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GGF NOTEBOOK: Green wave defense in shutdown mode

The Green Wave boys hockey team is off to a 4-0 start, allowing just one goal in that span. But defense isn't just about stopping shots; the Wave aren't allowing a lot of quality shots.

East Grand Forks Green Wave logo

The Green Wave boys hockey team is off to a 4-0 start, allowing just one goal in that span. But defense isn't just about stopping shots; the Wave aren't allowing a lot of quality shots.

No opponent has yet had more than 12 shots on goal.

"It can be kind of hard on the goalies," Senior High coach Tyler Palmiscno said of the inactivity. "It's a challenge for them. But they've done a good job of staying active.

"And it's a good problem to have."

Garrett Lieberg and Josh Weber have split time in goal. Lieberg has two shutouts, with a total of 12 saves. Weber has allowed one goal in two games while turning back 22 shots.

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They're playing behind a veteran group. Colton Poolman, Eddie Eades, Taylor Brierley, Tye Ausmus, Nathan Peabody and Trevor Selk all were regular defensemen on last season's team that finished fourth at state.

• In 31 games last season, Senior High had nine shutouts compared to the three in four games this season.

• Last season, the Wave held opponents to 12 or fewer shots on goal in eight games compared to the four already this season.

"Defense is an attitude, a mindset," Palmiscno said. "For us to be successful, we know we have to be sound defensively. You don't win 7-6 or 6-5 games in February. You just don't. You have to be able to win the close 2-1, 3-2 types of games. You're not going to click on offense every night. And the kids have bought into that.

"This is a carryover from what we started last year. We were a good defensive team last year. You hope to build on that. But it is still early in the season."

Packer wrestlers favored

The annual Grand Forks Sertoma dual wrestling tournament will be held next weekend, with the first two rounds Friday at Central High School.

Central coach Matt Berglund doesn't have to look far to find a favorite. West Fargo, the defending North Dakota Class A state champion and with 11 returning state placers in its lineup, gets the nod.

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"When you have kids ranked high at almost every weight (in the state coaches' poll), you don't have many weak spots," Berglund said. "They may not have as much top-end talent as last year, but West Fargo is still very good."

Berglund looks at Bismarck Century, Perham, Greenbush-Middle River-Badger, Turtle Mountain and Detroit Lakes as other top contenders.

Neither Central nor Grand Forks Red River figures to be a contender, Berglund said, but both programs should benefit from the strong field.

"We're both probably middle-of-the-pack teams in the tournament," Berglund said. "But we don't want weaker teams in it. It's about finding better competition so you can get better."

Wave showing balance

Teams that are selling out on defense to stop Jim Warmack are paying a price against the East Grand Forks Senior High boys basketball team.

The 6-foot-7 Warmack leads the Senior High team with an 18.5 scoring average. No surprise there -- the senior, who has signed a letter of intent to play college ball at Minnesota-Crookston, has more than 1,000 career points and averaged 20.5 points last season.

But Senior High has also shown a balanced offense. Ty Misialek averages 13.3 points and Grant Frydenlund 11.0. Micah Friez and Brock Scheving also have had double-figure scoring games. Frydenlund (23), Friez (15) and Scheving (12) all have had career-best games for points already.

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"We anticipated it," Green Wave coach Travis Lindgren said of the balance. "Scheving can score around the basket. The others can hit from the perimeter as well as score in transition.

"That balance is very important. Some teams are going with the game plan of shutting down Warmack at all costs. He's a proven name. But Jim is a willing passer. He can kick it out and we have guys who have proven they can hit shots."

DeVillers reports on sports. Call him at (701) 780-1128, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1128 or send e-mail to gdevillers@gfherald.com .

Related Topics: BOYS HOCKEYPREP SPORTS
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