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Even before the championship game Thursday, March 15, the Section 7AAA boys basketball bracket already resembled so many crumpled-up NCAA brackets that fans are used to throwing away during March Madness.
CLOQUET -- Kailee Kiminski felt rundown throughout much of the fall sports season. Doubling as an Esko cross country runner and soccer player had its downside. "It's been pretty tough," the Esko junior said. "I like putting 100 percent into anything I do, so by putting 100 percent into soccer and cross country I got tired a lot. After soccer practice, I just wanted to go home and go to bed." But all that extra running paid off Thursday as Kiminski crossed the finish line first at the Section 7A girls cross country meet at Cloquet Country Club.
When Corey Millen heard rumblings that the Cloquet-based Minnesota Wilderness might move to the North American Hockey League, he asked his league contacts if it was true. Once he received confirmation, Millen didn't take long to apply for the head coaching position of the team based in the town where he grew up and where he once dominated the Northland high school hockey scene. The Wilderness, with Millen on the bench and as general manager, make their NAHL debut tonight against Odessa in the four-night NAHL Showcase at Blaine, Minn.
Standing 6-foot-6, Jerimy Hallsten is not your prototypical runner. But tired of aching knees from playing basketball over the years, the Esko graduate says he picked up running as a hobby seven years ago. His wife, Dawn, was a half-marathon runner and soon the former personal trainer joined her in races. "I started walking and running, and the next thing you know I was running all different distances," he said.
Channeling his inner Magnus ver Magnusson, Cloquet senior Thomas Udenberg strode into the shot put ring for his final toss of the Section 7AA high school track and field meet Wednesday at Malosky Stadium. As the next-to-last competitor, Udenberg already knew he had qualified for next week's Class AA state meet by finishing in the top two.
The job status of Cloquet-Esko-Carlton boys hockey coach Dave Esse is expected to be resolved tonight at a Cloquet School Board meeting, the third time the board has met to discuss the future of the 14-year coach after a parental complaint to have him removed was filed Feb.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kory Deadrick knows his woeful shooting night in the Section 7AA final nearly cost Esko its first state tournament berth in 10 years. So the junior forward made up for it Wednesday night at Williams Arena. Deadrick scored 30 points and made five 3-point field goals in Esko's 60-54 victory over third-seeded Hayfield in a Minnesota Class AA high school boys basketball quarterfinal game. Esko (27-4) advances to play Litchfield (25-5), a 64-55 double-overtime winner over Redwood Valley, in Friday night's semifinals at Target Center. Deadrick, the first player in coach Mike Devne
Jaxon Turner's 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer gave Esko a 64-63 victory over Mora in the Section 7AA championship game Saturday night at Romano Gym, ending the Eskomos' 10-year drought from the Minnesota high school boys basketball state tournament. Mora had battled back from a 10-point second-half deficit to take a 62-60 lead on Sam Johnson's 3-pointer with 24.6 seconds remaining.
Duluth East's power-play unit couldn't have been any more dominating Saturday if Dolph Lundgren played on it. Instead, Ryan Lundgren scored three power-play goals and was the hero of the Greyhounds' 3-0 victory over Cloquet-Esko-Carlton in a Section 7AA high school boys hockey semifinal at Amsoil Arena. Top-seeded East (23-4) also killed off all three CEC power plays, including a brief 5-on-3, to win its 15th consecutive game and advance to Thursday's 7:30 p.m.
Wins and losses won't define the Duluth Marshall boys basketball season. The Hilltoppers lost again Tuesday night, 97-58, to Cloquet in their home finale, to drop to 1-23, but for at least one player's mother there are more important things than the final score. For Betsy Kneepkens, the real story of the Hilltoppers' season can be traced to Dec.