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Sports briefs: Busy days ahead in local sports

Sports briefs: The second half of this week is filled with local sports activities.

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Basketball stock art. (Unsplash image by Kylie O'Sullivan)

Busy days ahead in local sports

The second half of this week is filled with local sports activities.

For the Worthington Trojans it kicks off with the wrestling team’s first home meet of the season, and it’s a triangular meet with Pipestone Area and Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg beginning at 5 p.m.

The event features several state-ranked wrestlers.

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Pipestone Area’s Brayden Burmeister (fourth at 106 pounds), JJ Martens (eighth at 113), Hudson Burnett (first at 120) and Jayden Hoss (sixth at 285) are listed among Minnesota’s best in Class A. Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg has two of its own matmen rated in Class A: Trey Gunderson, first at 106; and Coy Gunderson, fourth at 160.

Worthington’s Cole Hennings is ranked No. 7 at 285 pounds in Class AA.

More Trojan events

On Friday, the Worthington High School gymnastics team is on the road for an event against New London-Spicer, with the junior varsity squad set to begin at 5 p.m. Also on Friday, the WHS girls hockey team plays a home game against Wahpeton/Breckenridge beginning at 7 p.m. And the Trojans girls varsity basketball team goes on the road for a 7:30 p.m. game against Big South Conference opponent Pipestone Area.

The Trojan girls hoopsters have had three games already this season and they’ve won every one.

Saturday is a big day of action for WHS. The wrestlers go to Jackson for a 9:30 a.m. start in the Jackson County Central Invitational. That’ll be another test for the Trojans when they take on a JCC team that’s expected to be among the best and deepest outfits in Class A.

Also Saturday, the Worthington dance team begins performing at 11 a.m. at Renville County West High School. The girls and boys hockey teams are playing against Minnesota River at LeSueur, with the girls dropping the puck at 2:30 p.m. and the boys beginning at approximately 4:30 p.m.

The Trojan boys basketball team competes against New Ulm in the Big South Conference Crossover tournament, in Pipestone.

And there’s this

The Minnesota West women’s and men’s basketball teams, both impressive on Saturday in games against Mesabi Range, will try to keep the ball rolling Friday and Saturday with road games.

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The Lady Jays are at Northland Friday in a 5:30 p.m. tipoff, and the men play Northland at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, the women play at Itasca at 1 p.m. and the men play Itasca at 3 p.m.

These are the last games for the Minnesota West basketball teams until Dec. 30.

Boys basketball polls

In a somewhat unusual twist of fate, there are no southwest Minnesota boys basketball teams ranked in the first poll of the season by Minnesota Basketball News.

Not Southwest Minnesota Christian, not Westbrook-Walnut Grove, not Marshall -- teams that have been dominant around here in recent years.

Hayfield is the top-ranked team in Class A. Minnehaha Academy is No. 1 in Class AA. Totino-Grace leads the field in Class AAA. And Wayzata has the top spot in Class AAAA.

And where are the girls?

And now for a glance at the Minnesota girls basketball polls.

At least a few of us were wondering if Minneota’s championship run in Class A might be over this year with the graduation of their outstanding guard, Abby Hennen. But don’t be too sure.

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The defending state champion Vikings, who blitzed Southwest Minnesota Christian 62-34 in last year’s Section 3 finals, are ranked No. 2 in today’s Class A poll, right behind Mountain Iron-Buhl. So we’ve got to put up with them for at least another year.

Providence Academy is ranked No. 1 in Class AA, Becker is atop Class AAA, and Hopkins leads Class AAAA.

Just like in the boys polls, there are no southwest Minnesota teams ranked anywhere. Unless you want to count the Marshall Tigers (ninth in AAA), but frankly, we don’t care to.

As for the Minneota Vikings, however, they might want to consider doing something about their nickname. We did a web search for the Minneota Vikings on Monday, and all we got were results for the Minnesota Vikings.

This is quite embarrassing for Minneota High School. We are sure that after the NFL team’s debacle in Detroit on Sunday, the high school would rather not be confused with the pro football team in any way.

What to read next
Statistical leaders in Red Rock Conference girls basketball have been released through Jan. 17. Southwest Minnesota Christian led the league with a 7-0 conference record, followed by Red Rock Central 5-2, Edgerton 5-3, Hills-Beaver Creek 3-2, Mountain Lake Area/Comfrey 4-4, Westbrook-Walnut Grove 3-3, Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda 2-4, Adrian/Ellsworth 1-5 and Murray County Central 0-7.
Tuesday night sports roundup:
The Worthington Trojans wrestling team won two matches in a triangular Tuesday.
In Monday high school sports action, Adrian/Ellsworth got 15 points from Brock Henning in a 68-58 boys basketball victory over Harris-Lake Park.