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Wisconsin-Superior forward Hannah Norlin described the Yellowjackets' game on Jan. 5 at Bethany Lutheran as a dream.
When Olympic gold medalist Jessie Diggins visited Duluth in early November, she had a blunt assessment for the new Grand Avenue Nordic Center she was there to promote. "This is long overdue," she said. Better late than never. The Grand Avenue Nordic Center has proven to be a boon for local cross-country skiers. Located at the base of Spirit Mountain, with a chalet and ample parking nearby, the Grand Avenue Nordic Center relies on man-made snow.
First-year Duluth Marshall girls basketball coach C.J. Osuchukwu hails from the Washington, D.C., area, and is used to big-school basketball, so he had no idea what he was getting into when the Hilltoppers played at Cherry last month. As injuries and foul trouble mounted, Marshall played with only four girls the final eight minutes and only three girls the last three as Cherry won 72-49. "I've never ever seen anything like that," Osuchukwu said.
Duluth East basketball player Will Van Scoy began starting as soon as he worked his way up to varsity as an eighth-grader last season, quite a feat at a school the size of East, but it wasn't quite as glorious as that might sound. Van Scoy averaged a couple points per game and the Greyhounds stumbled to a 6-21 record. Van Scoy and Co. look like a different product this season, if East's 62-44 nonconference victory over crosstown rival Duluth Denfeld on Thursday night is any indication.
PREP NEWSMAKER / GIRLS BASKETBALL Hibbing girls basketball coach Dave LaCoe looked at the stats on the bus coming back from Superior on Tuesday night and wondered when the last time senior point guard Abbey McDonald had been held under 10 points. LaCoe couldn't think of any, and McDonald couldn't care less despite scoring just eight points because the Bluejackets won, 42-38.
MINNEAPOLIS — Former Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman "Benchwarmer" Bob Lurtsema remembers the fall of 1969 well. Lurtsema was playing for the New York Giants, and coach Allie Sherman was on the hot seat after a 1-12-1 mark in 1966 was followed by back-to-back 7-7 seasons. Improvement, but not enough for the chants of "Goodbye Allie" at Yankee Stadium to grow even stronger. After a poor preseason performance, Sherman was fired in September 1969 and replaced by Alex Webster, who guided the Giants to a 6-8 mark followed by a 9-5 mark in 1970.
COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL / UMD 51, SIOUX FALLS 36 Minnesota Duluth women's basketball coach Mandy Pearson joked that someone must have put lids over the baskets at Romano Gym. Perhaps it was part of the $12 million Romano renovation, but whatever the case, that's the way it felt Friday night as the Bulldogs won a slugfest with Sioux Falls 51-36 before 518 in UMD's NSIC home opener. Bulldogs junior forward Katie Stark of Hayward led the way with 13 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
When Mike Heffernan left the St. Scholastica football coaching staff in 2013 to join his alma mater, Elmhurst (Ill.) College, he soon longed to be back with the Saints. Heffernan was a finalist for the St. Scholastica head coaching job that went to Kurt Ramler in March 2014, but he eventually got another chance, and this time, his dream came true. Heffernan was introduced Thursday at Burns Wellness Commons as the Saints' fourth head coach in program history. This will be his first head-coaching job.
A symphony of squeeks filled Romano Gym on the Minnesota Duluth campus Wednesday afternoon as the UMD men's basketball team competed in a half-court scrimmage. The Bulldogs were coming off a tough 73-70 overtime loss on Saturday at Mary — a game that, in a lot of ways, they should have won — and new coach Justin Wieck said his team understandably was in "a fog" earlier in the week, the sting of that loss still fresh, but they could take pride in their effort.
PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL / SEASON PREVIEW Hermantown girls basketball player Maddy Foster has watched the video of her tumbling a thousand times, but she still can't tell you where it all went wrong. People want it to be a little more dramatic. "Everyone keeps asking if I heard a pop," she said, "but really, it just hurt." When Foster went down near midcourt after colliding with another player in the Hawks' 49-43 loss at Esko on Nov. 29, she knew something wasn't right, and she was right.