Area notebook: Wrestlers take different approach in Region 3 tourney

For four straight seasons, Michael Bonn was a member of Rolla-Rock Lake-St. John teams that qualified for the North Dakota Class B state dual wrestling tournament. Early in the season, however, Bonn saw that a fifth straight berth was a long shot.

For four straight seasons, Michael Bonn was a member of Rolla-Rock Lake-St. John teams that qualified for the North Dakota Class B state dual wrestling tournament. Early in the season, however, Bonn saw that a fifth straight berth was a long shot.

Forfeiting from four to six weight classes tends to dim the optimism.

"After our first couple of duals, we saw that it probably wasn't realistic to expect to get back to state in duals,'' Bonn said.

Now the senior and his teammates will bid to get to the individual state tournament in the Region 3 tournament, to be held Saturday in Des Lacs-Burlington. The top four finishers in each weight class qualify.

Rolla-RL-SJ went only 1-8 in duals. But there's quality. Bulldogs coach Davy Zinke said four of his wrestlers -- Bonn, Willson Hallaway, Jared Vandal and Seth Anderson -- could be considered favorites in the region in their weight classes. Craig Poitra and Carl Nelson also could challenge.


And not having a strong dual team could help the wrestlers individually.

"In a dual, you're looking at team points -- going for pins, or wrestling to avoid pins,'' Zinke said. "Now the kids can think about themselves and get ready for the individual tournament. You wrestle differently (in our situation). You want to win matches, and it doesn't matter how. It isn't about pins and six points for the team. You're more patient and you wrestle smarter.''

The last time Zinke's team didn't qualify for the state dual tournament, it wound up finishing fifth at the state individual tournament. "When you're in the dual and individual state tournaments, you're always on the go,'' Zinke said. "When we didn't go as a team and finished fifth, I think that contributed to our success. I think the kids wrestled a lot better. They had more time off, more time to rest.''

Said Bonn: "All the years we went as a team, I enjoyed it. But I'm not disappointed that we didn't make it.''

Hallaway and Bonn both are defending Region 3 champions.

The Region 2 individual tournament will be held Saturday in Harvey.

Minnewaukan looks for co-op partner

Minnewaukan finds itself unexpectedly looking for new co-op partners in sports.


The school has had a co-op with Leeds in volleyball, boys basketball and girls basketball for several years, as well as in the North Central Benson football and track teams. But, last month, the Leeds school board voted to drop Leeds from the basketball co-ops and instead join with Maddock.

Minnewaukan principal Ron Carlson said that, as recently as December, there was talk of all three schools forming a co-op in basketball.

"Then we got a call a few weeks ago from Leeds saying they were dropping us from the co-op and going together with Maddock,'' Carlson said. "We had no notice of it happening ahead of time.''

Carlson said no reasons were given for the change. It leaves Minnewaukan in limbo for basketball next season.

"It's frustrating for us,'' Carlson said. "We'll have six girls in high school at our school who play basketball next year. We definitely don't have enough there for a program. And we'll have nine boys in high school who play basketball; we'd be skimming the edge (in numbers) for a boys team.''

Carlson said his school board has discussed dissolving the existing co-ops in football, volleyball and track and looking elsewhere to partner.

"We really don't know what the likelihood is of getting something done,'' Carlson said. "Four Winds and Devils Lake both called us and said if we need help, they'll do what they can. That really helps us.''

Bears thrive on Canadian foes


Canadians bring out the best in the Lake of the Woods boys basketball team.

The Bears are 5-13 this season -- 4-1 against Canadian teams and 1-13 against Minnesota teams.

"We might win the section if we were playing up there," LOW coach Bob Laine said, laughing.

"I can't tell you why we do well against their teams. I wish I could. We have played some good basketball against Minnesota teams, but we've had some mediocre halves, too. But we've been able to play two good halves when we play the Canadian teams. And they have some good teams."

The success is odd, Laine said, in that Canada plays a more physical style of basketball, while he doesn't consider his team to be a physical one. But a different style does help the Bears.

"They play more zone defenses in Canada," Laine said. "We're not a great ballhandling team. But when we're patient, we can pick apart a zone with our passing, moving the ball around and getting good open shots. We've shot well against them."

Schanilec, Casavan reach 1,000

Midway-Minto's Philip Schanilec and Michaela Casavan of Red Lake County Central scored the 1,000th point of their basketball careers last week.


- Schanilec, a 6-foot junior guard who is in his third season as a starter, is at 1,081 points. He's averaging 27.5 points, as well as 4.7 steals, 4.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

"Philip can hit the three," Mustangs coach Shane Robinson said. "But he's more of a penetrator. He's quick off the dribble and he finishes well. He can hit the pull-up jumper and he's creative around the basket. He still surprises me with some of the shots he puts up and in."

- Casavan scored 23 against Win-E-Mac on Friday, giving the sophomore 1,016 points. The 5-10 post player averages 23.3 points and 12.1 rebounds. She's the 10th player in the RLCC program to reach 1,000 points, but she achieved a first.

"We were trying to remember, and we think she might be the first to do it when she was a sophomore," veteran RLCC coach Rick Koivisto said. "Michaela's a power player. She posts up strong and she has some nice moves around the basket."


Fosston-Bagley wrestlers Andrew Juve (189 pounds) and Cooper Wilson (215) won titles at the Walker Wolves Invitational tournament Friday. . . . Langdon all-state offensive lineman Justin Anderson has signed a letter of intent to play football at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton. . . . Kasi Eisenzimmer of Devils Lake has signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at North Dakota State College of Science. . . . Three Warroad girls hockey players recently reached career milestones. Senior Brook Story registered her 100th career assist, while junior Megan Brettingen and freshman Kayla Gardner each scored her 100th career point.

DeVillers reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1128; (800) 477-6572, ext. 128; or send e-mail to .

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