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GIRLS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Cold weather freezing up basketball

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As bitterly cold as the recent temperatures have dipped, maybe the toughest thing has been the ensuing freeze this winter’s weather has put on area high school basketball teams.

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With wind chills forecasted to drop as low as 60 below zero earlier this week, schools were quickly cancelled on both Monday and Tuesday, icing all basketball right in the thick of mid-season action.

The Esko (13-1) girls basketball team, currently riding a 13-game winning streak, wasn’t able to host Cloquet (9-5) Monday or travel to Virginia Tuesday. Tenth-year Athletic Director Chad Stoskopf said his phone has been “busy” lately.

“Sometimes you’re just fortunate to find a date that works,” said Stoskopf, noting conference games are looked to reschedule first, minding all athletes need their rest. “We want to make up as many as we can — but we look at what’s fair.”

“It’s hard, you want to play, but there’s nothing you can do,” said Esko freshman Ava Gonsorowski, who stayed indoors and worked on her knitting each school day off. “We’re Minnesotans.”

Stoskopf said Esko’s game with Cloquet is reset for Friday.

“We’ve got them on speed dial,” said Stoskopf about their neighbors. “It’s a little easier than a Virginia or a Silver Bay.”

AREA ROUNDUP:

Barnum (10-5) bowed down to Duluth Denfeld in a 53-44 road defeat Saturday, as the Bombers — losers of back-to-back games — haven’t won in over a week.

Carlton (2-10) couldn’t keep up with Polar League foe Cromwell-Wright in a 77-23 loss last Thursday, marking the Bulldogs’ eighth defeat in their last nine attempts.

Cromwell-Wright (8-5) whipped Polar League host Carlton 77-23 last Thursday, as the Cardinals cruised toward their fifth victory in their previous six tries.

Fond du Lac Ojibwe (4-2) has not posted any scores since the Ogichidaa lost 89-86 in double overtime to Lakeview Christian Academy two weeks ago in the Lions’ first-ever program win.

Moose Lake-Willow River (12-2) rolled past Polar League host Two Harbors 52-42 last Thursday, as the Rebels — winners of eight straight — continue their lengthy New Year unbeaten streak.

South Ridge (7-6) remained idle over the week, having not played in 10 days since their 75-13 shellacking of Silver Bay Jan. 20 on the North Shore.

Wrenshall (1-14) was waxed again in a 65-17 road lost to Polar League leader McGregor last Thursday. The host Wrens have lost nine in a row since their lone win over Lakeview Christian Academy.

FDLTCC (7-10) found back-to-back wins for the third time this season, as the host Thunder — continuing to add their school record-win total — tipped Minnesota College Athletic Conference visitor Hibbing 72-63 last Friday and Rainy River 64-62 Saturday on campus in Cloquet.

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