North High School’s Goodnews Kpegeol splits two Hopkins defenders on a drive to the hoop during the Polars’ Class AAAA state tournament quarterfinals game March 9, but the Polars came up short against the prep basketball powerhouse. The Royals won 74-42 and appeared in the state championship game March 12. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
Slow start and recovery was a common theme this season for the North High School boys basketball team. The Polars were forced to rally in quite a few games, including all three of their section playoff contests, and became rather adept at it.
North High School’s Tori Gardner competed on prep gymnastics’ biggest stage recently. The sophomore wrapped up her season with an appearance at the state meet on Feb. 20 at the University of Minnesota’s Sports Pavilion.
Teams that win only 20 percent of their games in the regular season don’t normally knock off the No. 1 seed in the first round of the playoffs. That’s what the Hill-Murray boys basketball team pulled off last week, however.
Tartan sophomore forward Jarvis Thomas (10) puts up a shot guarded by Wyatt Blinkhorn (3) in Section 4AAAA quarterfinal first half action. The Titans beat Stillwater 43-37 at home Feb. 24. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
The boys basketball teams from North and Tartan opened the post-season with home games on Feb. 24. Both squads were pushed by their lower-seeded opponents but held on to win.
The boys hockey teams from Hill-Murray and Tartan face each other twice a year as part of their Metro East Conference schedule. Post-season meetings are more rare, due in part to Tartan bouncing in and out of Section 4AA over the years.
Hill-Murray’s Laura Anderson streaks towards goal during the Pioneers 5-0 win over the Sartell/Sauk Rapids Storm ‘N Sabres Feb. 18 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul during a state tournament quarterfinal game. Hill-Murray extended it’s unbeaten record in the state quarterfinals five. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
Drive for three in a row begins with shutout of Sartell/Sauk Rapids
There was quite a disparity in big-stage experience when Hill-Murray faced Sartell/Sauk Rapids in the girls hockey state quarterfinals last weekend. The Pioneers took the ice at Xcel Energy Center on Feb. 18 in search of their third consecutive state championship while the Storm ‘N Sabres were playing in state for the first time.
Hill-Murray probably didn’t need the experience edge as it dispatched Sartell 5-0 to advance to the semifinals. The Pioneers held a 50-9 advantage in shots on goal when it was all said and done.
Some of the players admitted to some butterflies leading up to game time but when it came down to playing the game the Pioneers were all business.