Long break after a busy week

The Christmas break will be a busy time for the Windom-Mt. Lake wrestling team. As a result, the Cobras will, in essence, take their holiday break a couple of weeks early. Following a week that saw four duals and an individual tournament, the Cobras will have some time off. WML is not scheduled to compete again until Dec. 21, when it hosts Tracy-Milroy- Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove and Wabasso-Red Rock Central in a triangular at Mt. Lake. State-ranked wrestlers for TMB/WWG are junior Derrick Ellingson at 126 and sophomore Jace Paplow at 182. The Panthers also have a past state qualifier in junior Anthony Axford at 145. State-ranked wrestlers for WRRC include freshman Mason Irlbeck at 106, junior Jared Schroepfer at 152 and senior Nick Altermatt at 182. In the latest state rankings by The Guillotine, four Cobras were ranked in the top 10 in the state at their weight. Sophomore Brett Willaby was ranked second at 113 pounds. Freshman Kade Sammons was ranked 10th at 132. Junior Zach Spinks was ranked 10th at 138 and junior Alex Borsgard was ranked fifth at 145. As is the team’s tradition in recent years, the Cobras will venture to Fargo, N.D., between Christmas and New Year’s to take part in the 50-plus team Rumble on the Red, held at the Fargo- Dome. The tournament is scheduled for Dec. 28 and 29.

Two champs at JCC

The Windom-Mt. Lake wrestling team captured sixth place in the team standings at Saturday’s Jackson County Central Tournament, held in Jackson. The Cobras scored 115.5 team points. Harrisburg, S.D., won the team title with 205 points. WML had two individual champions at the tournament, led by junior Jabari Carlton. Carlton pinned his way through the 195-pound bracket, including a fall in 1:02 over Gavin Gulbranson of Harrisburg in the finals. Carlton won the tournament award for the most falls in the least amount of time, with four pins in 4:31. Brett Willaby added a championship at 120 pounds with a major decision and a technical fall before pinning Dilly Lynott of West Sioux (Iowa) in 3:56 in the championship. Alex Borsgard added a runner-up finish at 145 pounds, winning a pair of falls before falling 4-3 in the championship to Cory Van Oort of West Sioux. The Cobras added an unattached fourth-place finish from Zach Spinks at 145 pounds and a fourth-place finish from Jesse Jepsen at 170. Kade Sammons placed fifth at 125 and Hunter Ekstrom finished sixth at 132.

Cobras split Thursday

The Windom-Mt. Lake wrestling team opened Big South Conference action with a triangular split Thursday at Worthington. The Cobras defeated Luverne 66-12, but fell 43-29 to Worthington. In the Luverne match, the Cobras had pins from Brett Willaby (120), Trenton Renquist (126), Zach Spinks (145), Alex Borsgard (152) and Jesse Jepsen (170). Adding decision wins were Micah Holmberg (113) and Kade Sammons (132). Against Worthington, the Cobras had pins from Willaby (120), Spinks (152) and Eli Mutz (285). Sammons (126) and Borsgard (145) won major decisions and Jepsen (170) won a decision.

Cobras earn sweep

The Windom-Mt. Lake wrestling team opened its dual meet season Tuesday with a triangular sweep at Madelia. The Cobras opened the night with a 43-27 win over United South Central, then picked up a 56-6 win over Madelia-Truman-Martin Luther. Against USC, the Cobras got pins from Brett Willaby (120), Alex Borsgard (145), Jesse Jepsen (170) and Jabari Carlton (195). Micah Holmberg (113) added a technical fall win, while Trenton Renquist (126) and Zach Spinks (152) added major decision wins. Against MTML, the Cobras had falls from Holmberg (113), Nick Curry (145), Jepsen (170) and Alex Altman (220). Willaby (120) added a technical fall win and Hunter Ekstrom (132) won by decision. The Cobras also received four forfeit wins.

Wolverine boys tune up for conference champs

The Mt. Lake Area boys basketball team will have a tough early-season test Friday when it hosts the defending Red Rock Conference champion, Red Rock Central. The Falcons came into the week with a 2-0 record, having defeated Sleepy Eye and Westbrook-Walnut Grove. RRC was scheduled to play Heron Lake-Okabena last night (Tuesday). RRC is led by a veteran backcourt. Senior Brady Rasmussen is a returning all-conference player while senior Sam Hansen earned honorable mention a year ago. Rasmussen scored 28 points in the Falcons’ win over WWG. RRC also brings back junior center Spencer Halland, who was one of the team’s top reserves last year. Halland had a team-high 17 points in the win over Sleepy Eye. Meanwhile, MLA was able to shake off its opening loss to Springfield by picking up back-to-back wins over HLO and Mankato Loyola last week. Against RRC, the Wolverines will need to try to dictate the tempo of the game. The Falcons are patient on offense, but will try to force mistakes with tight defensive pressure.

MLA surges past Loyola

The Mt. Lake Area boys basketball team clamped down on defense in the second half Saturday, providing the spark for a 76-59 victory over Mankato Loyola at Mankato. The Wolverines trailed by five at halftime, but outscored the Crusaders 40-18 in the second half. “We were in some foul trouble in the first half,” MLA Coach Shawn Naas said. “We sent them to the line 15 times and gave up too many three-pointers. But in the second half, we played great team basketball to go on a 34-5 run. “We made the extra pass, ran the floor and stopped their scoring without fouling.” Abraham Stoesz scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half, hitting four three-pointers in the game. Marcus Boyd added 11 second-half points to finish the game with 18. David Larson added 11 and Weston Osland scored 10 in the win.

MLA drops Wildcats

Mt. Lake Area shot a scorching 58 percent from the field Thursday night, rolling to its first win of the season, 73-37 over Heron Lake-Okabena at Mt. Lake. The Wolverines battered the Wildcats in the paint, taking a 50-20 halftime lead. MLA’s defense then held the Wildcats to 17 second-half points, halting any hopes for a comeback. Junior Regan Syverson went a perfect 10-of-10 from the field, leading the Wolverines with 20 points. Sam Paulson and Marcus Boyd each scored 13 in the win.

Wolverine girls look to regroup

Following back-to-back losses last week, the Mt. Lake Area girls basketball team will try to regroup Thursday when it travels to Okabena to play Heron Lake- Okabena. After winning their first two games, the Wolverines dropped games last week to Murray County Central and Red Rock Central. MLA was scheduled to face a non-conference test last night (Tuesday), taking on the recently-paired Nicollet-Mankato Loyola program. HLO comes into the week with a 1-3 overall record, and is 0-3 in Red Rock Conference play. The lone Wildcat win was a 42-41 victory over Glenville-Emmons. HLO has lost to Fulda, Ellsworth and Adrian. The Wildcats have a handful of upperclassmen with experience, led by senior guard Kiana Leighty and senior forward Tessla Crowell. Other veterans for the Wildcats are senior guard Abi Fest and senior forwards Taylor Johanning and Ashley Wagner. Offensive production has been an issue for HLO so far, though. The Wildcats have scored an average of just over 35 points per game while giving up just over 48. For MLA, the key could be getting momentum early and keeping it. In last week’s loss to MCC, the Wolverines struggled to get going on offense, scoring just eight points in the first half. Then, against RRC, the Wolverines allowed 38 points in the second half, as RRC rallied for the win.

Falcons rally past MLA

Red Rock Central’s offense came to life in the second half Friday night as the Falcons erased a seven-point halftime deficit, defeating Mt. Lake Area 51-41 at Mt. Lake. The Wolverines held the Falcon offense in check in the first half, as RRC was 6-of-25 from the field to start the game. But the Falcons battled back in the second half by pounding the ball inside and getting to the free throw line. Haley Simonson scored 11 of her 15 points in the second half while Kaitlyn Rindfleisch scored 11 of her 13 in the second half. Margo Stoesz led MLA with 17 points. Rylie Tollefson added 10 in the loss.

Slow start sinks MLA

A dismal start on offense doomed the Mt. Lake Area girls basketball team as Murray County Central defeated the Wolverines 54-36 Tuesday in Slayton. MCC held the Wolverines to eight first-half points, starting the game with a 14-0 run to put the game out of reach early. Margo Stoesz led the Wolverines with 16 points and 14 rebounds.

Eagle boys fall to Bulldogs, top Trojans

The Windom Area boys hockey team fell to 3-4 on the season Saturday, seeing a pair of leads vanish in a 6-3 loss to Minnesota River at LeSueur. The Eagles jumped to the early lead. Mikal Anderson netted a power play goal and Kyle Espenson added a goal, giving Windom Area a 2-0 lead 10 minutes into the game. But Minnesota River battled back, scoring later in the first period and early in the second to tie the game. Anderson netted his second goal of the game to give the Eagles a 3-2 lead, but the Bulldogs tied the game with just over three minutes to go in the second. The Bulldogs then scored a trio of third-period goals, with the last two goals coming just nine seconds apart. The Bulldogs outshot the Eagles 45-26 for the game. Eagle goalie Josiah Quintero finished with 39 saves.

Eagles top Trojans

The Windom Area boys hockey team improved to 3-3 on the season Thursday, rolling to a 6-1 victory over Worthington at the Windom Arena. The Eagles controlled the puck in the offensive zone much of the game, outshooting the Trojans 44-12 for the contest. Kyle Espenson and Ethan Becker scored unassisted goals in the first period, giving the Eagles an early lead. In the second, Wyatt Schumacher and Becker added goals, with Becker scoring shorthanded, as Windom Area led 4-1 after two. Eli Becker added a goal early in the third and Jackson Roll netted his first varsity goal late in the game. Goalie Josiah Quintero finished with 11 saves in the win.

Bulldogs, Trojans trip Eagle girls

The Windom Area girls hockey team played even with Minnesota River for two periods, but the Bulldogs pulled away in the third period, claiming a 3-1 win Saturday in LeSueur. After a scoreless first period, the Eagles broke the deadlock at the 11:29 mark of the second when Jolyssa Higley-Purrington blasted a shot into the net on the power play. But the Bulldogs tied the game later in the period, then took the lead for good with a pair of goals in the third period. The Bulldogs outshot the Eagles 40-17 for the contest. Eagle goalie Emily Steen finished with 37 saves. The Eagles were scheduled to play at Marshall last night (Tuesday). Windom Area hosts New Ulm Thursday.

Trojans blank Eagles

The Windom Area girls hockey team saw its offense completely stifled, while Worthington made the most of its scoring chances to claim a 4-0 victory over the Eagles Thursday at Windom. Windom outshot the Trojans 33-29 in the game, but Trojan goalie Bailey Kruse turned aside all 33 shots she faces in the contest. The Eagles also were unable to capitalize on three power play chances. Worthington got on the board early in the first period on a goal by McKenna Nickel, who would later add the Trojans’ final goal in the third. Kessy Aljets and Kya Nickel netted goals for Worthington in the second period. Eagle goalie Emily Steen finished the game with 25 saves.

Gymnasts take second in tourney

The Windom Area gymnastics team opened the 2017-18 season Saturday with a runner-up performance at the Snowflake Invitational, held in St. James. The Cobras scored a 124.55 team total. Redwood Valley won the championship with a score of 128.925. The score for the Cobras was higher than what the team posted at last year’s section meet. Cobra Coach Jordan Bussa said the Cobras’ started the day on beam, setting the tone for the entire day. “We had two girls with no falls on beam, which really got things going for us,” Bussa said. “We have a few things to clean up on floor and bars and our vault scores will come up once we start throwing some bigger skills.” The Cobras were led by junior Mareah Carlson, who captured second place in the all-around competition with a score of 33.4. Carlson placed second on beam (8.05) and was third on vault (8.85), bars (7.9) and floor (8.6). Katelyn Nichols added a fourth-place all-around score of 31.325. Nichols finished fourth on beam (7.9). Brooklyn Paulson added a third-place score on beam (8.0).