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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REDWOOD FALLS — The seventh time is indeed a charm. The Luverne girls hockey team clinched the first trip to state in program history Tuesday with a 5-2 Section 3A championship win over third-seeded Fairmont. For the No. 1 Cardinals, it marked in their first section crown in seven trips to the title game.
MARSHALL — Luverne did more than just beat one its biggest rivals on its home ice Tuesday. The Cardinals’ 7-1 Big South Conference victory clinched the league title and the top seed in the Section 3A playoffs for Luverne. The Cards were up just 1-0 at the end of the first period, but it added five to its total in the second to put the game away. First-year Luverne coach Kullen Schroht said it was a nice resurgence after a sluggish beginning.
JACKSON — For the second time in just three days, Jackson County Central edged rival Worthington. This time, the Huskies’ score of 141.25 was enough to take the league title at the 13-team Big South Conference Gymnastics Meet. The Trojans finished in a close second at 140.2.
LUVERNE – Worthington capped off the regular season with a league title Saturday at the Big South Conference Tournament. The Trojans picked up a win of 42-29 over Fairmont/Martin County West in the championship semifinals before knocking off Blue Earth Area 32-19 in the conference championship dual. Pipestone Area was also in the championship bracket and took fourth with a 44-26 loss to BEA and a 35-33 heartbreaker against the Red Bulls in the third-place match.
Fifteen area wrestlers earned the right to keep their individual seasons going Saturday. The postseason officially kicked off with the individual sectional tournaments. Grapplers who took either first or second place at sectionals advanced to next Saturday’s district tournaments. In Class 1A-Sectional 12, Sibley-Ocheyedan advanced eight to the district tournament. Central Lyon/George-Little Rock pushed four wrestlers through at the Class 2A-Sectional 14 Tournament with Sheldon/South O’Brien earning three spots from Class 2A-Sectional 13.
ANOKA — Whether it was the men or the women, Anoka-Ramsey couldn’t miss Saturday. The Golden Rams shot 59.6 percent from the field — including a 63.3 percent (19-for-30) showing in the men’s game. That resulted in a 92-49 loss for the Bluejays. It was no different in the women’s game. A-R drilled 10 3-pointers, seven of which came in the first quarter. That opened the door to an 85-44 loss for the Lady Jays. Men The Rams hit 34-of-57 shots from the floor while Minnesota West was good on just 19-of-52 Saturday afternoon.
Tuesday’s blizzard brought about a change in plans for area girls hockey teams. The start of the Section 3A Tournament — like just about everything else in southern Minnesota that was scheduled for Tuesday — was pushed back a day. Worthington and Windom Area will instead open up quarterfinal action tonight.
WINDOM — Luverne and Windom Area faced some unusual conditions Monday at Windom Ice Arena. Before the game, a hose broke on the zamboni. It wasn’t fixed until before the third period, meaning that for the first two frames the two teams were battling not only each other, but also some bumpy conditions. “We just had to play old-school hockey,” Cardinals head coach Kullen Schroht said. It didn’t seem to bother the visitors, who did all of their scoring before the final period when fresh ice was finally available.