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Sports from the week of January 1, 2003

Offense struggles in Lamberton tourney

The Panther boys basketball team lost both games in the Holiday Tournament at Lamberton Friday and Saturday.

Wabasso beat the Panthers Friday 76-39. Red Rock Central beat Tracy/Milroy/Balaton Saturday, 43-25.

In the Wabasso game, the Panthers met an outstanding team.

"If that is not a state tournament team I miss my guess, they have great athletic ability and play very well together as a team," said Panther Coach Nat Boyer. "Baune is an outstanding point guard, He just took over in the fourth quarter of our game and ended up with 29 points."

Baune did have an outstanding game. He made 4 of 8 two point attempts for 50% and 5 of 11 three point shots for 45% plus 6 of 8 free throws for 75%. In addition he had 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks.

As a team Wabasso hit 42% on 2 point field goal attempts and 50% of their 3 point attempts, pulled down 34 rebounds, had 6 steals, 13 blocks and 18 turnovers.

Jake Peterreins led the Panther attack with 13 points. TMB hit 30% of their field goal attempts, had 28 rebound, 8 steals and 14 blocks. They committed 20 turnovers.

TMB returns winless from Rochester games

the Panther girls basketball team finished eighth in the Rochester Rotary Holiday Tournament in Rochester December 26, 27, 28. Participating teams were Lakeville, Bloomington Jefferson, Breck, Rochester Mayo, Rochester John Marshall, Rochester Century and Tracy/Milroy/Balaton.

"It was definitely a learning experience for us," said Panther Assistant Coach Rick Haberman. "Hopefully down the road this experience will pay off for us-there were some very good teams in this tournament."

In the opening game on december 26, the Panthers were overwhelmed by Rochester Lourdes 72-16. They were completely outclassed by one of the better teams in the state. Tracy/Milroy/Balaton was held to only 2 points in each of the first and second quarters by the stubborn Lourdes defense.

In the second game, against Rochester Century the Panther girls were very competitive and only cold shooting in the third period kept them from winning this game. The final score was 45-34, Rochester Century.

In the third game, for seventh place against Rochester John Marshall, the Panther girls were held to only 9 points in the first half as they lost 51-35 on Saturday.

High-school athletics open doors for minorities

By Nancy L. Torner

Center for Rural and Regional Studies

Some members of Marshall High School's cross-country team expected little success from one of the minority students who showed up for practice this season. Only team members from Somalia actually knew the sophomore from Africa, even though he had lived in Marshall for a year. Other members knew only that in track, Yahya Iman simply stopped running if others pulled out ahead.

"They thought I was lazy," Iman said. "They didn't know I was going to run like this." Neither did Iman, since he had never run cross-country before. Yet Iman led the Tigers to a perfect score in the conference meet—a first-ever section championship -- and to a runner-up finish in the Class AA state nationals. The previous year, the team ranked 11th.

Now, all teammates consider Iman a friend and vice versa. Other students know his name and sometimes people even ask his mother if Iman is her son.

This type of acceptance and success is similar across southwest Minnesota for minorities who participate in high school sports and other extra curricular activities, according to students, coaches and activity directors. However, minority participation remains low.

Soccer and wrestling attract the most minority players; more boys than girls participate in sports overall, school officials said. Hispanics are the largest minority population in most school districts in the region.

"I think it comes down to a lot of cultural values, family values," Michael Malmberg, activities director at Willmar High School said. "A lot of times some of those kids are working already."

Extra curricular activities account for a small portion of the district's budget -- only about 1 percent -- yet they provide the "best bang for the buck," Malmberg said. He recalled going through budget cuts a few years ago, soon after the school's tournament soccer program started. A number of minority students came to his office because they were worried he might cut the program.

Research has shown that students involved in extracurricular activities often get better grades and have less disciplinary referrals, Scott Kowalski, activities director at Renville High School said.