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Senior Kyle Omtvedt leaps towards the basket in last Thursday's season opener at home for the Agates. Though leading by 14 points at half-time, the Agates ended up losing 70-76 to the Mesabi East Giants in overtime. Photo by LaReesa Sandretsky.

Sports roundup: Nov. 29

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TH boys' basketball starts off with a win and a loss

The Agates looked strong in their first match of the season last Thursday and the half time score was a good sign - they were leading 22-38 over Mesabi East after the first 16 minutes of play.

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However, the Giants came back with a vengeance in the second half and took the game back by scoring 40 points to the Agates' 24 in the second half. Regulation play ended with a tie and the game went into overtime, where the Giants took control. The final score was 70-76 with the game going to Mesabi East.

"We played a really good first half. In the second half ... we got a little cold shooting-wise," head coach Tom Nelson said.

Add the Mesabi East fire to the mix, and it was what Nelson called a "perfect storm" for them in the second half. Nelson said they had a lot learn from their first game and first loss of the season.

"Mesabi East could also be a great lesson for us. If we learn from it, it could be a positive," Nelson said.

Junior Alex Lemke led the scoring for the Agates with 26 points, including four three-pointers. Junior John Peer, Jr., added 16 points and senior Kyle Omtvedt had 12. Nelson said he'll be relying on captains Lemke and Omtvedt in terms of offense and Peer will see plenty of court time.

He said juniors Calvin Luhrsen and captain Kyler Kinn are bringing back some varsity experience from last year, but he hopes to give some of the younger kids varsity experience and add to the depth of the bench.

"We bring back some minutes, but we're a little thin," Nelson said.

As for goals for the season, Nelson said the team is working on strengthening its offense and reducing turnovers. He hopes to improve on last year's record (7-16) and ultimately, be seeded high enough to host a playoff game.

"If we play well, we're going to be in most of the games we play in all year. If we play well for two halves, I expect good things," Nelson said.

Those good things already showed Tuesday, when the Agates defeated Greenway 73-39. Lemke and Omtvedt again led the scoring, followed by Kinn and junior Tim Bott, who is back on the court after missing most of last season with an injury.

Nelson said the younger programs are looking promising, too, pointing to strong athletes in grades 7-9. Their skills will be honed by JV coach Gavin Bopp, C-team coach Bill Anderson and 7th and 8th grade coach Kevin Pettis.

"We feel like we've got good athletes down there and we think we can develop those kids," Nelson said.

North Shore Storm starts off with a win

The combined Two Harbors/Silver Bay hockey team kicked the season off with a win Tuesday night at Proctor.

In the 7-4 win, seniors Tyler Schramm and Mills Johnson scored two points each and senior Jonah Koehler, senior Corey Johnson and junior Lucas Kempffer each had one goal. Senior Zach Duresky, who is returning as the starting goaltender, had 19 saves in the game.

"It went well. We overcame the jitters of the first game. It took a couple shifts for the guys to get into it, but it was a good first game," head coach Shawn Bartlette said.

It's the second year the Two Harbors and Silver Bay students will play as one team and Bartlette has taken over as the single head coach after Steve Wasko announced his retirement last year. Bartlette said the period of adjustment is long gone and the students play as one team.

"They did a surprisingly good job of coming together last year. The guys get along really well off the ice, too," he said.

They lost just three seniors last year with Austyn Wasko, Brock LeBlanc and John Burns all graduating after a 14-11-1 inaugural season. They return an astonishing 17 seniors this year, and Bartlette said the leadership those older players provide will be important to their success this season. Duresky, Schramm and Luke Small will serve as captains of the 34-player squad.

"This year, we're going to continue to be competitive and try to win some of those games we haven't been able to win in the past," Bartlette said.

They play Ely next Thursday and Faribault at home on Friday.

Silver Bay girls looking for a W

After travelling to every game of the season so far, Bruce Carman said the Silver Bay girls' hockey team is looking forward to a couple of upcoming games at home.

They tallied a couple of losses this week, including a 3-1 loss to the Thunder Bay All-Area team and a 0-9 loss to Hibbing Tuesday night.

Hibbing scored less than a minute into the game and didn't let up, tallying four points in the first period.

"We didn't play very well. We just weren't connecting on all cylinders," head coach Carman said.

He said the girls came back a bit in the next two periods, allowing 5 goals the rest of the game. Sophomore Sara Carman had 28 saves in the game; Hibbing's goalies faced 19 shots total.

Carman said after many early morning returns from far-off away games in Canada, International Falls and the Iron Range, the girls are fired up to be playing at their home arena in Silver Bay tonight and tomorrow. They face Superior tonight and Spring Lake Park tomorrow night.

"Superior is typically a pretty good team. They'll be competitive for us," Carman said, adding that the girls worked heavily on passing in practices this week.

Silver Bay hoopsters kick off season with a win

After tallying just one win last year, the boys' basketball squad from Silver Bay is off to a strong start. They kicked off their season Tuesday night with an overtime win at home against Mesabi Academy.

The team lost powerhouse Kyle Blood, an all-conference standout, last year but appears to have come back strong.

After matching Mesabi Academy point-for-point in Tuesday's match with identical scores in the first half (26-26) and after the second (59), the boys dominated the overtime.

Senior Eben Fisher led the scoring for the Mariners with 25 points. Sophomore Michael Fisher wasn't far behind with 20 points and junior Spencer Tiboni had 18 points including 12 from behind the three-point line.

After a Thanksgiving break, the boys' next game will be a North Shore showdown next Friday at Two Harbors

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LaReesa Sandretsky
LaReesa Sandretsky is a Two Harbors High School graduate and Duluth native who began working at the News-Chronicle in 2012 as a reporter. She took over as editor in 2014. She covers County Board, including the Lake County broadband project.
(218) 834-2141
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