AREA NOTEBOOK: Warroad High School junior is scoring threat for boys hockey
Kobe Roth doesn't need a power play or even strength to be a scoring threat. The Warroad High School junior pulled off a rarity last Thursday. His four goals in a 6-4 win against rival Roseau included a hat trick of short-handed goals. "I've neve...
Kobe Roth doesn't need a power play or even strength to be a scoring threat.
The Warroad High School junior pulled off a rarity last Thursday. His four goals in a 6-4 win against rival Roseau included a hat trick of short-handed goals.
"I've never seen that before,'' Warroad coach Jay Hardwick said. "I've had a lot of people who have followed hockey for a long time asking me if that's ever happened before. And it was done in a game of magnitude. Roseau is very good. But Kobe is a special player.''
Roth's first short-hander came when he stole the puck and scored on a breakaway. Jared Bethune got a steal and passed it ahead to Roth for the second. On the third short-handed goal, after a Roseau player broke a stick and lost control, the puck was batted out to center ice, where Roth recovered and again scored on a breakaway.
"It was pretty amazing,'' Hardwick said. "I like our chances when Kobe is going one-on-one with a goalie. With his skills, he's going to bury the puck a lot in those situations.''
Roth has four short-handed goals on the season, while linemates Bethune and Kyle Sylvester have three and one, respectively. The 13-2-1 Warriors have almost as many short-handed goals (eight) as power-play goals (nine).
The line of Roth (state-high totals of 31 goals and 61 points), Bethune (24-35--59) and Sylvester (20-35--55) is the most potent in Minnesota. Roth, in particular, has been hot of late -- 16 goals in his last five games, a run that has seen him with four hat tricks and two goals in a 3-0 win against St. Cloud Cathedral.
"That line has been hot all year,'' Hardwick said. "With their skills and the way they work together, they all get scoring opportunities. Kobe has been putting away his chances lately.''
Close a struggle for Patriots
Mayville-Portland-Clifford-Galesburg's boys basketball season has been either winning big or losing close.
The Patriots are 4-5. Their four wins have all been by 15 or more points, with an average winning margin of 24.8 points. Their five losses have been by an average of 6.4 points. Four of the setbacks have been by a total of 16 points, all of those by six points or less.
"Part of (the narrow losses) is that we've played some darn good teams," MPCG coach Kyle Morehart said. "It's good that we're competing with those teams. And we didn't have much varsity experience coming into the season. That inexperience has been a huge factor.
"I don't feel any frustration. We've been that close to good teams. We're competing and we're improving by great strides. I think the rest of the season is promising."
Transfer Connor Moore (15.3 ppg) and returning regular Bennie Bradner (9.6 ppg) are the Patriots' offensive leaders.
Frazee shows strength
Frazee is defending Minnesota Section 8A dual wrestling champion. The Hornets are fourth in the latest state rankings and showed their strength Friday in the Mahnomen-Waubun dual tournament.
Frazee won the title in a field that included other top 8A teams Badger-Greenbush-Middle River, United North Central and Crookston. Frazee handled Crookston 49-21 in the semifinals and beat B-G-MR 51-15 in the final.
"We lost some close matches, but Frazee is definitely for real,'' B-G-MR coach Todd Bergeron said. "They're tough. They're physical and they're senior dominated. If anybody in the section can beat them, it would take several upsets. They're just that good.''
Crookston won five matches against Frazee. The Gators won three.
"And we feel we have a pretty solid team,'' Bergeron said.
"Frazee has had better teams than this. As far as star power, somebody who you look at and can say that kid could be a state champion, I don't see that in their lineup. But they could have three or four guys who you look at and see them as legitimate state placer candidates. And they're so well balanced. Every kid they put on the mat is good.''
Boike reaches 1,000
Junior Sydney Boike has become the 10th player to score 1,000 points in the Crookston girls basketball program. Boike reached the milestone Saturday when she scored 19 against Frazee, giving her 1,002 points.
The 5-foot-11 Boike has expanded her role this season because of Pirate roster losses due to injuries and a transfer.
"Out of necessity, she's played a lot of post this year,'' her father, Crookston coach Lon Boike, said. "She's probably getting half her points inside and half from the outside. I think it has made her a better all-around player.
"She's still getting a few 3-point baskets in every game. When she's on the wing, she can take it to the basket, create and use her moves.''
If Boike stays healthy, she could move as high as No. 2 on the Pirates' scoring list, a spot currently held by Lauren Graham (1,421). Kamille Wahlin holds the school record with 2,274 points.
Crookston junior Cody Weiland registered his 150th career wrestling win Saturday. . . . Lori Bittner has resigned as Thief River Falls' volleyball coach. In her three seasons in the position, Bittner's Prowler teams won the Minnesota Section 8AA title in 2012 and finished second in the 2011 and 2013 seasons.
DeVillers reports on sports. Call him at (701) 780-1128, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1128 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .