Area prep notebook: Munich-Starkweather to join Langdon in baseball co-op...roller coaster season for eagles, gators...Northstar girls basketball

The fade has been fast for Munich-Starkweather-North Star baseball. The program made consecutive appearances in the North Dakota Class B state tournament in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Now the tradition-rich program is folding due to low participation n...

The fade has been fast for Munich-Starkweather-North Star baseball.

The program made consecutive appearances in the North Dakota Class B state tournament in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Now the tradition-rich program is folding due to low participation numbers.

Munich and Starkweather will join Langdon this spring in a baseball co-op that was approved last week by the North Dakota High School Activities Association's board of directors.

"There wasn't any other option," said Kevin Baumgarn, the superintendent of the Munich and Starkweather schools. "You'd like to see the program staying in your school. It's tough to see this when you look in the gym and see all the baseball banners, the baseball tradition.

"We've been trying to get more kids from our schools to play. But you can't force them. It's just reached the point where we can't field a team." Baumgarn estimates only six or seven students in grades 7-12 at his two schools indicated they would play baseball.


Baumgarn said there are approximately 40 male students in the top six grades at the two schools. Some compete in the track co-op with Langdon; some aren't involved in spring sports.

"Those (2007-09) were years where we had a lot of kids who were really into baseball," said Baumgarn, who estimates three to five students probably will play with the new co-op. The number "will depend on how serious they are about baseball. We want to give them a chance to play. If we didn't find a co-op, they wouldn't have the opportunity." North Star, meanwhile, plans to field its own team. Cando started an American Legion baseball program two summers ago. School principal Jeff Hagler said he anticipates about 15 players going out for high school ball.

Roller-coaster season for Eagles, Gators

It's been a winter of highs and lows for the Red Lake Falls and Badger-Greenbush-Middle River girls basketball programs.

Red Lake Falls, 9-7, opened the season by winning four of its first five games, then dropped five out of six. But RLF has rebounded to win four of its last five games.

Eagles coach Brian Remick said the inconsistency is probably the result of a few things, including strength of schedule plus, during the 1-5 spurt, a stretch in which there were so many games that there was little time for practice. The Eagles' strength has been a balanced offense led by Shari Klein (11.4 ppg), Britta Glass (10.5 ppg) and Kristen Weiss (10 ppg).

"Sometimes we look really, really good," Remick said. "Sometimes it looks like we haven't touched a basketball in three weeks." Badger-Greenbush-Middle River's streaks have been even more extreme. After a season-opening win, the Gators lost four straight, won three straight, lost three straight and now have won three in a row. For the Gators, it comes down to an offense led by Tessa Monsrud (11 ppg) and Mikkaela Janicke (9 ppg).

"When we win, we're keeping the turnovers down and somebody is coming up with a big offensive game," B-G-MR coach Jon Hams said. "But we haven't been consistent on offense."


In the shadows of No. 1

The North Star boys basketball team is casting a long shadow over the school's girls program.

North Star is undefeated and tied for first in this week's Class B boys state poll. The Bearcats' girls team, meanwhile, is sitting with a 9-3 record, a big turnaround after finishing last season 4-16.

"I like it this way," North Star girls basketball coach John Peters said of being overshadowed by the boys' team. "It takes some pressure off our players. We like to be the underdog, although I think that may be changing for us." Kelsey Teubner leads the balanced offense, averaging 13 points a game. Right behind her are Brittney Held (11 ppg) and Morgan Peters (9 ppg). Held, Peters and post player Megan Gowan were regulars a year ago.

"The girls put in more time over the summer to get better," John Peters said. "They've gotten better at rebounding, better at shooting, better at handling pressure defense. Most of it is the experience factor."

Unlucky 5 for Falcons Five hasn't been a lucky number for the Fertile-Beltrami boys basketball team.

The Falcons have lost four games by single digits, three of those by five points. Those setbacks are a big reason for the Falcons' 4-9 record.

"It's frustrating," F-B coach Neil Steffes said. "In all those (narrow losses), it was a matter of executing a few things correctly, things like missed free throws and layups and unforced turnovers. We are playing much better now compared to the beginning of the year. We're just not finishing games." Fertile-Beltrami has won three of its last five games, the two losses being 5-point decisions to Ulen-Hitterdal and Fosston. Junior point guard Tate Mosher leads the Falcons with averages of 20.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists.


"We're close," Steffes said. "We're right there with good teams like Fosston and Ulen-Hitterdal. Hopefully, we can start learning how to win those games."


Crookston senior all-stater Brody Davidson has made a verbal commitment to play football at University of Minnesota-Crookston. . . . Roseau senior Lyle Norman has made a verbal commitment to play football at North Dakota State University. . . . Devils Lake Sports Center will host a Class B day Saturday, with five boys basketball and three girls basketball games to be played. Competition begins at 9:30 a.m. The feature game will have two state-ranked boys teams, Cavalier (No. 4) against North Sargent (No. 6, at 3:30 p.m. . . . Valley-Edinburg girls basketball coach Ed Liebersbach registered the 100th win of his coaching career Friday. . . . Hillsboro's Seth Anderson won the 140-pound title Saturday at the Storhaug Invitational wrestling tournament in Lisbon, N.D. . . . Crookston's Anthony Caputo was named most valuable wrestler at the Thief River Falls Prowler Invitational wrestling tournament. Caputo won the 152-pound championship. . . . Mahnomen-Waubun's Garrett Hoffner won the most valuable wrestler award Friday at the Terry Teiken Invitational tournament in Lake Park, Minn. Hoffner won the 140-pound championship. Teammate Jordan McArthur won the 285-pound division. . . . Warroad's Kayla Gardner recently got the 100th assist of her girls hockey career.

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