SPORTS & SCHOOL
Journal-Press Internet Sports & School - December 18, 2014 Rob LaPlante
Journal-Press Sports Editor
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A night to celebrate
By Rob LaPlante
A sea of red shirts invaded the Buffalo gymnasium on Thursday, Dec. 11 as the Bison wrestling squad made its home debut and defeated the Monticello Magic 52-29.
Red and white “Fight, You Go Maurer” T-shirts were on display in support of Bison head coach Jason Maurer, who endured a near fatal incident in early June when he collapsed on the softball field at Bentfield Mills Park in Buffalo after going into cardiac arrest.
On a night where wrestling took center stage being the Bison’s annual spotlight match, it was the events leading up to the dual that made the night a memorable one. The Maurer family and fans recognized each of the first responders who had a helping hand in saving Maurer’s life.
“I’ll admit, when I was in the hospital and they mentioned we were wrestling Monticello on wear your red shirt night, I was like, ‘what the heck are you guys doing?’” Maurer chuckled.
A total of 12 EMT, firefighters, policemen and doctors were present to receive a plaque in honor of their efforts. The loudest ovation was in response to Dr. Dave Prybilla, an anesthesiologist at Allina Hospital in Buffalo, who was the first to respond at the scene seconds after Maurer’s collapse.
The two were playing opposite each other during their Thursday night softball league. When Prybilla realized Maurer wasn’t breathing, he quickly performed CPR until further help arrived. When the two met at Thursday’s home meet, Maurer admitted things got a bit rough.
“I’m not a real emotional guy, but I broke down pretty hard there,” Maurer said. “I went back and talked to the team after that and I couldn’t keep from crying.”
Prybilla said he’s never experienced anything quite like this in his years as a doctor. He mentioned that Maurer was very fortunate to have a big crowd of people on hand when he collapsed.
“This has happened to me before in hospitals, but not on softball fields,” he said. “If you’re going to collapse and have your heart stop, on a field with a doctor, a policeman, and a bunch of firefighters is where you want to do it. He’s a very lucky individual.”
The inspiration in the gym was felt by many, which included Maurer’s own players and the opposition. Each of the Magic players wore Maurer T-shirts during the pre-match ceremonies. They also had a big sign saying “Monticello wrestling supports Maurer Strong.”
“We saw Buffalo at Osseo a couple weeks ago and with our booster club, we asked if we could get some shirts for our guys to wear and I asked our girls to make the sign,” said Magic head coach Andy Zigan. “We wanted to do whatever we could to help support him and make the night special for the fans and the people that helped out in saving his life.”
Zigan said he was just as shocked as anyone when he first found out the news of Maurer’s cardiac arrest.
“I’ve known him for a while,” he said. “I saw him at the football game this year. I had relatives at the softball game when he went down and I was getting phone calls and messages right away about him collapsing. Wrestling is a big family. You have duals and stuff and you go out and compete. They took it to us, but next time we see them we want to give it to them.”
The ones that seemed the most inspired by the evening were the Bison wrestlers. Eight of Buffalo’s nine individual matches resulted in wins by fall.
Freshman Ben Ruhr started the night with an 11-0 decision at 106 pounds. Pins by sophomore Charlie DesMarais and freshman Caleb Drews helped build a 16-6 Bison advantage. The Magic responded by recording two straight pins by Jack Bourgeois and Andrew Mergen. A forfeit win at 145 pounds by Cooper Hanson gave Monticello its only lead in the match at 24-16.
Buffalo’s strength early in the season has been the heavyweights, and this match was no different as junior Cole Scherber, sophomore Fletcher Durand, freshman Jacob Scherber, senior Hunter Durand and juniors Adam Treptau and Robert Sahli sealed the deal all recording wins by pins.
The most intriguing matchup of the evening came between Sahli and Monticello’s Brent Riddle in the heavyweight class. Sahli had previously defeated Riddle 4-3 on Saturday, Nov. 29 at the Osseo Tournament. Riddle was ranked No. 3 in the pre-season Class AA individual rankings. Sahli said he felt he held a huge advantage the second time around having both faced and defeated Riddle at Osseo.
“Back at Osseo I didn’t know Riddle’s style of wrestling,” he said. “He put a Fireman’s Carry on me twice at that tournament. All week I was practicing on Fireman’s, so it helped knowing his style. I felt more relaxed.”
Sahli responded with a second period fall in 3:14 over Riddle. Maurer said afterwards he felt his team had a little extra motivation and all the pins were proof of it.
“I could tell that the guys had a little different look in their eyes tonight,” Maurer said. “No question, this is the most memorable night. The first match we won in this gym my first year as coach against Robbinsdale Armstrong was big, but to come out with that final score in front of this many people, it was awesome.”
Maurer wasn’t the only one who left the gym being touched. “I’ll remember this night for the rest of my life,” Sahli said. “It was a different atmosphere in here. Everyone was pumped up and excited and we wanted to do this for our coach.”
Less than 24 hours had elapsed before the Bison took to the same mat on Friday, Dec. 12 to host the Buffalo Triangular. After battling to a 37-37 tie with Rocori, the Bison finished the night with a 52-24 victory over Kimball.
Cole Scherber, Fletcher Durand, Jacob Scherber, senior Brandon Schreifels, Hunter Durand, Treptau and Sahli closed the match with Kimball with wins. The victory improved Buffalo’s dual record to 3-1-1 overall heading into its next dual meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 18 at No. 2 rated St. Michael-Albertville.
The second major tournament of the season for the Bison resulted with similar results as the first. DesMarais, Hunter Durand and Treptau each won their respective weight classes leading the Bison to a fourth-place finish at the Chaska/Chanhassen Holiday Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 13. The three wrestlers also won their weight classes Nov. 29 at the Osseo Tournament.
Treptau pinned his way to the 220-pound title to remain undefeated (11-0) in 2014-15. Durand went 4-0 posting pins in the opening three rounds and earning a 4-2 decision in the 195-pound title match with Minnetonka’s Pierce Breedlove. Durand also defeated Breedlove 4-1 in the Osseo Tournament title match. DesMarais went 3-0 in the 120-pound bracket and clinched the gold medal with a 5-2 decision over Sawyer Strom of Ellsworth, Wisc. Ellsworth won the 10-team meet with 203 points.
The 138 points and fourth-place team finish was impressive considering Buffalo wrestled the tournament with five open brackets. The results were nearly identical to the fourth-place finish and 141 points placed at Osseo.
Buffalo 52, Monticello 29
(Thursday, Dec. 11 at Buffalo)
106 -Ben Ruhr (B) 11-0 dec. over Zach Zavadil
113 - Carsten Sherber (M) 3:27 fall over Hunter Newman (B)
120 - Charlie DesMarais (B) 1:03 fall over Carter Michels (M)
126 - Caleb Drews (B) 3:06 fall over Levi Werp (M)
132 - Jack Bourgeois (M) 3:04 fall over Riley Habisch (B)
138 - Andrew Mergen (M) 1:33 fall over Wyatt Jacobson Hanson (B)
145 - Cooper Hanson (M) win by forfeit
152 - Cole Scherber (B) fall over Brandon Gaber (M)
160 - Fletcher Durand (B) fall over Devon Gaber (M)
170 - Jacob Scherber (B) 5:23 fall over Matt Baloun (M)
182 - Kyle Nathan (M) 5:37 fall over Brandon Schreifels (B)
195 - Hunter Durand (B) 3:47 fall over Jakob Thompson (M)
220 - Adam Treptau (B) 2:32 fall over Matt Adrian (M)
285 - Robert Sahli (B) 3:14 fall over Brent Riddle (M)
Buffalo 37, Rocori 37
(Friday, Dec. 12 at Buffalo)
Results not available
Buffalo 52, Kimball 24
(Friday, Dec. 12 at Buffalo)
106 - Ben Ruhr (B) :28 fall over Josh Donnay (K)
113 - Michael Donnay (K) 3:59 fall over Hunter Newmann (B)
120 - Charlie DesMarais (B) 15-0 tech fall over Payton Schiefelbein (K)
126 - Caleb Drews (B) 2:59 fall over Joseph Donnay (K)
132 - Blane Tschida (K) 1:20 fall over Josh Anderson (B)
138 - Quinten Berres (K) 1:20 fall over Wyatt Jacobson Hansen (B)
145 - Brady Mehr (K) win by forfeit
152 - Cole Scherber (B) 14-6 major dec. over Payton Hanan (K)
160 - Fletcher Durand (B) 2:30 fall over Brandon LaFave (K)
170 - Jacob Scherber (B) 10-1 major dec. over Tanner Schreifels (K)
182 - Brandon Schreifels (B) 8-3 dec. over Skyler Schiefelbein (K)
195 - Hunter Durand (B) 1:03 fall over Austin Hentges (K)
220 - Adam Treptau (B) :44 fall over Ben Zipoy (K)
285 - Robert Sahli (B) 1:08 fall over Grant Garding (K)
(Saturday, Dec. 13 at Chaska)
Team scores: 1. Ellsworth (WI) 203; 2. Minnetonka 156; 3. Owatonna 147.5; 4. Buffalo 138; 5. Champlin Park 132.5; 6. Chaska/Chanhassen 121.5; 7. Wayzata 121; 8. Mankato West 98; 9. Hopkins 76.5; 10. Robbinsdale Cooper 20
106 - Open
113 - Open
120 - Charlie DesMarais (B) 1st place
126 - Open
132 - Josh Anderson (B) 7th place
138 - Open
145 - Cole Scherber (B) 5th place
152 - Fletcher Durand (B) 6th place
160 - Open
170 - Jacob Scherber (B) 2nd place
182 - Brandon Schreifels (B) 5th place
195 - Hunter Durand (B) 1st place
220 - Adam Treptau (B) 1st place
285 - Robert Sahli (B) 2nd place
Buffalo defeats Rogers
By Rob LaPlante
The first seven games for the Buffalo boys’ hockey team have been anything but normal.
A four-goal second period on Saturday, Dec. 13 against conference rival Rogers sparked a 6-4 victory, and prevented the Bison from losing all three games on their first home-stand of the season.
After sitting the first four games with a broken wrist, senior captain Gunnar Goodmanson returned to the lineup in Buffalo’s 5-3 loss against Delano. Playing at less than 100-percent, Goodmanson registered three points in his first two games. He scored his second goal of the season just 45 seconds into the game giving Buffalo an early 1-0 advantage against Rogers. A late goal with 40 seconds by Jake Moss of the Royals tied the score 1-1 after one period.
From the opening faceoff, Buffalo head coach Aaron Johnson played the first period minus senior forwards Jake Ramsey and Jerame Schuetzle, junior defenseman Michael Sawdey and sophomore forward Blake Habisch. Besides missing four of his top players, Johnson said there was something else missing in the game.
“If anybody has been to a Buffalo and Rogers game before, this game had a different feeling to it,” Johnson said. “Both teams are young this year, so the intensity wasn’t the same as it normally is. Hopefully next time we play them, that gets amped up a little bit.”
After sitting the first 17 minutes based on a coach’s decision, Ramsey scored just 47 seconds into the second period when Goodmanson won a faceoff and centered a pass that Ramsey buried for his team-leading fifth goal of the year. The lead was short-lived, as the Royals tied the score 2-2 less than a minute later on the first of two goals by Trent Fredrickson.
Buffalo took the lead for good when Goodmanson beat his defender wide and skated down the left wing boards and wristed a shot through the legs of Rogers’ goalie Jackson Nelson. Goodmanson registered his fourth point of the night two minutes later on Tom Rooney’s first career varsity goal. Senior James McNamara made it 5-2 with 3:50 left in the period scoring off a rebound that junior Kevin Kemp originally fired.
Goodmanson nearly had his third goal of the night, but was stoned in close by Nelson in the final minute of the period. Goodmanson seems to save his best games for the Royals as he scored a hat trick the last meeting between these two teams in a 5-3 road loss Jan. 11, 2014.
“I don’t know, maybe a little extra something comes out when we play Rogers,” Goodmanson said. “There obviously a big rival, but I hope to get up against every single team.”
Coming off a 26 goal, 51 point junior season, Goodmanson has taken over the team scoring lead with seven points in three games. He said his wrist is still a factor, but it’s an injury he’s learning to deal with.
“I have quite a bit of pain. It’s a little tough, but I play through it,” Goodmanson said. “I just put 4-roll tape on it. It’s getting better.”
The Royals made the game interesting, scoring twice in the third period to pull within one goal at 5-4. But with the goalie pulled for an extra attacker, Ramsey iced it away scoring an empty netter with 42 seconds left.
The game was nearly a reverse rendition of Buffalo’s 5-2 home loss earlier in the week on Thursday, Dec. 11 against Holy Angels. The Bison led in the game 1-0 and 2-1 on goals by McNamara and Ramsey. The Stars struck for three straight second-period goals and put the game out of reach with their fourth unanswered goal early in period three to prolong the Bison’s losing streak to three straight games.
“We haven’t been playing great hockey,” Johnson said. “We gave up a lot of chances and good teams like we’ve been playing will capitalize. We were putting ourselves in bad positions defensively by puck watching. We have to get better.”
Johnson is optimistic that his team will find that consistency when they return to action at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 18 against St. Francis.
“It’s a young team, and we’re still missing key parts of it,” Johnson said. “We think we’re going to have our full lineup on Thursday for the first game all year, and that’s game number eight. It’s been an unusual start, but we got through this tough stretch with a 3-4 record and we’re excited to have our pieces to the puzzle back in there.”
Holy Angels 5, Buffalo 2
(Thursday, Dec. 11 at Buffalo)
Stars 1 3 1 - 5
Bison 1 1 0 - 2
First period: B - James McNamara (unassisted), 0:45; HA - Scott McNamara (Owen Larson, Matthew Reser), 12:37.
Second period: B - Jake Ramsey (Gunnar Goodmanson), 0:25; HA - S. McNamara (David Hillen), 2:15; HA - Teagan Thostenson (Marshall Barnes, Owen Osborn), 8:15; HA - Patrick Gazich (Osborn, Cooper Sande), 16:22.
Third period: HA - Barnes (Sande, Larson), 1:53.
Goalies: HA - Sean Daley (win) 27 shots, 25 saves; B - Ben Zitur (loss) 36 shots, 31 saves; Shots: HA - 10-15-11 - 36; B - 6-9-12 - 27; Power Plays: HA - 0-3; B - 0-5.
Buffalo 6, Rogers 4
(Saturday, Dec. 13 at Buffalo)
Stars 1 1 2 - 4
Bison 1 4 1 - 6
First period: B - Gunnar Goodmanson (unassisted), 0:45; R - Jake Moss (Branden Cecil, Shane Smith), 16:20.
Second period: B - Jake Ramsey (Gunnar Goodmanson), 0:47; R - Trent Fredrickson (Sam Libke, Vinny Billing), 1:20; B - Goodmanson (Reed Morehouse), 7:10; B - Tom Rooney (Goodmanson, Luke Merz), 9:40; James McNamara (Kevin Kemp, Nick Mueller), 13:50.
Third period: R - Fredrickson (Jason Roberge), 8:07, PP; R - Smith (Moss, Cecil), 13:39; B - Ramsey (unassisted), 16:18.
Goalies: R - Jackson Nelson (loss) 27 shots, 22 saves; B - Ben Zitur (win) 27 shots, 23 saves; Shots: R - 6-9-12 - 27; B - 8-12-8 - 28; Power Plays: R - 1-1; B - 0-2.
Girls basketball wins third straight
By Rob LaPlante
No lead is safe when playing the Waconia Wildcats girls’ basketball team. Buffalo’s 76-72 home victory on Tuesday, Dec. 16 over the Wildcats was a prime example.
Waconia is no stranger to games that finish in the 100’s. The two teams made history a year ago when they combined for a state record 216 points in a 112-104 Bison win. Waconia was averaging 92.3 points in its first four games this season, but an injury to all-conference senior guard Anna Schmitt has slowed their offense to nearly 25 points under their team average.
Thanks to a hot streak of successful 3-point shot attempts that Waconia was launching at will, Buffalo trailed 31-20 eight minutes into Tuesday’s contest. Unlike a lot of high school teams that slow down games after building double-digit leads, the Wildcats offense continued to look for quick strike plays, usually resulting in wild finishes - good and bad.
Buffalo was able to cut the gap to 36-31 at the half thanks to some timely baskets of their own, particularly from some unsung heroes, sophomores Autumn Senger and Althena Bjorback. Senger scored five of her career-high eight points in the first half.
With senior Payton Speckel not dressed due to illness, and senior Anika Fredrick sidelined most of the first half with two early fouls, it was Senger and Bjorback stepping in to give the Bison some quality minutes. Bison head coach Scot Sorenson said those weren’t the only reasons for expanding his bench.
“We talked about rotating the bench a little deeper because of the pace of the game that Waconia plays, and the amount of fouls that are typically called,” Sorenson said. “Without Waconia’s key player in the lineup, it was a little bit different, but they still go after it. I thought our newcomers were effective and Senger really brought some energy that really helped turn us around in the first half.”
Seniors Chloe Boster, Carolyn Feddema, Fredrick and sophomore Cadyn Luedemann helped cut Waconia’s lead to 46-45, but before anyone could blink, Wildcat guards built the lead quickly back to nine points thanks to an 8-0 run.
Luedemann said she enjoys the up-tempo game that Waconia presents to the opposition.
“I think it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s always a fast-paced game, so you have a lot of adrenaline when you play them.”
Buffalo mounted another comeback, and eventually took its first lead with 8:32 left in regulation when Luedemann connected on two consecutive layups giving the Bison a 55-53 advantage. Momentum was stalled quickly as Waconia guard Kendall Eder got hot once again from long range to help boost the lead back in the Wildcats’ favor 70-66 with 3:20 left in regulation. Eder scored 15 of her 21 points from 3-point territory.
The third and final rally for the Bison proved to be the difference, and with under a minute left in the game, Boster hit two free throws to put the game out of reach 76-72 with 13 seconds left.
“If you feel like a six-point lead might get you somewhere, when you play a team like this it might get you 10 more seconds,” Sorenson said. “Even if we had a 10-point lead on this team, we knew it wouldn’t be safe. We had to keep coming all the way to the buzzer.”
Four players from both teams ended in double figures. Eder led all players with 21 points. Feddema had 16, Boster 13, Fredrick 12 and Luedemann had a double-double for the Bison with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Luedemann was coming off a career night when she scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds in Buffalo’s 67-49 on Friday, Dec. 12 at Moorhead.
After a bit of a sluggish start, Buffalo opened up a late first half lead and carried a 30-17 advantage into the half. Luedemann, Fredrick and Feddema again carried the offense and Speckel and junior Maddy Henson each scored seven off the bench.
“We’re pretty happy with our start,” Luedemann said. “But we also know we have to work hard to keep going. These wins are a good thing, but it’s just a little step in the right direction.”
Buffalo 66, Moorhead 49
(Friday, Dec. 12 at Moorhead)
Bison 30 36 - 67
Spuds 17 32 - 49
Bison (66): Cadyn Luedemann 21, Anika Fredrick 15, Carolyn Feddema 11, Payton Speckel 7, Maddy Henson 7, Hailey Sorenson 3, Althena Bjorbak 2.
Spuds (49): Sam Haiby 23, Brooke Tonsfeldt 12, Beth Hulst 7, Kortney Carney 3, Alexis Hulst 2, Deleny Raske 2.
Rebounds: Fredrick 10, Luedemann 8, Feddema 6, Speckel 5, Boster 4, Sorenson 3, Maddie Wagner 1 Henson 1, Paige Dalbec 1; Assists: Boster 4, Sorenson 3, Feddema 2, Henson 2, Luedemann 2, Wagner 2, Kenzie Johnson 1, Speckel 1; Steals: Luedemann 1, Wagner 1, Boster 1, Henson 1, Sorenson 1, Morgan Warner 1.
Buffalo 76, Waconia 72
(Tuesday, Dec. 16 at Buffalo)
Wildcats 36 36 - 72
Bison 31 45 - 76
Wildcats (72): Kendall Eder 21, Madelin Dammann 16, Megan Kirsch 11, Kelsey Eder 10, Allyson Fuller 6, Tatum Johnson 3, Hallie Koppi 3, Sidney Zieske 2.
Bison (76): Carolyn Feddema 16, Cadyn Luedemann 14, Chloe Boster 13, Anika Fredrick 12, Autumn Senger 8, Maddie Wagner 6, Hailey Sorenson 4, Maddy Henson 3.
Rebounds: Luedemann 14, Boster 7, Feddema 6, Sorenson 6, Fredrick 3, Wagner 2, Althena Bjorback 2, Senger 1; Assists: Boster 8, Feddema 6, Luedemann 2, Sorenson 2, Wagner 1, Senger 1; Steals: Boster 5, Luedemann 2, Feddema 1, Sorenson 1, Bjorback 1, Maddy Henson 1.
Bison rout Royals; shutout by DC, Edina
By Rob LaPlante
Rylan Bistodeau was in the eighth-grade when the Bison girl’s hockey team started “the streak.”
After suffering a 4-0 home loss to North Wright County on Dec. 6, 2012, the Bison have rang off 18 consecutive conference wins, including a convincing 12-0 home victory on Friday, Dec. 12 over Rogers.
“The girls get up for the conference games,” said Bison head coach Ray Dahlof. That’s one of our goals every year is the conference championship. They play hard in these games and it’s good to see.”
Outside of North Wright County, the last team outside of the River Hawks in the Mississippi 8 to defeat the Bison was Rogers, in a 2-1 loss on Jan. 18, 2010. That year’s Royals squad was much different than this year’s version. The Royals came into last Friday’s contest with only one win in seven games, and a roster dominated by underclassmen.
After a bit of a conservative start, the Bison struck for seven first-period goals en route to another conference blowout win. Bistodeau had a coming out party registering her first career hat trick and adding two assists in the victory. Her third goal of the game gave the Bison a 10-0 advantage midway through period two.
“I’ve never got a hat trick before, so it felt good,” Bistodeau said. “I actually got two goals on my backhand, which is surprising.”
Emily Bjorgan and Ellie Anderson rotated periods in goal for Rogers. Both goalies struggled as the Bison offense got healthy with eight different players finding the back of the net. Junior Abby Halluska scored twice and added three assists. Senior captain Madi Jewell had a goal and three assists and sophomore Taylor Thompson had a goal and two helpers.
Bistodeau said the blowout came as a bit of a surprise, especially being Rogers had tied three of their previous seven games.
“Last year we only won 4-1 against them,” she said, “I wasn’t expecting this type of game.”
The final score came off the stick of freshman Jamie Byrne, who scored the lone goal in period three, which was played under running time rules. It was Byrne’s first career varsity goal. With senior goalie Kendra Carlson out with the flu, freshman Karly Schmidt played the first two periods and sophomore Anna Monsrud made her varsity debut in period three as the two combined for a 16-save shutout.
“It’s always a confidence boost playing in games like these, especially for some of the girls that don’t play a lot,” Dahlof said. “The big lead gave us a chance to play some of our swing lines that play both varsity and junior varsity.”
WILDCATS 3, BISON 0
The Bison had less than 24 hours to prepare for their next game the following day at No. 5 rated Dodge County. A 3 p.m. start time with a two-hour bus ride didn’t appear to affect the legs, as the Bison outshot Dodge County 12-7 in the opening period. The lone goal of the period was scored by Wildcat forward Bella Wagner.
Dodge County would put the game out of reach scoring two goals over a 28 second span in the opening 1:43 of the second period. The Bison were outshot in the game for the first time this season, 29-27. Carlson returned to the lineup and stopped 26 shots.
HORNETS 4, BISON 0
Despite outshooting No. 3 rated Edina 32-30, the Bison were shutout a second straight contest as the Hornets defeated Buffalo 4-0 on Tuesday, Dec. 16 at the Civic Center.
Edina forwards Emily Oden and Sophie Slattery did all the damage for the Hornets. Oden scored two usassisted goals and assisted on power play and shorthanded tallies by Slattery.
Buffalo’s run of ranked teams will continue with a 7 p.m. showdown on Thursday, Dec. 18 at No. 19 Benilde St. Margaret’s and a 2 p.m. start on Saturday, Dec. 20 at No. 7 Minnetonka.
“I just hope we can beat them,” Bistodeau said. “We all have this goal to get to state and playing these teams and getting better is part of it. Win or lose, we just want to do our best.”
Buffalo 12, Rogers 0
(Friday, Dec. 12 at Buffalo)
Wildcats 0 0 0 - 0
Bison 7 4 1 - 12
First period: B - Taylor Thompson (Rylan Bistodeau), 4:53; B - Madi Jewell (Bistodeau), 5:35; B - Halluska (Jilli Hovland), 6:22; B - Allison Roethke (Halluska), 9:20; B - Bistodeau (Ali Klein, Jewell), 11:38; B - Hovland (Kirsten Olson, Halluska), 12:26; B - Bistodeau (Jewell, Thompson), 13:53, PP.
Second period: B - Olson (Halluska), 3:05, PP; B - Halluska (unassisted), 9:08; B - Bistodeau (Jewell, Thompson), 12:04, PP; B - Ashley Effertz (Rachel Stendahl), 12:57.
Third period: B - Jamie Byrne (unassisted), 1:40.
Goalies: R - Emily Bjorgan (loss) 14 shots, 6 saves; Ellie Anderson (10 shots, 6 saves); B - Karly Schmidt (win) 9 shots, 9 saves; Anna Monsrud (7 shots, 7 saves); Shots: R - 4-5-7 - 16; B - 13-10-8 - 31; Power Plays: R - 0-2; B - 2-2.
Dodge County 3, Buffalo 0
(Saturday, Dec. 13 at Kasson)
Bison 0 0 0 - 0
Dodge County 1 2 0 - 3
First period: DC - Bella Wagner (Magdalyn Wick) 3:15.
Second period: DC - Katie Robinson (Dana Rasmussen) 1:15; DC - Rasmussen (Wagner) 1:43.
Third period: No scoring
Goalies: B - Kendra Carlson (loss) 29 shots, 26 saves; DC - Gabby Suhr (win) 27 shots, 27 saves; Shots: B - 12-6-9 - 27; DC - 7-15-7 - 29; Power Plays: B - 0-3; DC - 0-3.
Edina 4, Buffalo 0
Hornets 1 2 1 - 4
Bison 0 0 0 - 0
First period: E - Sophie Slattery (Emma Schatz, Emily Oden) 11:50, PP.
Second period: E - Oden (unassisted) 0:48; E - Slattery (Oden) 11:11, SH.
Third period: E - Oden (unassisted) 11:55.
Goalies: E - Shannon Petersen (win) 32 shots, 32 saves; B - Kendra Carlson (loss) 30 shots, 26 saves; Shots: E - 10-9-11 - 30; B - 6-10-16 - 32; Power Plays: E - 1-6; B - 0-4.
Losing streak haulted with 51-37 win over Big Lake
By Rob LaPlante
Everyone can exhale -- for now.
The Buffalo boys’ basketball team ended a five-game losing skid with a 51-37 road victory on Tuesday, Dec. 16 at Big Lake.
While slow starts are nothing abnormal for the Bison, five-game losing streaks are. An 82-57 road loss on Thursday, Dec. 12 at Andover extended Buffalo’s winless streak to five and dropped its overall record to 1-5. The five losses in a row is the longest losing streak under head coach Nick Guida’s tenure.
Bison forward Cory Thielman is one of six seniors on the team that is used to slow starts. Thielman said it’s time the Bison start figuring things out, particularly after Thursday’s blowout loss at Andover in which Buffalo allowed an uncharacteristic 55 points in the first half.
Thielman returned to the lineup on Dec. 9 at Chanhassen after missing the first four games stemming back to a family vacation that forced him to miss a handful of required practices. He said it’s nice to be back and contributing, but as one of the experienced players, he feels an obligation to help get the team back to its winning ways.
“I absolutely love being back in the lineup,” Thielman said. “We are struggling early to find out what’s best for our team. Now that I’m back, I feel like I have a big role in getting us out of this slump and back on track.”
A conference showdown with a winless Big Lake (0-4) squad didn’t hurt the Bison’s chances to end their streak. Another slow start saw Buffalo trail by a point 20-19 at the half. The Bison would end their losing streak by outscoring the Hornets 32-17 in the final 18 minutes.
Thielman scored four points in the win, but fellow seniors Jared High and Zach Dahl scored 16 and 11 points, respectively. Thielman knows the season is still young, but Tuesday’s Big Lake game was a big one.
“I do think Big Lake was a must win game for us,” Thielman said. “We need to start turning these moral victories into team victories, and start to build some confidence.”
The Bison (2-5 overall) are next in action with a 7 p.m. home contest on Friday, Dec. 19 against Duluth East.
Andover 82, Buffalo 57
(Tuesday, Dec. 9 at Chanhassen)
Bison 32 25 - 57
Huskies 55 27 - 82
Bison (57): Dusty Willert 13, Cory Thielman 9, Jared High 7, Jonny Senger 6, Taylor Spier 4, Jared High 4, Matt Laidlaw 4, Matt Montplaisir 3, Zach Dahl 1.
Huskies (82): Zach Swanson 18, Nick Eliason 16, Jake McNallan 14, Corbin Johnson 9, Tyler Goltz 6, Jack Koolmo 4, John Feigum 4, Nick McCready 4, Blake Hartmann 2, Tom Terhaar 2.
Rebounds: Not available; Assists: N/A; Steals: N/A.
Buffalo 51, Big Lake 37
(Tuesday, Dec. 16 at Big Lake)
Bison 19 32 - 51
Hornets 20 17 - 37
Bison (51): Jared High 16, Dusty Willert 11, Zach Dahl 10, Jonny Senger 4, Cory Thielman 4, Taylor Spier 4, Dylan Rohlin 2.
Hornets (37): Sam Jochum 12, Collin Teigen 9, Nate Sanford 7, Trenton Monson 4, Brady Vogt 3, Kyle Knaeble 2.
Rebounds: Not available; Assists: N/A; Steals: N/A.
Kick-A-Thon raises nearly $2,300
The first annual Kick-A-Thon, hosted by the Buffalo boys’ swim/dive team on Saturday, Dec. 13 at the Buffalo Community Middle School pool was a splashing success.
Team members raised nearly $2,300 in pledges as each swimmer kicked for one full hour. Head coach Pam Brophy said that not one kid stopped kicking during the entire hour.
“Some of the boys have only been in swimming for 2 weeks, and have never kicked longer than 8-10 minutes at one time,” said Brophy.
Marie Butler and her family came dressed in their pink “Super Hero” costumes. Butler’s son, Noah, is a junior on this year’s team. Marie gave an inspirational speech before the boys got in the water.
“I know it had an impact on all of us, and truly inspired the boys to fight through the pain and fatigue of kicking for an hour,” Brophy said. Several local business donated prizes for team members to give out during the event, and Domino’s donated pizza for the boys after the Kick-A-Thon.
Brophy said the team will continue to collect donations at upcoming home meets, and are excited to see how much more they will be able to raise as part of their efforts to help donate to the Randy Shave Cancer Foundation at the end of the season.
Bison open at Princeton Relays
By Rob LaPlante
In a bizarre twist of events, the season-opening conference meet for the Buffalo boys’ swim/dive squad was minus the defending conference champions.
The Bison opened the season on Friday, Dec. 12 with a second-place overall finish at the Conference Relays in Princeton. Six schools: Buffalo, St. Michael-Albertville, Chisago Lakes, Monticello, Princeton, and Cambridge-Isanti make up the six-team conference. For reasons unknown, STMA didn’t attend the conference event.
The season traditionally kicks off with the conference relays. Bison head coach Pam Brophy said it’s a fun way to start off the year, and even though it’s not an official meet, as times are not kept official, it still gives coaches and players an opportunity to see what lies ahead.
“It gives us an opportunity to establish some baseline times and scores for our athletes,” Brophy said. “The events are unique, and the relay format means everyone does their first race of the year with three other teammates.”
Brophy said the 400-medley relay proved to be the Bison’s strongest event. Both varsity and junior varsity finished first place. Junior Noah Butler led the varsity relay with a personal-best 101.28 in the 100 backstroke. Senior Jordan Dick followed with a 1:05 in the 100 breaststroke. Sophomore Josh Muntifering and freshman Charlie Bean were both under a minute in their respective splits. Muntifering was 58 seconds in the 100 butterfly and Bean was 50 seconds in the 100 freestyle.
Dick, Bean, Muntifering and senior Brian Pettit took first in the untraditional 850-crescendo relay. Dick led off with a time of 24.1 in the 50 freestyle. Pettit swam 55.3 in the 100 freestyle. Bean was 1:53.7 in the 200 freestyle and Muntifering was 5:09.8 in the 500 freestyle.
Buffalo also finished first in the 200-varsity breast relay. Senior captain Dustin Green, junior CJ Tuchtenhagen, Bean and Muntifering all swam 33 second times or less in each leg of their 50 yards. Muntifering had the lowest time of 31.3.
Sophomores Hunter Brings and Andrew Zeiss, senior Zeke Brallier and seventh-grader Quincy Kabe performed a 3-dive event in the 1-meter dive. No official scores were kept.
“For a first meet, it was a great outing,” Brophy said. “We have a large number of new athletes this year, and they have come a long way in just two weeks of practice.”
The Bison will host at 6 p.m. Cambridge-Isanti on Thursday, Dec. 18 at the BCMS pool.
BHS Mock Trial prepares for new challenges
By Rob LaPlante
School News Editor
The varsity (BHS) and junior varsity (Buffalo Blue) Mock Trial teams at Buffalo High School have built a reputation as being one of the best programs in the state.
A state championship in 2007, along with eight straight conference titles and seven consecutive state tournament berths are some of the most recent accomplishments.
Last year’s Buffalo teams both made it to the final round of the Region 4 championship at the Anoka County Courthouse. BHS defeated Buffalo Blue 232-220 to earn the state tourney berth, and an eventual fourth-place finish in the state tourney at Duluth. It marked the second straight year Buffalo had both teams in the region finals. The prior season, it was Buffalo Blue defeating BHS to advance to state.
Mock Trial seniors Celeste Goodwin and Lucas Leiferman were part of last year’s Buffalo Blue team. Both students said they enjoy Mock Trial, but neither has aspirations of taking their careers into the same field.
“I started my freshman year because I wanted an academic activity,” Goodwin said. “Mock Trial seemed fun, and it didn’t interfere with my other activities. When I tried it, I really liked the team atmosphere, so I continued to do it. But I have no interest in being a lawyer or actor.”
“I have no interest in being anything like that either,” Leiferman said. “When I joined in eighth grade I thought I really should try this out. I knew some of the people from marching band in Mock Trial who told me I should try it.”
Mock Trial is unique in that junior varsity squads can qualify for the region and state tournaments, as evidenced by Buffalo Blue’s eighth-place state finish in 2012-13.
Goodwin said the JV upset created some awkward feelings last year.
“When JV unexpectedly defeated varsity two years ago, that made the following year kind of tense,” Goodwin said. “This year there isn’t as much tension being varsity beat JV last year. That’s what we all kind of expected.”
If either of the Buffalo teams is to advance past the region finals this season, they will have to do so with a new coach in a new region.
Jason Swanson will move up from assistant coach to head coach, replacing the departed Evan Ronken. Heather Eld will fill Swanson’s old position as assistant.
Swanson has been an assistant the past four seasons. He said the move up will be both exciting and challenging.
“When I first started, I truly didn’t know much about Mock Trial,” Swanson said. “I got hooked ever since.”
Goodwin said she expects a few things to change with a new coach, but the fact they have dealt with Swanson the past four years will help in the transition.
“It will be a little different without Ronken,” Goodwin said. “He was the one who critiqued and criticized you in how to improve. Swanson is better at giving more general comments and presentations that need to get out.”
Also new is the move from Region 4 to Region 3. Buffalo had dominated Region 4 in previous years. Despite the switch, Swanson said the move will benefit the teams in the long run.
“Some teams dropped out, and others added teams,” said Swanson, on the reason for the move. “Geographically it makes more sense. We’ll find out as the year goes on how we’ll fare. In the past Watertown has been the strongest team in Region 3 and we’ll be facing them this year.”
Despite the loss of eight seniors, this year’s team returns juniors Madeline Schwappach and Greta Tesdahl, who both earned all-state honors last year in Duluth. Schwappach earned All-State Attorney for both plaintiff and defense. Tesdahl earned All-State Witness Award.
This year’s case represents a second-degree murder trial in which a homeless woman was found dead near a restaurant dumpster in which she used to be employed at, but was fired for poor punctuality. The store owner is being tried for the murder. The motive being the store owner was allegedly illegally lacing the ground beef with horse meat to save money. Supposedly, the victim came to the restaurant the day of the murder to blackmail the owner, threatening to turn him in to authorities if he didn’t get her job back. Police found her dead later that day.
Swanson said kids enjoy criminal cases more than civil cases, but this particular one poses a few challenges.
“Sometimes the criminal cases are a little easier to argue,” he said. “However, this year I think proving a motive is going to be really difficult. There’s a lot of hearsay in this year’s trial. A lot of the witnesses are inter-connected with conflicting evidence. So there’s a lot of bias in this case.”
The season began with a scrimmage on Saturday, Dec. 13 at Nova Academy. The teams will also scrimmage at the University of Minnesota on Saturday, Dec. 20 and at Macalester on Saturday, Jan. 10. The first trial will take place on Friday, Jan. 16 at the Meeker County Courthouse. Buffalo Blue will start at 9 a.m. and BHS at 1 p.m.
Student of Distinction
By Rob LaPlante
School News Editor
Unlike a lot of the past Student of Distinction winners at Buffalo Community Middle School, Grayson Wubben isn’t your typical vocal leader.
“Grayson is a quiet leader,” said BCMS Principal Matt Lubben. “He’s not one of those guys who go ‘rah, rah, let’s do this.’ He’s one of those that respect others; he works hard, and gets good grades. He leads more by example.”
While he may not stand out with his voice, Wubben is easy to pick out of the crowd. At 6-foot-1, he stands out as one of the tallest students in the eighth-grade. He currently plays on the BCMS boys’ basketball team.
Wubben also makes plenty of noise with his hands. His interest in music has grown to the point where he’s performed a few tunes at his church as a drummer. He is part of the BCMS Bison Band and Jazz Band and has been a percussionist since the sixth grade.
“I want to someday become a music teacher,” Wubben said. “Terri Svec (BCMS music teacher) is someone I really look up to. I’ve had her as a teacher since sixth grade.”
Wubben also plays the piano, which he started doing in the third grade. Some of his more popular pieces are the theme song to the “Pink Panther,” as well as Pachelbel’s famous piece, “Canon in D.”
He recently took part in the BCMS Grade 8 Band Concert that teamed with the BHS Concert Band on Monday, Dec. 8 at the Performing Arts Center.
“It was a lot of fun,” Wubben said. “I really liked performing in that concert, and it’s cool to work with the high school kids.”
Beyond music and basketball, Wubben is a standout in the classroom. He recently made the first quarter A-Honor Roll. BCMS math teacher Teresa Weise has grown a connection with Wubben being his Prime Time teacher since the sixth grade and his seventh-grade math teacher.
“He’s a very strong person who stands up for his beliefs,” Weise said. “Anytime you ask him to do something he will do it. He’s also a very good student. He understands it, and understands it well enough to explain things to other people. He’s just a great kid to have in class.”
Wubben said it was both a surprise and an honor when he was picked as November’s Student of Distinction.
“I was surprised that I got it,” Wubben said. “There are a lot of other people that deserved it. But it’s definitely a huge honor.”