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WAGNER -- An omen was born Friday when Wagner's head wrestling coach Ernie Valentine and his wife gave birth their fifth child -- a girl -- the day before the Class B state dual tournament. The next day, the hosting Red Raiders dominated their way to their third straight Class B state dual tournament title, defeating all four of its opponents without their head coach. So, without Valentine next to the mat, assistant coaches John Tyler and Todd Dvoracek took to the helm. "We tried to make it as seamless as possible today," Tyler said.
With a little more than half of its season gone, the Mitchell Marlins girls' hockey team is entering the final push to the playoffs, and head coach Bri Homan said her team should win each of its final eight games. The three remaining opponents the Marlins play have a combined 9-24-2 record, starting with a two-game homestand against winless Watertown (0-10-1) over the weekend. "I'm hoping we'll be in the third-place spot going into the state," Homan said. "We had Brookings last weekend and we played really well against them and they're undefeated.
For the past three games, the Mitchell girls' basketball team has opened the first quarter with single-digit points. The trend continued Friday night at the Corn Palace when the Kernels scored six first-quarter points and eventually fell to Sioux Falls Roosevelt, 63-44. The lack of early scoring helped give way to the Kernels' fourth loss in their last five games. Mitchell made a run at Roosevelt in the third quarter, typically its best offensive quarter throughout the season.
The 2009 State A and B Dual tournaments open Saturday morning when some of the state's top teams meet, and wrestling becomes as much of a team sport as it can be. The fifth annual Class A duals will be held in Brookings, and the Class B duals will be held in Wagner. Here's a preview of both tournaments. Class B duals The Class B duals open at 9 a.m.
PLATTE -- Hanging in the corner of the Platte-Geddes High School gymnasium is the 2008 state basketball championship banner the Black Panthers won last year. After defeating then ranked No. 1 Madison Saturday at the Hanson Classic and then taking down No. 3 Parkston Tuesday night in Platte, the Black Panthers proved they're working for another banner. No.
After losing the first three matches of the night, the Mitchell wrestling team swept the next 11 matches, finishing the night with four straight pins. Fresh off their fourth-place finish at the Jerry Opbroek Invitational last weekend, the Kernels crushed the Brookings Bobcats Friday night in a dual at the Mitchell High School gymnasium, 57-13. The win was the Kernels' first with its brand-new black and yellow mat, which was purchased with mone, donated by Minnesota Vikings' Chad Greenway, a native of Mount Vernon and is a cousin of Mitchell's Jason and Justin Greenway.
Mitchell's Whitney Morgan hit a jumper with 0.8 seconds remaining on the clock, giving the girls' basketball team its most wins in a season since 2004. The Kernels rallied from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Brookings Thursday night at the Corn Palace, 43-42. Brookings missed two one-and-one free-throw attempts with less than 50 seconds on the clock while leading 42-41. After Mitchell's timeout, guard Kendra Knight dribbled the ball up court and passed to Taylor Piper, who was heavily guarded.
The Mitchell Christian girls' basketball team knew going into the season it was on a learning curve.
After five long tiring days of hunting, a 200-plus pound mountain lion fell from a tree, possibly putting Mitchell resident Jeff Jarman in the record books. Four years ago, Jarman, an Aberdeen native, went to a convention in Reno, Nev., called Safari Club International and met long-time mountain lion hunting expert, Marc Hubbard. Although there was a four-year wait to hunt with Hubbard in his hometown of Penticton, British Colombia, Jarman wanted to cross a big-cat hunt off of his bucket list.
Mitchell's No. 1-ranked 171-pound Jordan Reiner enjoyed his day Saturday at the Jerry Opbroek Invitational. Though, for a brief moment, it didn't look like Reiner would take home his first win at the highly competitive tournament. Reiner led 3-2 late in the title match against Sturgis' Clint Wilson, and with about 30 seconds remaining in the match, Wilson got deep on a single-leg, fighting for a takedown that would have given him the win.