Zach is the Daily Globe sports reporter. He has previously been a sports editor at both the Waseca County News in Waseca, Minn., and The Emporia Gazette in Emporia, Kansas. He is originally from New Richland, Minn., and now lives in Worthington with his dog; a beagle-corgi mix named Homer. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family and friends, pontooning on St. Olaf Lake and watching professional and collegiate sports.
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MANKATO — One doesn’t need to look much further than the turnover differential to guess the outcome of Worthington’s Section 2AAA Tournament quarterfinal Tuesday. The seventh-seeded Trojans handed the ball over to No. 2 Mankato East 32 times. Meanwhile, the Cougars committed only 15 miscues. That allowed them to end Worthington’s season on a 74-40 loss.
SPRINGFIELD — Mountain Lake Area knew as the seventh-seed in Section 2A South that things wouldn’t be easy. Tuesday, the Wolverines were unable to overcome a strong, youthful Springfield squad as it took an 87-67 loss to the second-seeded Tigers. Levi Stoesz scored a team-best 20 points for the MLA. Slade Harder and Marcus Boyd finished with 11 and nine, respectively. Ryan McCue added eight rebounds and three assists. The Wolverines’ season ends with an 18-7 record. “We had an outstanding year,” MLA head coach Shawn Naas said. “But it’s still a tough way to lose.”
ELLSWORTH — Hendricks took it to overtime, but Ellsworth picked up a little momentum heading to the postseason Tuesday. The Panthers saw a three-point lead disappear in the final minute of regulation to go into overtime at 32-32. In the extra session, they built a 43-42 lead that held despite the Grizzlies getting a pair of free throw attempts late. Eighth-grader Ashlyn Meester had a big game for Ellsworth with 18 points and three assists. Megan Popkes added nine points and 13 rebounds.
WORTHINGTON — Hser Eh Pwae had only one plan Saturday entering Day 2 of the Section 3AA Individual Tournament. “The only thing in my head was winning,” the Worthington senior said. And that’s what he did. Pwae was one of two champions and four state qualifiers for the Trojans. He will be joined by his brother, Hser Moo Pwae, along with Vince Riley and Nic Putnam at the Class AA State Tournament. Wabasso/Red Rock Central added three state qualifiers with Luverne and Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove getting one each.
CANBY — Adrian will send eight individuals to the Class A State Tournament after garnering three champions and five more runners up at Saturday’s Section 3A Individual Tournament. The Dragons’ total of eight qualifiers was second only to Minneota, which set a school record by sending 10. Pipestone Area has a strong contingency heading to St. Paul with eight qualifiers. Jackson County Central picked up two section champs for its total while Windom/Mountain Lake will have one representative on the big stage.
DES MOINES, Iowa — Sibley-Ocheyedan finished the Class 1A State Individual Tournament with a trio of medalists for the second straight year Saturday. Dylan Schuck and Matt Naig both came in fifth place in their respective weight classes while Trent Kruger reached the podium with a sixth-place finish. Schuck, a junior, moved up three spots from his state placing in 2015. As a sophomore, he took eighth place at 132 pounds before moving up two weight classes and taking fifth at 145 to cap off a 49-3 season in 2016.