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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OKABENA — To say Heron Lake-Okabena sophomore Kiana Leighty had some pressure on her Monday night would be an understandment. The Wildcats were tied with Ellsworth 56-56 in overtime when the Panthers missed a shot with just a couple seconds remaining. Leighty was fouled and went to the free throw line with no time left. The eyes of the entire gym were upon her with the fate of the game resting in her hands. The first free throw was off the mark, only adding to the pressure. The second, however, sailed through the net to give HL-O a 57-56 Red Rock Conference victory.
George-Little Rock and Harris-Lake Park both picked up victories in Class 1A, District 2 first round action on Monday. Sibley-Ocheyedan saw its season end with a loss in the opening round of Class 2A-District 2.
Sibley-Ocheyedan put seven of its eight Class 1A-District 6 qualifiers into the state tournament Saturday with another stellar performance. That accounted for all but one of the area wrestlers who will be making the trip to Des Moines to begin the individual state wrestling tournament on Thursday. In Class 1A, the Generals will have seven going for a state title with their team having already qualified on Tuesday. Sheldon/South O’Brien earned a single Class 2A entrant with Central Lyon/George-Little Rock coming up just a bit short. Class 1A-District 6
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Minnesota West sent three wrestlers to Sunday’s NJCAA North Central District Tournament. It came home with three national qualifiers. “To go 3-for-3 as far as guys who get to go to nationals, we’re pretty happy about that,” Bluejays head coach Bob Purcell said. “We did a lot of good things.” Those three are Lamont Cannon, Jesse Regalado and Jared Nickman. Each will represent the Jays at the NJCAA National Tournament on Feb. 26-27 at Iowa Western Technical College in Council Bluffs.
WORTHINGTON — Minnesota West came up with a couple strong efforts on Saturday. Unfortunately for the home team, neither of those resulted in a victory against rival Rochester Community and Technical College.
SIOUX RAPIDS, Iowa — Sibley-Ocheyedan saw its season come to a close Saturday in the first round of the Class 2A-Region 1 Tournament. The Generals were on the wrong end of two teams that had much different results from 3-point range en route to a 66-48 loss. The Rebels connected on 8-of-17 shots from distance while S-O made only 2-of-18. Sioux Central opened up a 20-12 lead by the end of the first quarter and slowly increased that lead as the game went on. By the start of the fourth quarter, the Generals were looking at a 47-33 deficit.
PIPESTONE — Tracy-Milroy-Balaton and Pipestone Area entered Saturday’s nonconference girls basketball game with just one loss apiece. The Arrows could still make that claim when the final horn sounded. PA improved to 19-2 overall with a 65-59 triumph over the now 19-3 Panthers. Rachel Skyberg had 20 points, six rebounds, four assists and six rebounds for the home team. Zoe Velde added 14 points and five boards with Kiaya Alderson scoring 12 and dishing out four assists.
SIBLEY, Iowa — Sibley-Ocheyedan was dominant in clinching a spot in the Class 1A State Dual Team Tournament Tuesday. The Generals cruised through the district with a 45-25 win over West Lyon in the title bout after a 48-32 victory against Alta-Aurelia. Zak Stanton got the home team rolling at 120 pounds in the championship match when he earned a 19-2 technical fall. The Wildcats briefly grabbed a 9-5 lead, but from there it was pretty much all Sibley-Ocheyedan.