Sports

Fri
06
Sep

Gymnasts finish seventh at sections

The Maple Lake gymnastics team finished off their season with a competition at sections against nine other teams. The girls fought a tough battle against Big Lake, Becker, Sauk Rapids-Rice, Sartell, Monticello, Annandale, Dassel-Cokato, Howard Lake-Waverly, and Princeton. After a long, hard day the girls placed seventh with a final score of 127.100. “Going into sections, we knew it would be tough, and it was,” coach Kaitlyn Helmbrecht said. The team score on vault was 34.350. Top scorers were Courtney Pribyl (8.875), Marisa Henrikson (8.525), Heather Schlueter (8.500), and Ellie Haney (8.450). Top scorers on bars were Pribyl (7.900), Halle Geyen (7.425), Haney (7.375), and Schlueter (7.200). The team score was 29.900. The team score on beam was 30.425. Top scorers were Schlueter (7.850), Katelyn Fuller (7.800), Geyen (7.725), and Haney (7.050). Top scorers on floor were Haney (8.275), Pribyl (8.150), Schlueter (8.100), and Henrikson (7.900). The team score was 32.425.

Fri
06
Sep

Irish boys lose twice in tough week

The Maple Lake boys basketball team seemed to have two good opportunities this week to get some much-needed wins and momentum with playoffs just around the corner. Instead the Irish faced difficulty this week as they took on St. John’s Prep and Eden Valley-Watkins. On Feb. 11 the Irish faced off against the Johnnies in a non-conference game. The Irish didn’t look very alive on defense in the first half as the Johnnies showed their sharp shooting skills. St. John’s Prep managed to get quality shots nearly every offensive possession, resulting in a nice first-half total of 42 points. The Irish offense couldn’t match the intensity of the Johnnies on their offensive possessions, and shot well below where they needed to be. At halftime the Irish were down big, 27-42. In the second half the Irish needed to really improve their defensive efforts in order to fight their way back into the game.

Fri
06
Sep

Irish girls' overtime win sandwiched by losses

by Rachel Latour Monday, Feb. 11, the Irish girls headed to Cathedral for a matchup between two subsection opponents. The last time they played was the first round of the playoffs a year ago. The Irish won that game and advanced to the second round, ending the Crusaders ‘ season for the second year in a row. Maple Lake got off to a very sluggish start and trailed the Crusaders early by a score of 15-0 over the course of the first nine minutes of the game. Avoiding panic, the Irish finished the half on a 17 – 7 run to pull within seven at halftime. Pressure man defense allowed the Irish to pull within one (35-34) with nine minutes to play in the game. Despite calling a few timeouts down the stretch and putting Cathedral to the free-throw line, the Irish simply ran out of time and lost by six with a final score of 57-51. The Irish turned the ball over nine times, compared to 14 by the Crusaders. Cathedral shot 48 percent from the field compared to 35 percent by the Irish.

Fri
06
Sep

Irish girls' overtime win sandwiched by losses

by Rachel Latour Monday, Feb. 11, the Irish girls headed to Cathedral for a matchup between two subsection opponents. The last time they played was the first round of the playoffs a year ago. The Irish won that game and advanced to the second round, ending the Crusaders ‘ season for the second year in a row. Maple Lake got off to a very sluggish start and trailed the Crusaders early by a score of 15-0 over the course of the first nine minutes of the game. Avoiding panic, the Irish finished the half on a 17 – 7 run to pull within seven at halftime. Pressure man defense allowed the Irish to pull within one (35-34) with nine minutes to play in the game. Despite calling a few timeouts down the stretch and putting Cathedral to the free-throw line, the Irish simply ran out of time and lost by six with a final score of 57-51. The Irish turned the ball over nine times, compared to 14 by the Crusaders. Cathedral shot 48 percent from the field compared to 35 percent by the Irish.

Fri
06
Sep

Lightning feed off crowd in 35-31 win over highly-rated

The Annandale-Maple Lake wrestling team defeated highly-rated Wayzata 35-31 before an excellent crowd in Annandale on Thursday, Feb. 7. The Lightning had eight wins, three by pin fall. According to Lightning Head Coach Jason Bartels, “Wayzata is a really rough team and favored to go to state in their section.” ANML 35, Wayzata 31 Many Lightning wrestlers contributed to this big win, over a much bigger, highly rated school. Cullen Gallagher, wrestling at 106, won a decision 7-4.“Cullen was down early and for most of the match, but fought back well into the third period to pull off the victory,” Coach Bartels said. Tanner Vassar, wrestling at 113, won a decision 10-4. “He really wrestled well in his match and was really close to getting us extra team points, but his opponent was a very good wrestler,” Bartels said. Nick Anderson, wrestling at 132, won an 8-6 decision. “Nick looked really good out there, especially on his feet.

Fri
06
Sep

Irish boys unable to close out games, lose to BBE and Pierz

by Hannah Haegele The road has been rough so far for the Irish in their conference play. Easy wins would be hard to come by this week as the Irish faced two very good conference opponents, including top-ranked Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa who has more than 40 straight conference wins, and the third-place Pierz Pioneers. Though the Irish eyed the upsets, the favorites won both contests in two totally different games. On Feb. 5, the Irish hosted BBE in a highly-anticipated game for many fans, as they got to watch Maple Lake take on one of the best teams in the state of Minnesota. Much of BBE’s success can be accredited to their stifling team defense and their high scorer, Brian Goodwin, who averages around 17 points per game. The two main goals for the Irish to win were: 1. Stop Goodwin and 2. Find a way to take care of the ball and execute on offense. In the first half, the Irish did a nice job on both of their goals.

Fri
06
Sep

Gymnasts place first in Litchfield, fourth in Becker

Maple Lake gymnasts headed to Litchfield on Tuesday, Feb. 5, where they placed first over their opponents with a team score of 127.625. Jordan Sifferle and Courtney Pribyl were the top two scorers for vault. Sifferle scored an outstanding 9.325, with Pribyl not far behind with an 8.7. The team score on vault was 34.75. The team score on bars was 30.35 with Sifferle (7.8) and Pribyl (7.65) as top scorers once again.. Heather Schlueter blew her teammates out of the water on beam. She finished the event with a score of 8.35. Ellie Haney came in next with a 7.55. The team score on floor was 33.35 with leading placers being Sifferle (8.8) and Schlueter (8.5). “The meet went well. Junior Varsity also concluded their season this week and, as coaches, we are very proud of their accomplishments this season,” coach Kaitlyn Helmbrecht said. The following Saturday, Feb. 9, the gymnasts headed to Becker for a conference meet.

Fri
06
Sep

Poor shooting dooms Irish girls in back-to-back games

The subsection opponent Foley came to town on Monday, Feb. 4, for a key matchup game. Considering Foley had a 6’5’’ post player, playing tough post defense would be crucial if the Irish wanted to get a victory. However, the home team fell short, 58-48. Pounding the ball inside to their 6’5” post player, the Falcons led the Irish by as many as six in the first half. Despite solid rebounding and shutting down all but one player, the Irish trailed by a mere four points at the half, 21-25. Foley went on a 9-2 run to start the second half, putting the Irish in a significant hole. Not going down without a fight, the Irish hustled their way back into the game. They cut the lead to four once again (40-36) after a steal and three-point play made by sophomore Emily Webb with just eight minutes to play. Trailing by nine with four minutes to play, Hannah Haegele hit a three to cut the deficit to six. But that was as close as the Irish would get as they eventually lost by 10.

Fri
06
Sep

Moose get another win in last home game

The last home game of the season took place Tuesday evening against the Cambridge-Isanti Bluejackets. Previously in the season the Moose had been shutout by the Bluejackets with a 1-0 score. Tuesday night's game was a back-and-forth game in which the final winner was not certain until the final buzzer. Many great scoring chances and close calls denied by the goal posts kept the audience on the edge of their seats. The Bluejackets came out strong in the first period, which was evident by their two goals scored in the first 90 seconds of play. Down by two, the Moose needed to pick up their speed and set up some scoring chances. With just over four minutes left in the period, Colton Jones tucked the puck in the net, glove-side for the 2-1 score. Just 30 seconds later, the Moose's goal was answered by the Bluejackets with their third goal. The Moose were able to kill a penalty and keep the score at 3-1 going into the second.

Fri
06
Sep

Warriors end Moose's season

by Nicole Heberling Following the Moose's 7-1 win against Becker-Big Lake, they traveled to take on the second-seeded Brainerd Warriors. The section quarterfinal game was Tuesday evening at Brainerd's home arena. As is every playoff game, this game was crucial in that a loss would signal an end to the season, but a win would be an advancement to the section semifinals. Having played the Warriors earlier in the season, the Moose knew that they needed to match the Warriors' speed and physical play in order to stay in the game and prevent a loss. 
More information and stats appears in this week's Messenger.

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