While several local teams found success last week, a determined Richfield High School girls basketball team claimed victory in one of the most important contests of the season thus far, highlighting the early January sports calendar with a lopsided win at Hill-Murray to retain its position amongst the best hoop troops in Minnesota.
Richfield Girls Basketball
The Richfield girls hoopsters, slotting in at No. 3 in the Class AAA rankings, had already claimed wins over three ranked teams—two from Class AA, one from Class AAAA—as it headed to Maplewood for a matchup against Class AAA's fourth-ranked Hill-Murray on Jan. 10.
It was a crucial contest for the Spartans, who had lost three straight to the Pioneers dating back to the 2009-10 season, as it would likely determine who would stay in the top-5 ofthe Class AAA poll and tied atop the Classic Suburban Conference standings.
However, the drama ended quickly after the opening tip-off, as Richfield showed little mercy for its hosts in rolling to a 40-15 halftime lead en route to a 67-48 victory.
Jessica January led the way for the Spartans with 26 points, followed by Hailey Lindblom with 13 points, Hannah Wise with 12 points and Sierra Washington with 10 points.
The triumph ran Richfield's winning streak to eight games, its overall record to 11-2 and its conference mark to 2-0. The Spartans are tied with Simley (ranked 10th in Class AAA) at the front of the Classic Suburban pack; Richfield hosts Simley on Friday, Jan. 27.
This week, the Spartans play at conference foe Mahtomedi on Tuesday before hosting non-conference neighbor Edina (ranked second in Class AAAA) at 7:15 p.m. Thursday and Classic Suburban competitor Tartan at 7 p.m. Friday.
Richfield Boys Basketball
The Richfield boys basketball team halted a three-game losing streak with two straight victories last week, defeating Classic Suburban squads Hill-Murray (89-75) and South St. Paul (83-49) at home on Jan. 10 and 13, respectively.
Shawn Bear led the Spartans with 25 points versus the Pioneers, while Jared Noonan's 16 points paced the team past the Packers. Octavious Harris chipped in 17 points, followed by Lorenzo Evans' 14 points against Hill-Murray, while Marcellis Beard and Dan Beyel each had 12 points apiece versus South St. Paul.
Richfield enters this week with a 7-4 overall record, 2-2 in the Classic Suburban, with Mahtomedi paying a visit at 7 p.m. Tuesday night before the Spartans head to Oakdale to play Tartan (ranked eighth in Class AAAA) on Friday night.
Richfield Boys Hockey
By logging 15 total goals in consecutive non-conference wins last week, the Richfield boys hockey team evened its overall record at 7-7-1 as it heads back into Classic Suburban play this coming Thursday.
The Spartans doubled-up Minneapolis, 8-5, on Jan. 12, then decimated Dodge County for the second time in 15 days with a 7-1 triumph on Jan. 14.
Tyler Martinez had nine goals over the two games, with five against the Novas and four versus the Wildcats; he leads Richfield with 27 scores on the season. Mick Dhein, who had four assists against Dodge County, tops the Spartans with 32 assists and 49 points. Sam Schrick, who had five assists versus Minneapolis, has 34 points and 29 assists in 2010-11.
John Meyer and Zach Ulmer split the victories in goal for Richfield, with Meyer logging 19 saves versus the Novas and Ulmer making 15 stops against the Wildcats.
The Spartans, 0-1 in the Classic Suburban, begin a five-game homestand on Tuesday when conference rival Simley pays a visit to the Richfield Ice Arena at 7:30 p.m. Thrusday, with circuit foe North St. Paul coming to town for a 3 p.m. game on Saturday.
The Richfield/Edina wrestling team placed seventh in an invitational meet it hosted at Richfield High School on Jan. 14, claiming 113.5 points in the nine-team competition. Wayzata won the meet with 200 points. Individual statistics were not available.
Richfield Boys Swimming and Diving
The Richfield boys swimming and diving team took third in the Section 2A True Team meet, held at Richfield Middle School on Jan. 14.
The Spartans did manage to win several events on the evening. Placing first individually were: Mohab Eid (200-, 500-yard freestyle), Matt Graham (100-yard freestyle, Andy Petersen (100-yard breaststroke) and Duncan Pederson (100-yard butterfly). The 200-yard medley relay foursome of Petersen, Pederson, Graham and Max Hamilton won their event, as did the 200-yard freestyle relay quartet of Petersen, Pederson, Graham and Eid.
Holy Angels Girls Basketball
The Academy of Holy Angels girls basketball team fell to 5-9 overall and 0-3 in the Missota Conference as a 44-41 loss to Red Wing and a 59-30 setback to Chanhassen (ranked sixth in Class AAAA) brought the Stars' skid to three games.
Evan Wise leads Holy Angels with an average of 11.3 points-per-game as the Stars prepare to host a pair of Missota foes this week, Farmington on Tuesday and Shakopee on Friday, with both games tipping off at 7:30 p.m.
Holy Angels Boys Basketball
The Holy Angels boys basketball team lost to visiting Missota rival Chanhassen, 66-42, on Jan. 13 in its lone game of last week.
Danny Sullivan led the Stars with 12 points in the contest, while Jordan Dembley's 14.7 ppg average is tops on the team so far this season.
Holy Angels hosts Breck in a non-conference matchup at 2 p.m. Monday, with trips to Missota competitors Farmington and Shakopee on Tuesday and Friday, respectively. The Stars enter the week at 5-4 overall and 0-1 in conference play.
Holy Angels Boys Hockey
While two wins in the midst of last week doubled the Holy Angels boys hockey team's victory total, a 7-1 loss at Minnetonka on Jan. 14 quickly brought the glad tidings to an end.
The Stars, now 4-11 overall, improved to 4-1 in the Missota via a 5-3 defeat of visiting Northfield at Richfield Ice Arena on Jan. 10, then blitzed host Chaska by an 11-0 score on Jan. 12 before having the tables turned on them by the No. 2-ranked team in Class AA to close out the stretch.
Mario Bianchi, who scored in all three of Holy Angels' games last week, leads the team with 30 points and is tied with Tony Haeg with a squad-best 11 goals. Brett Pierce and Will Dupont each have two goaltending wins, while Pierce's .855 save perentage is tops on the club, as is Dupont's 5.44 goals-against-average.
The Stars host Red Wing at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, then remain in conference play at New Prague on Friday night.
Holy Angels Girls Hockey
Back-to-back losses last week ran the Holy Angels girls hockey team's losing streak to six games as the Stars lost 4-1 at Northfield and 8-0 to visiting Chaska/Chanhassen in Missota competition on Jan. 10 and 12, respectively.
Lauren Victory scored Holy Angels' lone goal of the week, giving the team a first-period lead at Northfield before the eventual defeat.
The Stars, 2-18 overall and 0-8 in the Missota, push on in conference play this week with road games at Red Wing (ranked eighth in Class A) on Tuesday and at New Prague two nights later.