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Sports from the week of March 6, 2002

YME is last obstacle in Panthers' path to state

Team effort takes `win' out of Windom

The Panther girls basketball team claimed the Section 3AA South Tournament Championship with a convincing 68-56 win over Windom at Southwest State University Friday night.

"We are now 3-0 in post season play and right where we wanted to be," said Panther Coach Paul Soupir.

The win was over the fifth-seeded Eagles, who earlier had upset the No. 1 and No. 4 seeds in the tourney (Pipestone-Jasper and Redwood Valley).

Windom played a tight zone defense against TMB, sagging back in an attempt to deny the ball to the Panther post players. And they kept a hand in Laura Zwach's face when she got the ball on the perimeter. The defense left the off- guard, either Kasey Loeslie or Steph Kaup open for some shots from the perimeter and from the top of the key.

TMB can qualify for state with win Friday

A berth in the Class AA State Girls' Basketball Tournament is at stake Friday when Tracy/Milroy/Balaton takes on the Yellow Medicine Sting.

Tip-off is 5:30 p.m. at Southwest State University, Marshall.

The Panthers (17-7) won the south-half of the Section AA tourney Friday by beating Windom 68-56. YME (21-4) beat Morris 50-47 to win the north-half Section 2AA trophy.

The Sting and Panthers have played twice this year.

YME beat TMB easily in the Panthers season opener. But TMB bounced back to beat the Sting 48-43 at Granite Falls on Jan. 18. The Panthers went on to win the 212 Conference championship.

The winner of Friday night's game will advance to a quarter-final game in the State Class AA tourney. The opening round game will be held Tuesday, March 12, 8 p.m., at Minnesota State University (Mankato). Winners of the four first-round games advance to semi-final games at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus on March 15. Third-place, consolation, and championship games are scheduled March 16, also on the U of M campus.

Greg Carlson is state ExCEL winner

Greg Carlson is one of 40 state winners in the ExCEL award program.

The Tracy Area High School junior and other ExCEL winners will be honored during KMSP-TV broadcasts of the state hockey tournament this week.

The Minnesota State High School League award program recognizes high school juniors for community and school leadership, participation in extra-curricular activities, and academic achievements.

Carlson was nominated earlier as Tracy's 2001-02 boys' ExCEL candidate. Joanna Olson was the school's female ExCEL selection.

Carlson is the son of Mike and Darcy Carlson of rural Tracy. His school activities include football, basketball, baseball, band, Peer Counseling, and Spanish Club. Carlson, the first-chair saxophone player in the high school band, was selected for a regional honor band.

A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Carlson has assisted at Tracy Lutheran with Bible school, radio broadcasts, Lenten suppers, altar preparations and youth activities. He has been selected for the Spotlight on Scholarship program.

TMB boys bow out to P-J Arrows

The Tracy/Milroy/Balaton boys' basketball season ended with a 63-51 loss to the Pipestone-Jasper Arrows in the opening round of the Section 3AA South Tournament at SSU Saturday night.

The Panthers were never really in this game. The Arrows jumped off to a 12-2 lead and were never challenged. Their quicker players combined good shooting with a tight, aggressive, trapping defense to take the Panthers out of their offense and to put points on the board.

The score was 13-6 at the end of the first period and by the half-time intermission it was 38-20. At the end of the third period the score had mounted to 58-36. The Panthers out-scored the Arrows 15-5 in the fourth period to close to the final score.

The Panthers made 7 of 8 free throws but the Arrows, even though they played the more aggressive defense, had 17 free throw attempts and made 14 of them. The Panthers were 16 of 40 on two point field goal attempts for 40% and were the same on three pointers as they hit 4 of 10 attempts. TMB pulled down 27 rebounds (Peterreins 6, Ladehoff and Roots 4) and turned the ball over 12 times. Jake Peterreins led the Panther scoring with 13 points. He was followed by Jordan Roots with 12 and Ross Ladehoff with 9.

The Panthers ended the year with a 2-21 record. Seniors playing their last high school game were LaVoy, Roots, Joe Brockway, Brandon Lightfoot, and Bryce Peterson.

The Panthers will lose Bryce Peterson, Joe Brockway, Brandon Lightfoot, Scott LaVoy and Jordan Roots from this years team to graduation and the Panther B squad team ended the season with a 7-15 record. Panther head Coach Jon Ruoff was asked what it will take to get the Panthers to a winning season.

"We lack quickness," he said. "You can't coach quickness but there are things you can do to enhance it. We need to work on strength, shooting and ball handling in the off season if we want to turn this program around. "