Minot ready to rumble with best at Rotary
In its 45-year existence, the annual Bismarck Rotary Tournament has yet to conclude with Minot High atop the podium.
Considering the brawny 25-team field in the 2013 edition of the tournament that kicks off on Friday at the Bismarck Civic Center, the Magicians will be hard- pressed to halt that trend.
The state’s top Class A programs will be thrown together with some of the more premier clubs in Montana, Minnesota and South Dakota in the two-day tourney.
Not that Minot, which could see a couple of its grapplers get deep into their weight brackets, won’t be relishing its shot at the region’s finest.
“When you get that many good programs together, it’s really tough to win (the team title),” Minot coach Nolan Spooner said. “And if you do well as an individual, there’s a good chance you’ll win state.”
Frazee (Minn.) Dawson County, Sidney (Mont.), Rapid City, Rapid City Central, Sturgis and Aberdeen (S.D.) make up the out-of-state teams. Bismarck High won the 2012 team title.
“Some big-time wrestling towns; I don’t even think Frazee has basketball teams,” Spooner joked. “And some of the small schools that will be there will have some real tough wrestlers.”
In the 145-pound class, top-ranked Cody Haugen of Minot – a 2012 Rotary champion-could be pitted against his Big Sky State nemesis Tyler Kinn of Dawson County. Kinn is responsible for one of the two blemishes on Haugen’s record this season.
Haugen, who fell to Kinn at the Dickinson Tournament last month, edged the two-time Montana state champion last summer.
Haugen placed sixth at last weekend’s “Rumble on the Red” in Fargo, a 65-team tournament that also saw teammate Dayne Haman (182 pounds) place sixth. Top-ranked Demetreus Roby didn’t place at 220.
Seeding for the Rotary tournament will be determined tonight.
“We’ve got some kids that have a good chance of being a high seed,” Spooner said.
Turtle Mountain, paced by Grant Laducer’s runner-up finish at 113, placed third out of 32 teams last year. Williston was 10th.
Despite loss, Minot remains No. 2
Like most coaches, Minot head coach Dean Winczewski doesn’t put a lot of stock into media polls.
He isn’t putting a lot of weight into the Magicians’ 73-64 loss to Grand Forks Red River last weekend, either.
“It was a meaningless December non-conference loss to a good team,”Winczewski said. “We didn’t do anything really well that game, but it’s stuff we can fix. No need to hit panic button yet.”
To anyone who does give credence to rankings, though, some may wonder if Minot would have locked up a top slot in the latest Class A poll if it hadn’t lost that game.
The door was open when top-ranked Fargo Shanley lost to St. Mary’s 84-68 the night before Minot’s fall to the Roughriders. That derailed the Magi’s hopes of being atop the big-school basketball crop for the first time in recent memory.
Minot remained second in the poll this week with the loss while Red River took over the top slot.
Right now the Magicians are just worried about fine tuning a few things before its West Region push.
“We’re 3-0 in (West Region) play and that’s all that matters,” Winczewski said. “We just need to do a better job of getting to the lane and need to shore things up defensively.”
Minot (6-1, 3-0) travels to Mandan next Tuesday.
Goalie trio leading Minot
Of the 21 goalies in North Dakota prep girls hockey, Minot has three ranking in the top 10 in save percentage.
Karlee Galvin (93.9 percent in three games), Sydney Swanson (93.2 percent in three games) and Hannah Thom (90.5 percent in one game) have combined to allow an average of 1.8 goals per game.
Minot (6-4) travels to West Fargo on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Leingang commits to Oregon
Bismarck High long-distance sensation Jake Leingang has committed to the University of Oregon.
Leingang, who holds North Dakota prep records in the mile and two-mile runs, has personal bests of four minutes, 10 seconds (mile) and eight minutes, 59 seconds (two-mile).
The BHS senior plans to run both cross country and track at Oregon, the most heralded track and field institution in the country. His final two choices were Oregon and Oklahoma State.