By: Steve Gow for the Lake County News-Chronicle, Lake County News Chronicle
The Mariner volleyball team defeated Wrenshall 3-0 (25-10, 25-21 & 27-25) last week. Rebecca Dilley had 10 kills and 2 blocks. It was 6 kills and 2 blocks for Alicia Nopola, and Kari Smreud had 23 set assists and 3 ace serves. The Mariners are at McGregor on Tuesday and host Cook County on Thursday.
At this point in the season, the favorites in section 7A appear to be Littlefork/Big Falls, Northwoods, Cook County and defending champion Cherry. The top ranked teams in the state are Lakeville North, Marshall and Bethlehem Academy. Local teams in the rankings are Greenway at #11 in AA and Littlefork/Big Falls at #13 in A.
The Big North football conference has settled into a clearly defined grading curve at the halfway point of the season. Northwoods and Mountain Iron-Buhl are both unbeaten and get an A, South Ridge has one loss and gets a B, Bigfork, Chisholm, Ely and Silver Bay are all 2-2 and get a C, Northeast Range with one loss gets a D and winless Cherry and Littlefork/Big Falls get an F. Northwoods and Mountain Iron-Buhl play tonight for likely the top seed in section 7A.
Section 5 in nine-man has one team with a winning record at the season’s halfway point. That’s South Ridge at 3-1. Cromwell, Floodwood, McGregor and Silver Bay are at 2-2. At this point the seeding in section 5 is completely up for grabs.
The top ranked football teams in the state last week were Eden Prairie, Totino-Grace, DeLaSalle, Rochester Lourdes, Caledonia, Dawson-Boyd and Ada-Borup. The last two listed will be replaced as they lost last week. Moose Lake is #2 in AA,Esko comes in at #15 in AAA and Northwoods is #6 in nine man.
The Mariners started the game at Cherry with the kick-off. They got the ball back quickly when Marc Small intercepted the ball on the first play from scrimmage at the Tiger 19 yard line. Three plays later, Small ran it in from 14 yards out to give the Mariners a lead they would never relinquish.
Jonah Koehler ran in the ball for the two point conversion and an 8-0 lead 1:10 into the game. On their next possession, Luke Small scored on a 35-yard run and with a Koehler kick, it was 15-0 with 1:24 left in the first quarter.
In the second quarter the Mariners got the ball at the Tiger 35-yard line when Cherry turned it over on downs. The next play saw Luke Small connect with Koehler for a 35-yard touchdown pass and it was 22-0 Mariners at halftime.
Koehler busted loose for a 56 -yard score in the third quarter to up the Mariner’s lead to 28-0.
The Tigers scored late in the game on a 39-yard pass from Jordan Parenteau to Ted Clement with most of the Mariner starters on the sidelines.
Koehler ended up with 143 yards rushing to go with his 35 yards receiving. Luke Small completed four of 11 passes for 57 yards. Leif led a rejuvenated line with 13 tackles and also recovered a Tiger fumble. Michael Klofstad made eight tackles and Preston Westerlund added seven more plus a sack. Parenteau had 40 rushing attempts for 123 yards for the Tigers.
The Mariners host the Ely Timberwolves tonight for Homecoming.