
NL-Spicer's momentum carried into the second half. Now it was Alyssa Fredrick coming on strong with shooting from behind the three-point stripe. The Wildcats went on an 8-0 run and made it clear who the night's victor would be.
The NL-Spicer defense had a very confining effect on the T-Hawks, who would have liked a faster pace of play, according to coach Corey Enberg. Monte might have been expected to do better. Of course you could say the same about our MACA Tigers.
Dreier has a way of bringing the cream to the top in March. It's fun to be part of that ride, like yours truly is doing right now journalistically. I've done it before, like back when Taylor Thunstedt was the 'Cats' marquee player. Coach Dreier is a 15-time section champion. He was quoted in the media saying "our kids really showed a lot of heart and soul tonight." NL-Spicer outscored Monte 32-19 in the second half.
NL-Spicer now sports a 22-6 season record. Congratulations to them. Three players stood out on the scoring list with Alyssa Fredrick leading the way with her 15 points. Megan Thorson put in 14 points and Oman had 12. Morgan Swenson contributed five points. These four Wildcats each scored two: Brooke Beuning, Kabrie Weber, Erin Tebben and Mariah Adams.
Fredrick made three 3-pointers and Oman made two. Swenson and Thorson each grabbed eight rebounds, and Weber had seven. Fredrick and Weber were the assist leaders with five and three respectively. Oman stole the ball four times.
Abby Olson led Monte's scoring with eleven points. She made one '3'. She also led the T-Hawks in rebounds with six. She and Morgan Reidinger each had two assists. Olson had two steals.
Next for New London-Spicer: the section title game, set on Thursday at Southwest State University, Marshall. The opponent now: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton. Game-time is 5 p.m. Look for my review post the next day, and "go Wildcats." I'm an old friend of Jody Sherstad-Jordan of New London.
Sports and media:
I had the pleasure of taking a Sunday walk on a day that felt almost like June. I walked past Chizek Field and realized a baseball game could easily have been played there that afternoon. Wow! I walked through the UMM campus and, as I always do, checked out UMM publications. I noticed something fascinating about the University Register. I did not see any "sports section." Well, it's about time.
Not that sports isn't important - all aspects of campus life are important - but sports can be presented so thoroughly and in such an enriching way online, on UMM's website. It seems rather duplicative to have these efforts made in the UMM student newspaper. Those articles slavishly written to review games played a week ago (or more) seem rather pointless for the general audience of the paper. The paper can explore campus life in so many other stimulating ways.
The "sports department" must seem like a rather obligatory thing to do, with a "sports editor." It seems rather quaint. It ought to be vestigial. I grant that sports isn't retreating in our culture. But the paper should strive to present material that people genuinely want to read. Think marketing.
I am assuming that the "Northstar" publication no longer exists on a physical basis on the UMM campus. I haven't seen any copies although I do see at least one empty newsstand with the "Northstar" sign at the top. Curious.
The existence of "Northstar" for at least two years on the UMM campus is probably the most embarrassing chapter in the school's history. It was not a serious journalistic endeavor. Do I have to spell that out for you, children?
I had it explained to me that UMM is a "liberal" institution which means, paradoxically, that UMM allows this pseudo-conservative abomination of a publication to exist because UMM believes in "letting the students do whatever they want." Like, taking down the goalposts at the end of a football game.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com


  1. well I feel the same way about all the ink the m-s-t gives cougars sports plus pro sports vs giving more time and energy to covering tiger sports at all levels not just the varisety. if you have a kid involved in youth sports good luck trying to find anything other than an occasional pix or short article in the paper.

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