SPORTS & SCHOOL
Journal-Press Internet Sports & School - March 6, 2014 Rob LaPlante
Journal-Press Sports Editor
may be reached
by phone at 763-682-1221 or click here to email him
Buffalo advances past Elks; face Tech for title
Huge second half propels Bison to 70-46 semifinal win over Elk River; Tigers next
By Rob LaPlante
The Buffalo boys’ basketball team advanced to the Section 8-4A finals for the first time in three years after a convincing 70-46 semifinal victory last Saturday, March 1 over Elk River.
Bison seniors Levi Bean and Andrew Iverson helped set the tone early. With leading scorer Collin Olmscheid drawing extra attention early in the game, it was Bean’s inside presence that Elk River had difficulty finding answers for. While points were hard to come by for both team early, it was Iverson’s 3-point shot that gave Buffalo an early 5-2 advantage. More importantly, it jump-started a Bison crowd that drove up in numbers to St. Cloud State University’s Halenbeck Hall.
“We get a lot of support down in Buffalo,” said Bean, on what it was like playing in the big gym filled mostly with purple and black colors in the stands. “They love their basketball.”
Having a healthy Iverson was something Buffalo didn’t have in the team’s opening meeting. Iverson finished Saturday’s game with six points, but knowing they had one of their floor leaders against a defensive team like Elk River was something head coach Nick Guida was definitely missing in the first matchup.
“It was fun to watch him out there tonight,” Guida said. “He defers to some teammates a lot, but when we needed him to hit some shots it happened for us. He’s definitely somebody we need to play well for us to be effective.”
With Elk River 6-foot-6 senior Clay Elrod being the only Elks starter listed taller than 6-foot, Bean and Olmscheid were able to dominate the inside lane. Elk River was struggling shooting only 28.6-percent from the field as a team in the opening half. Seven of Olmscheid’s nine rebounds came on the defensive glass. Bean said the height advantage was one are the Bison were looking to exploit.
“With Elrod being their only big guy, we knew we could get down in the paint and keep driving on them to get those paint touches,” Bean said.
The Elks carried a bit of momentum into the locker room when sophomore guard Matt Keller hit a hanging jumper at the buzzer to cut the Bison lead at half to 24-17.
With Bean and Olmscheid scoring 17 of the 24 points, Buffalo’s supporting cast was relatively quiet on the score sheet. Only Dahl and Iverson accounted for the other seven points. Bison senior guard Sam Ortmann was held pointless in the first 18 minutes, and most the half was being taunted with the “air ball” chant by Elk River fans each time he touched the ball for a couple long range shots that were off the mark.
Ortmann came out in the second half and silenced his critics, converting three straight 3-pointers over a three minute span to open up a 39-28 Bison lead.
“After the first one (air ball), I didn’t really hear them (Elk fans). But after the second one, than it really hit me they were chanting that,” Ortmann said. “It’s something that doesn’t bother me at all. Fans will be fans, but it’s always nice to come back and hit a couple threes after you miss some.”
The threes propelled the Bison to an eventual 17-2 run, and a commanding 47-28 lead with only 7:30 remaining in the game. Buffalo has been in a number of games this year where somebody steps up one half and another player does in the other half. Ortmann has been the usual second-half contributor.
“When teams make adjustments on us and start to take one thing away, it’s somebody else stepping into that role,” Guida said. “Elk River was concerned about Levi in the lane, and Collin on the perimeter. Sam found himself wide open and when you have a bunch of guys on the floor that are unselfish about the way they play, the ball ends up in the right guy’s hands at the right times.”
Guida eventually was able to clear his bench for the final two minutes and in limited playing time, seniors Austin Johnson and Josh Braxton each scored three points, causing the entire bench and student section to erupt.
“I didn’t expect it, but I knew we were capable of it,” described Ortmann, on the thoughts of blowing away a tough section opponent. “It’s one of those things where we got on a little run, and broke it open late.”
BISON FACE TECH
As a result of the earlier game ending with a 64-52 semifinal victory for St. Cloud Tech over St. Michael-Albertville, the Bison and Tigers will battle at 7 p.m. this Thursday, March 6 at Monticello High School for the right to go to the state tournament.
The top two seeds, No. 1 Tech and No. 2 Buffalo battled earlier this year at the Bison-Knights Holiday Tournament, and it was the Tigers coming away with the 68-53 victory. Buffalo’s loss to Tech eventually sparked a 16-game win streak for the Bison.
Senior forward Andy Foley scored 33 of Tech’s 64 points last Saturday against the Knights, and he led the Tigers with 34 points when they beat the Bison back in December. Foley, a St. Cloud State recruit, hit 7-of-9 three pointers against the Bison, and he and teammates Jay Kedrowski and Jake Martig accounted for 63 of their 64 points.
Guida said he’s a player that Buffalo definitely has to key on in order to be successful Thursday night.
“He’s a 6-foot-5 wing player that can handle the ball,” Guida said. “He can attack, and he can shoot. He’s a good rebounder and defender. We’ll have to be on our A-game in order to contain him. He’ll get some shots to go down, but we can’t hang our heads.”
The section final game will be the first one for the entire Bison roster, who had no varsity players on the team three years ago that last made it to the section finals.
“It’s something we’ve all been looking forward to since the sixth grade,” Bean said. “It’s unbelievable right now.”
Treptau finishes sixth at state
By Rob LaPlante
As a three-year veteran competing under the lights of the Xcel Energy Center, Buffalo sophomore Adam Treptau finally saw the spotlight shine his way.
After two straight years of finishing 0-2 in the state wrestling tournament, Treptau came into the weekend with the goal of finally getting the monkey off his back. Not only did he achieve his goal, but he came home with a souvenir to boot.
Treptau earned his first win in St. Paul after pinning Lakeville South senior Mike Funchie in 2:27. Treptau eventually went on to post a 3-3 record and finished the 2-day event bringing home a sixth-place medal in the 220-pound weight class.
“I just went out there and really didn’t care what happened or what the outcome was,” Treptau said. “I just wanted to do my best and the rest would figure itself out.”
Even though his 9-3 decision victory on day two against Brainerd senior Sam Adams assured Treptau of his first state tournament medal, the biggest win may have came in his opening match against Funchie.
Treptau said in previous years he’s had difficult first-round opponents, but this season the scramble draw matched him against Lakeville South’s Funchie, who came in with an individual mark of only 20-14.
“Yeah, I got a good draw, but then I got the first round kid next round,” Treptau said. “But that was probably my best first-round pick in the previous times down here.”
After struggling in period one with a taller Funchie, Treptau held a narrow 2-0 edge heading into the second period. Just 27 seconds into period two, Treptau turned Funchie to his side. Moments later he powered his shoulders to the side of the ring for the winning pin.
Treptau is the highest Bison finisher at state since Timmy Ruter finished fourth in 2010 at 140 pounds. He also becomes head coach Jason Maurer’s first wrestler to win a state match under his tenure.
“More importantly, its Adam’s first time,” Maurer said. “This is his third trip and we needed to get that first win for him. You could just feel a weight lifted off his shoulders.”
The win was short lived, as later that Friday evening he drew defending 220-pound champion Paul Cheney of Apple Valley. Cheney came into the tourney with an impressive 43-1 record. Treptau would give the No. 1 ranked wrestler a run for his money, as he went the distance losing by an 11-4 decision.
The confidence of putting the defending champ to the brink carried over into Friday night’s wrestle-backs, where Treptau defeated Hastings senior Tony Lodermeier by an 8-3 decision.
The victory over Lodermeier assured a match at Saturday’s consolation quarterfinals. Treptau went on to post a pivotal win over Adams of the Warriors. At that point, win-or-lose, he knew he was assured of medaling. His impressive season would come to an end with two straight losses to Blaine senior Caleb Butler (4:15 fall) and Little Falls senior Trysten Ross (18-12 dec.). Butler came into state with a perfect 30-0 record before losing his first two matches of the season after the semifinal round.
Treptau finished the season 36-8 overall, a record setting-season for the Bison sophomore who is only 26 wins shy of tying Ruter’s all-time wins mark of 139. Treptau has compiled an overall record of 113-43 in his three-year varsity career.
Treptau said prior to his big weekend that he had a good night of sleep and was feeling confident. “I’m pretty happy how things went,” he said.
Freshmen hungry for another crack at state
By Rob LaPlante
Buffalo freshmen Hunter Brings and Josh Muntifering are already licking their chops for next season.
Brings noted the food was the highlight of this year’s boys’ swim/dive state tournament, but he admitted an 18th place finish in the preliminaries of the 1-meter diving event left a sour taste in his mouth, and has him already itching for redemption next season.
With a goal of top-16 on his radar, Brings said an ankle injury he suffered playing dodge ball during a gym class was the biggest reason for his downfall at last Thursday’s state prelims held Feb. 27 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center
“It (ankle) did kind of hurt my back approaches, because I didn’t get the height I normally get,” Brings said. “I wasn’t really 100-percent focused on my last dive and let it slip. That’s what happens, I guess.”
His final 11-dive score of 217.05 was an improvement from last year’s 20th place finish, and Brings said the entire state tournament experience went a lot smoother than coming down as an eighth grader.
“Last year I was pretty nervous. This year I wasn’t nervous at all,” Brings said. “I went in saying it was just going to be fun. If it happens, it happens. If not, it’s not a huge deal. I still have three more years.”
Brings’ head coach is confident that he will have several more shots at the tank before his career is over.
“I wished Hunter could have competed without the bad ankle,” Brophy said. “He had a couple dives that were really hard for him to do with the ankle brace on.”
While the ankle definitely was a hindrance for one Bison participant, Muntifering finished preliminaries in 22nd place out of 23 swimmers in the 200-individual medley (2:03.66), and 23rd in the 100 backstroke (55.98).
Afterwards, a disappointed Muntifering made up no excuses for his last place finishes.
“It was a lot more than I expected. It just kind of overwhelmed me,” Muntifering said. “I tried my best, but it just wasn’t there for me.”
He said the start of the race started off well, but then he could feel things get away from him towards the end of the IM and the start of the backstroke.
“My splits were faster in my fly and back than they were in sections, but when I hit the breaststroke, I just knew,” said Muntifering, describing his 200 IM race. “Off the start on the backstroke, I felt my legs already dying because they were so tired.”
With both Brings and Muntifering setting personal records at the section finals a week ago at St. Cloud, Brophy said the extra hard work and stress both athletes put in to try and make state may have affected them during the big tournament.
“Josh is always such a strong swimmer. He always has a lot left at the end,” Brophy said. “I think he was just physically and emotionally spent. It’s hard to stay keyed up from sections to state. You don’t have the advantage of taper, you’re nervous and tired and don’t sleep well.”
Regardless of the outcomes, both Brings and Muntifering said the weekend at state is one they will never forget and hope to get a second and third crack at it next season.
“I’m going to work extremely hard to make sure I make second day next year,” Muntifering said. “It was nice to have my best friend (Brings) down here and share this experience with him.”
“The food and the bonding that goes on is a blast,” Brings said. “It’s definitely the highlight of the weekend.”
Future Gopher, Thorn, captures fourth state title for Knights
By Rob LaPlante
For the first time in his high school state wrestling career, St. Michael-Albertville senior Tommy Thorn wasn’t involved in some sort of championship match.
The defending Class 3A co-champion Knights were upset 37-21 in last Thursday’s semifinal team competition. It was the first time since the Knights switched to Class 3A in 2008 they failed to reach the finals round against perennial power and 2014 state champion Apple Valley.
“We’ve made it to the state finals ever since we joined 3A,” Thorn said. “To lose to Prior Lake kind of sucked. But we have a young team with a ton of sophomores. I think they will bounce back strong next year.”
STMA captured the third-place trophy, defeating Hastings 30-25.
While the Knights fell just shy of their team goal, Thorn completed his incredible high school career claiming his fourth consecutive individual championship at 126 pounds.
Sophomore teammate Mitchell McKee (120 pounds) won an emotional title, who he dedicated the season to his father who is battling cancer. Senior Mark Voss (145 pounds) also joined Thorn and McKee as a state champ. Thorn, a future University of Minnesota Golden Gopher wrestler, capped a storybook career with state titles in the 106, 113, 120 and 126-pound weight divisions.
“It’s pretty much the icing on the cake,” Thorn said. “Ever since I won it in ninth grade, I wanted to be a four-time champ.”
Thorn finished the season with a record of 52-0 and posted a remarkable career record of 202-6. His win total nearly eclipsed older brother David, who holds the all-time STMA record for most career wins of 218.
David is a senior on the current Gophers team. Although they won’t wrestle next season as teammates, Tommy said he’s excited for the challenges next season wrestling in the Big Ten.
“I’m really excited to move on to bigger and better things,” Thorn said.
(Individual medalist/Top 6):
(Friday, Feb. 28-Sat. March 1)
113: 6. Nate Carlson, Annandale/Maple Lake.
120: 3. Tanner Vassar, A/ML 4. Tevin Zavadil, Monticello.
132: 2. Ty Griffen, Rockford.
145: 5. Aaron Sweeney, Watertown-Mayer.
106: 5. Aaron Dick, St. Michael-Albertville.
120: 1. Mitchell McKee, STMA
126: 1. Tommy Thorn, STMA
145: 1. Mark Voss, STMA
195: 4. Jake Briggs, STMA
220: 6. Adam Treptau, Buffalo
Buffalo stumbles in 60-45 playoff loss to Royals
By Rob LaPlante
In two previous matchups this season, it was the Bison grabbing the early lead and making it last the entire 36 minutes. Rogers head coach Karlee Anderson said she challenged her team before hand to match Buffalo’s intensity and aggressive play.
“Scot coaches a bunch of great girls who believe in him. They get after it; they are intense and their effort is there,” Anderson said. “That’s what we lacked in both games we lost to them. I told my girls that we needed to set the tempo and give 110-percent effort. They responded with our best game of the season.”
The second push came early in the final half of play. Buffalo again was able to get to the foul line early and a free throw by senior Nicole Duske cut the Rogers lead to 29-28.
After a Royals timeout, Rogers came out with a full-court press which led to three consecutive Bison turnovers. Rogers built its third double-figure lead of the game at 40-30, and with only 10 minutes left in regulation, a third attempt at a comeback appeared to be a tall order.
“It was getting pretty tough coming back,” said Duske, who was one of three Bison seniors (Lauren Schultz and Chelsey Henson the others) to play their last varsity game. “You have to keep on fighting, but we just came up short.”
“We had those early turnovers, and some of those came during pretty good opportunities to attack,” Sorenson said. “When that happens, it can get very frustrating. That got to our confidence a little bit.”
While the Royals full-court press and half-court trap late in the second half created plenty of headaches, Buffalo failed early in the game to take advantage when Rogers was matched up in a zone defense. On a number of possessions, Buffalo’s conservative style of perimeter passing eventually led to forced shots or unforced turnovers.
“The slowness of the offense against the zone is kind of how we operate,” Sorenson said. “We take a little more time to build a rhythm than some teams do. When we did operate correctly, we got a few good looks.”
Rogers iced the game converting on their late free throws. Nowak led the Royals with 15 points. Sjerven (14) and Dorr (13) also finished in double figures. The Royals will take on top-seed St. Michael-Albertville this Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at STMA. The Knights easily defeated Bemidji 85-27.
Bison leading scorer Anika Fredrick, a junior, picked up three early fouls and was held to just six points in limited playing time. Junior guard Chloe Boster was Buffalo’s leading scorer with 10 points and freshman Cadyn Luedemann scored eight. Luedemann was one of a number of new varsity players to help turn a squad that finished 10-17 a year ago into a winning team that finished 16-11 this season.
Duske, one of three returning starters from a year ago, said despite the loss, it was still a successful season.
“It’s nice to come out with a winning record,” Duske said. “The best part of the year was how we worked together, and how good we were at keeping our heads up and battling back in games when we were down.”
Royals 60, Bison 45
(Tuesday, March 4)
Rogers (60): Marina Nowak 15, Hannah Sjerven 14, Lindsay Dorr 13, Bailey Miller 8, Taylor Anderson 6, Isabella Wilson 2, Madison Mikolich 2.
Buffalo (45): Chloe Boster 10, Cadyn Luedemann 8 (5 rebounds), Carolyn Feddema 6, Anika Fredrick 6, Nicole Duske 6 (5 rebounds), Chelsey Henson 5, Hailey Sorenson 3, Lauren Schultz 1.
The Bison closed out the regular season schedule with back-to-back wins over Big Lake and Princeton. Buffalo defeated the Hornets 64-40 in a makeup game Thursday, Feb. 27 at Big Lake. They backed that up with a conference crossover 53-44 home win the following day over Princeton.
Buffalo finished the season in fourth place in the M8 conference with a record of 9-5.
Bison 64, Hornets 40
(Thursday, Feb. 27)
Big Lake 18-22--40
Buffalo (64): Duske 12 (8 rebounds), Fredrick 11 (6 rebounds), Feddema 10 (6 rebounds), Sorenson 8, Payton Speckel 5, Luedemann 4, Boster 2 (5 steals), Abby Munsterteiger 2 (5 steals), Maddi Henson 2, Deanna Curry 2.
Big Lake (40): Kelly Jochum 9, Talyn McClaflin 8, Courtney Nelson 7, Paige Nagorski 5, Ana Doran 4, Paige Domyahn 4, Sam Kuhlow 2 (6 rebounds), Emma Anderson 1.
Bison 53, Tigers 44
(Friday, Feb. 28)
Princeton (44): Jenna Doyle 9, Danielle Chmielewski 7, Ashley Schramel 6, Julia Bjurman 6, Taylor Labbs 5 (6 steals), Andie Jackson 5, Haley Sandin 4, Anna Oakes 2 (8 rebounds).
Buffalo (53): Anika Fredrick 12 (12 rebounds), Chloe Boster 9, Cadyn Luedemann 9, Hailey Sorenson 9, Carolyn Feddema 6, Abby Munsterteiger 4, Lauren Schultz 2 (3 steals), Nicole Duske 2 (6 rebounds).
BHS Knowledge Bowl repeats as M8 champs, again
By Rob LaPlante
School News Editor
The Buffalo High School Knowledge Bowl team has never lost the Mississippi 8 Conference trophy since the M8 was formed nine years ago, and this year was no different.
The team topped seven other M8 schools last Thursday, February 27, to bring home the conference trophy, again. Actually, Buffalo kept the trophy since this year’s meet was right here at Buffalo High School.
Participating in the conference meet were teams from Big Lake, Buffalo, Chisago Lakes, Monticello, North Branch, Princeton, Rogers, and St. Francis. Cambridge-Isanti and St. Michael-Albertville do not field Knowledge Bowl teams.
Three Knowledge Bowl teams from each school participated in the tournament, and the school with the team with the highest score was named the conference champion.
Buffalo’s Team One of senior Aaron Hamann and juniors Ryan Bowers, Jacob Nosbush, and Jon Thielen earned the top score of 112 points. When the team started the meet with a written round score six points ahead of the next team, there was no doubt the team would win the meet. Team One maintained its first place position throughout the meet with oral round scores of 17, 13, 12, and 12. The team then added an additional six points for competing in the top room.
Placing conference second was St. Francis with 95 points, and Big Lake was third with 94.5 points.
Buffalo’s Team Two of Tommy Dirks, Robbie DuBois, Sophie Lefebvre, and Logan Thomas were not far behind with their 93 points and fourth place finish.
At the conference meet, Coach Lacy Schramm called on Buffalo’s top ninth and tenth grade team to compete as Buffalo’s third team. That team of Tyler Dirks, Sam Hamann, Abbie Kunze, and Chase Schottler scored 78 points for a ninth place finish.
On Saturday, March 1, the teams traveled to Monticello for the last invitational meet of the season.
The teams are certainly ready for the subregion and region tournaments with their win in Monticello.
Team One of Bowers, Hamann, Nosbush, and Thielen kept their winning streak in place, scoring 130 points for the first place finish.
The team began the meet in third place after scoring 53 points in the written round. After scoring 22 points in the first oral round, the team moved into first place and stayed there the rest of the meet. Additional oral round scores of 15, 16, and 18 put the team 21 points ahead of second place finisher Sartell who scored 109 points. Big Lake and St. John’s Prep tied for third with 103.5 points.
Buffalo Team Two of Dirks, DuBois, Lefebvre, and Thomas stood up to the strong competition and placed fourth with 103 points. Buffalo Team Three of Ryan Bednarek, Evan Burandt, and Dylan Harcey scored 78 points.
At Monticello, the tournament was divided into varsity and junior varsity, not often done in the invitational meets.
Buffalo’s JV Team A of Tyler Dirks, Sam Hamann, Abbie Kunze, and Chase Schottler again brought home the first place trophy, scoring 104.5 points. Consistent double-digit scores in the oral rounds of 19, 14, 10, and 13 gave the team the edge to beat second place St. John’s Prep and third place Sartell.
Buffalo JV Team B of Ryan Dirks, Rachel Lauer, Andrew Scherber, and Travis Wolden placed seventh with 85.5 points.
Buffalo JV Team C of Brian Irwin, Ryan Mohler and Ethan Roadfeldt scored 55 points.
The large-school sub-region will be Monday, March 17, in St. Cloud. Buffalo will be bringing its two top varsity teams to that tournament. The top six winners in the large-school division will meet the top six winners from the medium-school division and the top six winners from the small-school division in an eighteen-team region tournament on Thursday, March 20, also in St. Cloud. From the region tournament, the top two large schools, the top two small schools, and the next highest team will head to the state tournament April 10-11 at Cragun’s Resort in Brainerd.
Buffalo will also be sending two teams to the final JV tournament on Wednesday, March 12, in St. Cloud.
Student of Distinction: Peter Deneen
By Rob LaPlante
School News Editor
Like most ‘Student of Distinction’ honorees, Buffalo Community Middle School eighth-grader Peter Deneen had that moment of uneasiness when he was summoned last Monday, March 3 to the office of BCMS principal Matt Lubben.
“He (Lubben) called me down, and didn’t tell me what he was going to say,” Deneen said. “He called my parents and told them. That’s how I found out.”
Deneen is the sixth member this school year to receive the honor, which is announced on the first Monday of each calendar school month.
An active member of his school, Deneen takes part in Student Council, Bison Band, Saxophone Quartet and Guys Group. He is also active in sports. He is involved in skiing, basketball and hopes to someday play varsity soccer in the future for head coach Jeff Lindstrom, who happens to be listed as one of his favorite teachers.
“Lindstrom is my Prime Time teacher,” Deneen said. “When my dad was sick, he was there. He’s just always stuck with me. I’m with him every morning and I’ve got to know him pretty well.”
As a sixth-grader, Deneen’s father, Bill, underwent treatment after he was diagnosed with cancer. Two years have passed and his father is currently in remission. As a young teenager, Deneen said his father’s illness has helped strengthen him both as a student and as an individual.
“Yesterday (Sunday, March 2) was the two-year anniversary of his last treatment,” Deneen said. “When he was going through treatments, there were a lot of people at our house. Every week there was a new person. I had to be a lot more responsible to try and get school work done, and to do everything around the house that needed to be done.”
Deneen also lists English teacher Ryan McCallum as a person he looks up to. McCallum spends his days bouncing between the high school and middle school English programs. As a Quest student, Deneen has made quite the impression.
“As a student, he asks really good questions. He’s a good thinker who asks questions that move discussions and ideas forward,” McCallum said. “He’s also an incredibly good listener. That makes him really well respected.”
McCallum said the maturity level Deneen brings to the table will make the transition from a middle school student to becoming a high school student that much easier.
“I bring in mentors from the high school, and they all relate to him right away,” McCallum said. “He comes off as a student they really respect. I’ll have him as a student through next January at the high school, and hopefully I’ll have him in one of my journalism classes or something--he’s good.”
Besides Student of Distinction, Deneen’s resume already includes State Honor Band, as a saxophone player. He was chosen from a select group of students that submitted recordings, and his work was one of a handful selected by judges throughout the state.
Principal Lubben also mentioned Deneen’s work as a Student Council member as a trait that makes him stand out above some of the others.
“We’ve really refocused the energy this year in student council,” Lubben said. “Peter’s doing a really good job of leading our school to make good choices.”
With only a few months left as a middle school student, Deneen said he’s looking forward to becoming a high school student. His older sister, Abby, is currently a junior at the high school.
“I hear a lot of great things about the high school and the teachers,” Deneen said. “I’m looking forward to high school, but for now, getting this honor is a big achievement.”