Weekend sports recap: LeBlanc qualifies for state
By PATRICK SLACK
In addition to Pierz and Little Falls making it to the state wrestling tournament as teams, Little Falls sophomore Rachelle LeBlanc also qualified for state this weekend as an individual in gymnastics.
The Flyers had to contend with eight-time defending state champion Perham at Saturday’s Section 8A meet, but LeBlanc topped them all, winning the all-around title.
She also will move on in beam, vault and floor exercise after placing second in each event and narrowly missed out on bars, placing fifth.
Junior Amanda Hanson added a 10th-place finish in the all-around.
The individual portion of the state tournament will begin Saturday at 11 a.m. at the University of Minnesota’s Sports Pavilion.
In other weekend action:
Boys Basketball: Little Falls 74, Foley 50
The Flyers put up another lopsided score in Granite Ridge Conference action Friday, pounding Foley 74-50.
Senior Tom Smith and junior Josh Wenzel led Little Falls offensively by reaching double figures, scoring 17 and 13 points, respectively.
Senior Matt Valentine added nine points and eight rebounds and senior Grant Bell netted eight points and dished out six assists.
Little Falls plays at Rocori, Tuesday.
Little Falls—Tom Smith, 17 (3 assists); Josh Wenzel, 13 (3 steals); Matt Valentine, 9 (8 rebounds, 3 steals); Grant Bell, 8 (6 assists, 3 steals); Jake Scott, 7; Collin Eckman, 6 (5 rebounds); Spencer Lubbers, 6; Aaron Hallberg, 3; Troy Scott, 3; Darin Fellbaum, 2.
Boys Basketball: Pierz 66, Rockford Area 36
When Pierz and Rockford Area met up for the first time this season, the Pioneers prevailed in a 98-80 shootout.
Points were much harder to come by Friday, but the Pioneers once again came out on top, winning 66-36.
“Tonight’s game wasn’t one of our better games offensively, but we played well defensively, especially in the second half,” Pierz head coach Danny Saehr said.
Senior Preston Weber sank 23 points and senior Caleb Janson had 19 points and 15 rebounds to guide Pierz.
Junior Cullin Carter also reached double figures with 13 points, followed by juniors Jess Kasper (5) and Ben Boser (4) and senior Dylan Smieja (2).
Pierz plays at Maple Lake, Tuesday.
Rockford 27 19 – 36
Pierz 36 30 – 66
Pierz—Preston Weber, 23; Caleb Janson, 19 (15 rebounds); Cullin Carter, 13; Jess Kasper, 5 (5 rebounds); Ben Boser, 4 (4 rebounds, 3 steals); Dylan Smieja, 2.
Boys Basketball: Upsala 82, Eagle Valley 65
The Cardinals sank Eagle Valley from the perimeter, Feb. 17, hitting 10 three-point shots en route to an 82-65 home win.
Leading the way was junior Eric Frieler, who scored all 18 of his points on 6-of-10 shooting from behind the arc.
Sophomore Christian Pekarek also scored 18 points to tie for the team lead, joined in double figures by junior Garrett Wolf with 12 and sophomore Dylan Zimmerman with 10.
Junior Avery Smieja added nine points, junior Nick Frieler and senior Thomas Ripplinger each had six and junior Andy Nelson netted three.
Ripplinger also hauled down a team-high eight rebounds and Wolf dished out seven assists.
Eagle Valley 34 31 – 65
Upsala 47 35 – 82
Upsala—Eric Frieler, 18; Christian Pekarek, 18 (5 rebounds, 4 assists); Garrett Wolf, 12 (7 assists, 3 steals); Dylan Zimmerman, 10 (6 rebounds); Avery Smieja, 9 (6 rebounds); Nick Frieler, 6 (6 rebounds); Thomas Ripplinger, 6 (8 rebounds); Andy Nelson, 3.
Browerville 56, Royalton 33
Royalton couldn’t complete a season sweep at seventh-ranked Browerville, Friday, falling 56-33.
The Royals handed the Tigers their only loss earlier in the season.
Junior Luke Wentland scored eight points and senior Dan Anshus posted seven points and eight rebounds to lead Royalton.
Juniors Matt Silbernick (6) and Justin Opatz (4) and seniors Steve Hoff (4), Curtis Makela (2) and Tyler Makela (2) also scored.
Royalton hosts Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, Tuesday.
Royalton 16 17 – 33
Browerville 31 25 – 56
Royalton—Luke Wentland, 8; Dan Anshus, 7 (8 rebounds); Matt Silbernick, 6 (4 rebounds); Steve Hoff, 4; Justin Opatz, 4; Curtis Makela, 2; Tyler Makela, 2.
Boys Basketball: Howard Lake-Waverly Winsted 78, Holdingford 32
Holdingford couldn’t keep pace with Howard Lake-Waverly Winsted’s high-octane offense, Friday, falling 78-32.
Junior Alex Hiltner scored eight points and sophomore Jeremy Springer added six to lead the Huskers.
Girls Basketball: Upsala 86, Bertha-Hewitt 48
The combination of junior Aimee Pelzer and senior Kimmy Mrozek was far too much for Bertha-Hewitt to handle, Friday, as the Cardinals rolled 86-48.
Pelzer hit 6-of-10 from behind the arc on her way to scoring 28 points while Mrozek added 26 more.
Senior Kaitlyn Wuebkers chipped in nine and junior Tracy Herzog contributed eight for Upsala, which led 46-14 at halftime.
Upsala 46 40 – 86
B-H 14 34 – 48
Upsala—Aimee Pelzer, 28 (8 assists); Kimmy Mrozek, 26 (6 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals); Kaitlyn Wuebkers, 9 (8 rebounds, 4 assists); Tracy Herzog, 8 (8 rebounds, 5 blocks); Donna Ripplinger, 7 (4 assists); Alissa Zehrer, 4; Dawn Evoniuk, 2; Sadie Welinski, 2.
Girls Basketball: Mora 66, Little Falls 60
Mora clipped Little Falls 66-60 Saturday in a match-up of two of the top teams in the Granite Ridge Conference.
The Flyers battled back after trailing 27-21 at halftime to tie the score at 47-47 with less than six minutes to play, but the Mustangs regrouped down the stretch to pull out the narrow win.
Junior Jamie Jenks had 18 points and senior Mariah Burns picked up 16 to lead the Flyers on offense.
Little Falls hosts Princeton, Tuesday.
Mora 27 39 – 66
Little Falls 21 39 – 60
Little Falls—Jamie Jenks, 18 (5 steals, 4 rebounds, 4 assists); Mariah Burns, 16 (6 rebounds); Whitney Weisz, 8 (6 rebounds, 5 assists); Amber Hines, 7; Kendra Pohlman, 5; Jennifer Hortness, 2; Makayla Jorgensen, 2; Jennifer Ronning, 2.