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Sports from the week of March 5, 2003

Upstart Panthers top Arrows... for a period

Despite a fast start by an upset-minded Panther team, the No. 1 seeded Pipestone Arrows prevailed to beat the Panthers 57-33 in the first round of the 3AA South Section Tournament at Windom.

The Arrows rallied after the Panthers grabbed an early 12-4 lead.

Tracy/Milroy/Balaton finished the season with a 6-16 record. The team was 5-9 and finished in fifth in the 212 Conference.

The Panther boys were attempting to emulate the girls' feat of knocking off a top seed in the first round of the section tournament and it looked like they had a chance in the early going. Tracy/Milroy/Balaton got off to a great start by taking an early lead 8-4 on a field goal and a pair of free throws by Ross Ladehoff and baskets by Sean Kirk and Greg Carlson. Two more field goals by Ladehoff extended the lead to 12-4 with 2:59 left in the first period.

"For the first time all season we planned to fast break against the Arrows and it worked for the first 2 periods," said Panther Coach Nat Boyer. "Unfortunately when we tried to continue with it we had run out of gas. The energy level of the kids was low in the second half but they still had the 'heart'."

Freshman has winning experience at state meet

Paul Carlson says he has great memories of his participation int he Class A Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament.

"It was an awesome experience," said Carlson, of the meet at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul. "There were eight mats going at the same time and well over 1,000 matches were completed during the tournament."

Wrestling in the 145-pound class, the freshman lost both of his matches to falls, including one to the eventual state champions.

Carlson hopes the experience pays off in future wrestling. "I have three more chances to get back there and I am sure I will do better the next time."

Echoes end banner year

St. Mary's sixth-grade basketball team completed their season Saturday by winning the Milroy tournament.

The Echoes entered four area tournaments, winning three and losing only to Morgan in the finals of the Wabasso tournament in double-overtime-their only tourney loss in two years. The group compiled a 31-3 record during the fourth, fifth and sixth grades and won seven of the eight tournaments they played in.

Coaches Terry Nelson and Bill Bolin are hopeful that some of this group will eventually ascend to varsity teams. Both coaches agree that the Echoes have stressed team defense and teamwork. they were happy that in the final tournament eight of the nine-team members scored in both games.