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Journal-Press Internet Sports & School - September 20, 2018
Rob LaPlante

Journal-Press Sports Editor Rob LaPlante may be reached by phone at 763-682-1221 or click here to email him



Buffalo’s 80-70 home loss to Elk River sets state record for combined points

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

Buffalo and Elk River put up numbers last Friday that some high school basketball coaches would even be proud of.

Combining to set a state record of 150 combined points, it was the Elks and their deceptive running game edging the Bison and their high-powered passing attack by a score of 80-70.

Amazingly, the 70 points didn’t set a school record for Buffalo. They once scored 74 in 1928 against Princeton.

The combined total points broke what is believed to be a 99-year old state record of 128 set in 1919 when Virginia shutout International Falls.

The Elks, no stranger to shootouts, combined for 126 points in a 66-60 playoff win last season against Andover. Buffalo’s previous record was a 70-42 playoff loss in 2016 at Blaine.

“There were flashbacks to Blaine a little bit, but it’s just a different type of game with Elk River’s run-run-run offense,” said Bison Head Coach Todd Bouman. “You know what you’re going to get when you face Elk River, it’s just tough to prepare for.”

The Elks set a team record with 636 rushing yards in Friday’s win. Adam Nelson, who rushed for 1,877 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior, led Elk River’s field day with 268 rushing yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns.

It was Nelson’s 80-yard touchdown run that got the scoring parade going for the Elks, who fell behind 7-0 after Michael Tweten intercepted one of two pass attempts in the game by Elk River quarterback Beau Ruby.

Tweten’s interception was ran back 84 yards for a touchdown, but an illegal block on the return nullified the score. Buffalo would eventually find the end zone, scoring the first of its 10 touchdowns when quarterback Aidan Bouman would sling the first of his eight passing scores on a 28-yard strike to Treyton Welch.

As dymanic as the Elk River running game was, Bouman and the Bison aerial attack was just as potent.

According to Minnesota Football Coaches Association historic records, Bouman’s eight passing TDs tied a state record set in 2008 by Minneapolis Southwest’s Eliot Mathieu. Bouman was 40-55 for 555 passing yards. His yardage total also tied a state record set in 2001 by Brain Kaufman of Hill-Murray.

In a game that featured very little defense and a ton of offense, it was two special teams plays that proved big early in the game.

A blocked punt deep in Bison territory helped setup a 15-yard TD run by Elk River’s Carter Otto. Riley Habisch answered with the first of his two rushing scores to cut Elk River’s lead to 16-14. Otto had a quick answer on a 7-yard score to put Elk River up 24-14 after one quarter.

Habisch’s second TD of the game came on a 35-yard rush to open the second quarter, but Arik Nordenstrom quickly responded with a 46-yard rushing TD.

Elk River’s defense forced the Bison to turn the ball over on downs near midfield, and a few plays later, Kevin Egbujor scored the first of his two rushing touchdowns.

The lead grew to 44-20 when Elk River recovered an onside kick following Egbujor’s score, and Otto rushed his third TD of the half on a 9-yard score.

The 22 unanswered points was something Coach Bouman and his squad were trying to avoid.

“It’s one of those things, when you play them, you’ve got to stay ahead of them, or stay even,” he said. “I mean, they score 56 on everybody every single week. Once you fall behind by more than one score, you’re playing catchup, which obviously makes things difficult.”

Buffalo did its best job of playing catchup by scoring 14 unanswered points of its own, starting with Jack Munsterteiger’s 20-yard TD reception with 35 seconds left in the first half. Elk River was held out of the end zone in the closing 35 seconds of the half, but still enjoyed a 44-26 halftime lead.

Munsterteiger’s touchdown was only the beginning of a record-setting night for him. He finished with 19 catches for 290 receiving yards and two TDs.

His 19 receptions broke the school record of 18, set by Tyler Johnson in 2016 in the playoff loss to Blaine. According to MFCA record books, Munsterteiger’s 19 grabs tied him with Osseo’s Jameer Jackson, who achieved the same feat in 2009.

Amazingly, Munsterteiger’s big game came with a knee brace after leaving the previous week’s game with an MCL sprain.

“Doctors told me that if it wasn’t my senior year, they probably would have had me sit a week,” Munsterteiger said. “But they told me I could play, but if it started to hurt, to sit out.”

Nobody was happier to see Munsterteiger cleared to play than his head coach, who knew coming in that they could exploit the 2016 Class 5A state champions on offense.

“Watching film, I knew we were going to be able to do a lot of things we needed to do,” Coach Bouman said. “I knew we would have definite mismatches on the outside, and we have some great receivers outside. Jack didn’t practice all week and got cleared to play Friday at noon. He told me all week he was going to play and it would be one of those great nights.”

Munsterteiger’s 290 receiving yards came 54 shy of the state record, which Johnson set with 344 in the playoff loss at Blaine.

Lost in all the passing attack was another huge effort from Habisch, who like Munsterteiger, left the previous week’s game due to a concussion. Along with his two rushing TDs, Habisch finished with 156 yards on 20 carries.

Numbers aside, everyone in attendance couldn’t help but enjoy what was taking place in a game that started at 7 p.m. and ended at 10:10 p.m. Fans also got to see one of the state’s most dynamic wide receivers put on a second-half show.

Welch scored the second of his four TDs to open the second half on a 38-yard strike from Bouman. Enkhaus answered for Elk River on a 1-yard score. Munsterteiger followed with a 70-yard touchdown from Bouman. Nordenstrom answered again for the Elks on a 2-yard TD. Damien Biegert’s diving catch from 26 yards out closed the gap to 56-48, but Elk River led after three quarters 64-48 on Enkhaus’ 23-yard TD run.

The offense continued into the final 12 minutes when Welch caught his third TD pass from 3-yards out. Ruby answered with a quarterback sneak from 2-yards out, but Welch’s one-handed circus catch from 13-yards out cut the Elk lead to 72-64 with 4:36 left.

Nelson capped off his monster game with a 48-yard rushing TD. Trailing 80-64, the final scoring of the game came on Bouman’s eighth TD pass that went from eight yards to Tony Dahl.

Buffalo’s 711 yards of total offense set a school record. Afterwards, Buffalo’s quarterback was lost for words when describing what transpired.

“It’s hard to put into words,” Bouman said. “Obviously it’s frustrating. You want to win every game you can, but that was one of the most fun games I’ve played in my career. It definitely would have been a lot sweeter to come out on top, but I’m just proud of our effort. The past few years, we wouldn’t have fought like that.”

Bouman and the Bison (1-2) head into week four looking to snap a 2-game skid with a 7 p.m. road game at Andover (2-1).

The Huskies are another high-potent offense, but Andover isn’t quite as dynamic in the run game as Elk River or the pass game as Buffalo.

After allowing 80 points and 137 total in three games, Bison players know their defense will need to improve going forward. They also know their defense is not alone when it comes to handling Elk River’s running game.

“In all honestly, I think we have a really good defense,” Aidan said. “They know and we all know they can do better, but that’s just a tough offense to play against. You never know where the ball is going. They are bound to score points. You don’t know how many, but it’s just bound to happen.”

“I’m sitting on the sidelines and I have a perfect view of everybody, and I seriously think somebody else has the ball,” Munsterteiger said. “Then someone else is running 50 yards for a touchdown. Elk River’s offense is just amazing. They fake the ball so well. Their quarterback does a great job running the system.” 

As for Andover; “I sure am hoping for a lower scoring game,” Coach Bouman chuckled. “We’ll see what happens.”   

Military Appreciation Night

Last Friday’s home game marked the first time Buffalo football hosted Military Appreciation Night.

All active duty personnel and veterans got into Friday’s game free and were given a free meal. There was also a special pre-game and post-game tribute on the field. Members of Buffalo American Legion Post 270 presented the colors during the National Anthem.

“Coach Mike Curry got this all put together,” Coach Bouman said. “He was in the military and it was something we wanted to do. I told the kids beforehand, we get to play a game and what a blessing it is we get to do so. But to think about what all these other people do for our country that are gone for years at a time and don’t get to see their families. To go out there and pay respect to them and play for them, and I thought the kids did a great job of that tonight.”


Elk River 80, Buffalo 70

(Friday, Sept. 14 at Buffalo)

Elk River              24   20   20   16    –   80

Buffalo                 14   12   22   22    –   70


First quarter

B -- Treyton Welch 28 pass from Aidan Bouman (Parker Vajda kick) 7:41.

ER -- Adam Nelson 80 run (Beau Ruby 2-point run) 7:29.

ER -- Carter Otto 15 run (A. Nelson 2-point run) 5:47.

B -- Riley Habisch 2 run (Vajda kick) 2:47.

ER -- Otto 7 run (Logan Enkhaus 2-point run) 1:26.

Second quarter

B -- Riley Habisch 35 run (kick failed) 11:52.

ER -- Arik Nordenstrom 46 run (2-point run failed) 11:35.

ER -- Kevin Egbujor 9 run (Egbujor 2-point run) 4:46.

ER -- Otto 9 run (2-point run failed) 3:13.

B -- Jack Munsterteiger 20 pass from Bouman (2-point pass failed) 0:35.

Third quarter

B -- Treyton Welch 38 pass from Bouman (Welch 2-point pass from Bouman 9:33.

ER -- Enkhaus 1 run (2-point pass failed) 5:21.

B -- Munsterteiger 70 pass from Bouman (Munsterteiger 2-point pass from Bouman) 4:22.

ER -- Nordenstrom 2 run (2-point run failed) 3:21.

B -- Damien Biegert 26 pass from Bouman (2-point pass failed) 1:28.

ER -- Enkhaus 23 run (Enkhaus 2-point run) 0:32.

Fourth quarter

B -- Welch 3 pass from Bouman (Habisch 2-point run) 9:31.

ER -- Ruby 2 run (Egbujor 2-point pass from Ruby) 5:57.

B -- Welch 13 pass from Bouman (Biegert 2-point pass from Bouman) 4:36.

ER -- A. Nelson 48 run (Egbujor 2-point run) 3:51.

B -- Tony Dahl 8 pass from Bouman (2-point pass failed).


Individual stats:

Bison leaders:

     Passing – Aidan Bouman 40-55--555, 8 TDs; Treyton Welch 0-1--0.

     Rushing – Riley Habisch 20-156, 2 TDs.

     Receiving – Jack Munsterteiger 19-290, 2 TDs; Treyton Welch 11-170, 4 TDs; Tony Dahl 5-46, TD; Damien Biegert 3-36, TD; Riley Habisch 2-13.

     Tackles – Dustin Sarvie 12; Devan Revolinski 11; Joe McNamara 11; Michael Tweten 8 (1 fumble forced, 1 INT), Jacob Muhich 7; Zach Phillips 4; Tucker Johnson 3; Ty Zwack 3; Joshua Hastings 3; Daunte Matilla 3; Treyton Welch 2; Parker Vajda 1; Jayden Wistrom 1; Brandon Lampi 1; Matthew Gladitsch 1; Ian Oburu 1; Hunter Poncius 1.

Elks leaders:

     Passing – Beau Ruby 0-2, INT.

     Rushing – Adam Nelson 17-268, 2 TDs; Arik Nordenstrom 11-108, 2 TDs; Carter Otto 9-100, 3 TDs; Kevin Egbujor 10-79, TD; Tyler Leshovsky 1-23; Beau Ruby 3-14, TD; Zach Stroh 3-2.

     Receiving – None.

                  Tackles -- Ryan Wilson 12; Rey Roske 11; Zach Stroh 10; Kevin Egbujor 8; Adam Nelson 7; Trent Soukup 6; Tony Kutzer 6; Collin Nelson 5; Jon Suchy 4; Arik Nordenstrom 3; Corey Hughes 3; Beau Ruby 2; Chandler Flint 2; Carter Otto 2; Elijah Bicek 2; Lafeyette Bade 2; Jacob Ballenger 2; Lorser Wuanti 2; Logan Enkhaus 1; Seth Hopkins 1.



Late goal lifts Buffalo past Monticello

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

It was “Miller Time” Tuesday night at Bison Field East.

Sophomore forward Brian Miller scored both goals, lifting the Bison boys’ soccer team to a dramatic 2-1 home win over rival Monticello.

Miller’s first goal opened the scoring just 5:19 into the contest. Luke Quiring made several nice moves to get a point-blank opportunity. Quiring’s shot was saved by Magic goalie Quinten Bianchi, but the rebound went to a wide-open Miller, who buried his fifth goal of the season.

Less than two minutes later, Magic forward Jacob Keller tied the score 1-1 on a shot through heavy traffic in front of Bison goalkeeper Logan Vajda.

Keller’s goal lifted the spirits of his teammates, but a key leaping save by Vajda late in the first half kept the score tied 1-1 at the half.

“I told the guys before the game that there’s going to be some adversity in this one, so the key would be how we would respond to it,” said Buffalo Head Coach Joe Pokorney. “I thought the guys did a nice job of battling back.”

Miller’s opening goal tied him with teammate Conor Smrz for the team lead with five. Ryan Nelson ranks second in goals with four.

After a quiet night on the scoresheet, Buffalo’s top offensive threats came alive when the game mattered most.

With the rain starting to fall and overtime lurking, Nelson used his speed to get to the outside and found an open Smrz in the goal crease. Instead of taking a contested shot, Smrz passed to a wide-open Miller, who buried home the winner with 11 seconds left in regulation.

“This feels pretty good,” said Miller, who leads the team with six goals and 15 points. “I have to thank the team for the great passes. I was just in the right place at the right time.”

The victory was extra-special for Smrz and Miller, who play on the same club team in the off-season as the Magic’s Keller.

“It feels good to kind of rub in his (Keller) face a little bit,” joked Miller. “Personally, I would say St. Michael is my favorite rival, just because I have kids in my neighborhood that play for them, but Monticello is a close second.”

The victory was extra-satisfying for Pokorney, who called it one of the more dramatic games he’s coached.

“It’s an absolute battle with Monticello every time we play them,” Pokorney said. “We knew they would give us a good game, and they did. It was a really evenly matched game and a fun night of soccer.”

The victory was the Bison’s third straight, and fourth in the past five games.

Buffalo’s previous win came in a 6-0 road shutout last Thursday at Big Lake. Parker Vajda scored twice and twin brother Logan added another. Normally a goalie, Logan played the field and tallied his first career varsity goal.

Matthew Butler opened the scoring in a four-goal first half for the Bison. Also scoring were Smrz, Nick Lund, and Ryan Nelson.

Asked about the confidence level of his 4-2-1 squad (3-1 in conference play), Pokorney said it’s rising.

“We’re getting there,” he said. “We knew Tuesday would tell us a lot about what kind of level we can reach. I don’t think we’re at our ceiling yet. There’s a lot of skill on this team. Now the next step is to get consistent with it.”

The Bison travel for a 7 p.m. road game on Thursday, Sept. 20 at Cambridge-Isanti. The next home game is 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22 against Maple Grove.


Buffalo 6, Big Lake 0

(Thursday, Sept. 13 at Big Lake)

Buffalo        4  2   -  6

Big Lake      0  0   -  0


First Half: B -- Matthew Butler; B -- Conor Smrz (Butler); B -- Nick Lund; B -- Parker Vajda (Luke Quiring).

Second Half: B -- Ryan Nelson; B -- P. Vajda (Logan Vajda).


B - Wyatt Hiers (win); BL - N/A (loss).


Buffalo 2, Monticello 1

(Tuesday, Sept. 18 at Buffalo)

Monticello    1  0   -  1

Buffalo        1  1   -  2


First Half: B -- Brian Miller (Luke Quiring) 5:09; M -- Jacob Keller (Brenden Fee) 7:29.

Second Half: B -- Miller 2 (Conor Smrz) 39:49.


M - Quenten Bianchi (loss) 18 saves; B - Logan Vajda (win) 8 saves.



Bison search for consistency

First win of season comes against Orono

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor


Through the first four matches of the season, Buffalo volleyball head coach Jenn Peterson has seen flashes of good, and flashes of bad.

Case and point came in a 3-0 home defeat last Thursday to St. Michael-Albertville.

For the opening two sets, Buffalo was right there with the defending conference champions, only to have the Knights pull away in the end for a pair of 25-21, 25-20 wins.

The third and deciding match point came in less than dramatic fashion in a 25-7 third-set victory.

“That was not an enjoyable game,” said Peterson, referring to the third-match point. “It’s just a matter of being able to connect the dots. We have spurts of great offense and spurts of great defense. We have awesome serving. But it’s all in different chunks, and now it’s about being able to sustain a high level of all skills at the same time. That’s going to allow us to be more successful.”

After a bit of a slow start, the top hitters for the Knights started to showcase their all-around athleticism.

Syra Tanchin finished with 12 kills, but dominated the service line with six aces with only one error. She also added two blocks (one solo). Mikala Henderson led all attackers with 14 kills.

Nicole Odeen continues to be Buffalo’s most consistent player. Odeen led her squad with 10 assists and 14 digs. Lauren Ehlers led the Bison with seven kills.

Despite the 0-4 start, the good news for the Bison is the meat of their conference schedule is behind them.

The Knights finished first a year ago at 9-0. Buffalo has already played North Branch – last year’s conference runner-up at 8-1, and third-place finisher St. Francis.

With a fairly inexperienced squad, Peterson had to remind her team that the early-season losses are a combination of inconsistencies, and tough opponents.

“The tough opponents early on gives us good learning experiences,” Peterson said. “It allows us to compete or not. The girls have done a really good job of putting pressure out there. It’s continued improvement to set us up for success in future matches and tournaments.”

Buffalo gained that elusive first victory in Monday’s 3-0 non-conference home win over Orono. The Bison won a close set, 26-24, to open the match, and cruised to a 25-17, 25-13 straight-set win.

Odeen led the charge with five kills, 14 assists, and two aces. Buffalo dominated the service line with 11 total aces. Demi Mills led the team with five.

“The girls were very excited,” Peterson said. “Each game they kept improving, playing smart and had a lot of fun.”

The Bison (1-4) are at Monticello for a 7 p.m. matchup this Thursday, Sept. 20.


St. Michael-Albertville 3

Buffalo 0

(Thursday, Sept. 13 at Buffalo)

STMA           25  25  25  -  3 (75)

Buffalo          21  20    7  -  0 (48)

Knights stats:

     Kills: Mikala Henderson 14, Syra Tanchin 12, Samantha Palmer 6, Maren Saunders 4, Kaylin Carel 2, Evie Harrington 1, Olivia Carel 1.

     Set Assists: Sophie Fritz 20, Mya Krystosek 13, Samatha Palmer 1, Megan Krushke 1, Mikala Henderson 1, Payton Scherber 1, Syra Tanchin 1.

     Service Aces-Errors: Syra Tanchin 6-1, Mya Krystosek 1, Payton Scherber 1-1, Megan Krushke 0-1, Mikala Krystosek 0-1.

     Digs: Payton Scherber 13, Sophie Fritz 6, Mya Krystosek 5, Mikala Henderson 5, Megan Krushke 3, Mackenzie Mills 1, Samantha Palmer 1, Kaylin Carel 1, Maren Saunders 1.

     Blocks-solo: Maren Saunders 3-0, Syra Tanchin 2-1, Samantha Palmer 2-0, Kaylin Carel 1-0, Olivia Carel 1-0.

Bison stats:

     Kills: Lauren Ehlers 7, Demi Mills 2, Faith Winter 2, Nicole Odeen 2, Kennedy Sohler 1.

     Set Assists: Nicole Odeen 10, Demi Mills, Maddie Johnson 2, Faith Winter 1.

     Service Aces-Errors: Demi Mills 1-1, Kennedy Sohler 1-2, Nicole Odeen 1-3, Lauren Ehlers 0-1.

     Digs: Nicole Odeen 14, Maddie Johnson 9, Faith Winter 4, Kristi Stendahl 3, Lauren Ehlers 3, Alyssa Wallenta 2, Demi Mills 2, Kennedy Sohler 1.

     Blocks-solo: Kennedy Sohler 2-1, Nicole Odeen 1-0.


Buffalo 3, Orono 0

(Monday, Sept. 17 at Buffalo)

Orono            24  17  13  -  0 (54)

Buffalo          26  25  25  -  3 (75)

Bison stats:

     Kills: Lauren Ehlers 7, Kennedy Sohler 5, Nicole Odeen 5, Faith Winter 4, Demi Mills 2, Ellie Therrien 2.

     Set Assists: Nicole Odeen 14, Demi Mills 3, Maddie Johnson 2, Kristi Stendahl 1, Alyssa Wallenta 1, Lauren Ehlers 1.

     Service Aces-Errors: Demi Mills 5-4, Nicole Odeen 2-0, Lauren Ehlers 2-2, Faith Winter 1-3, Kennedy Sohler 1-4.

     Digs: Lauren Ehlers 7, Maddie Johnson 6, Demi Mills 4, Nicole Odeen 3, Faith Winter 2, Kennedy Sohler 2, Kristi Stendahl 2, Alyssa Wallenta 2.

                  Blocks-solo: Nicole Odeen 1-1, Faith Winter 1-0, Kennedy Sohler 1-0.




Twin sisters leading Bison

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

   Through nine games, Lauren Boyd leads the Bison girls’ soccer team with five goals. Identical-twin sister, Lexi, leads the team in points with 13.

   While the two think and look alike on the playing field, Lexi says their games are far from similar.

   “Lauren’s more of a defensive player,” she said. “She likes the defensive side of things. I like being on the side of scoring, even though she scores, too.”

   The offense has been much needed, especially with the Bison returning only six total goals from last year’s squad.

   The two made their varsity debuts a year ago as freshmen. Lauren played in 16 games and registered one assist. Lexi played in nine games and tallied one goal.

   Losing key scorers from last year’s squad opened the door for both players to play bigger roles. Lauren responded with a hat trick in Buffalo’s 7-0 season-opening win at St. Cloud Tech. In the same game, Lexi tallied two goals and two assists.

   The offensive production wasn’t a huge surprise to Bison coaches.

   “They play off each other really well, but they also work as hard as anybody on the team,” said Head Coach Sarah Rodenwald. “Watching Lexi score goals last year at the JV level and Lauren play nearly every minute at the varsity level last year gave them both the experience and confidence coming into this season. I think they emerged this year as we all kind of expected them to.”

   Through a 4-5 start, Lexi – a forward, has four goals and five assists. Lauren -- a defender, leads the team with five goals.

   Lauren says their ability to think alike is a key to their offense.

   “We connect really well,” she said. “Making runs and connecting with Lexi through the top is the key to our success. We like to pass through the middle a lot. It can be frustrating at times, but we always pull through for each other.”

   Lauren admits that she doesn’t think offense the way her sister does.

   “Lexi does a lot of good moves, and knows where to place the ball,” Lauren said. “Personally, I’d rather make a great play in the defensive end than the offensive.”

   Monticello was able to shutdown the Boyds and their teammates in a 2-0 win Tuesday night at Bison Field East.

   Scoring for Monticello off a corner kick in the first half was Ally Frickel. Scoring in the second half off another corner kick was Abi Frandsen.

   Buffalo’s Hannah Helmbrecht nearly tied the score early in the second half, but a shot to the right of the net hit the crossbar.

   Tuesday’s loss snapped a mini two-game winning streak, which was extended with a 3-0 home win last Thursday over Big Lake.

   Bison goals came from Lexi Boyd, Jada Habisch, and Mya Holmquist. Buffalo outshot the Hornets 15-2. Carly LaPlant recorded her third shutout of the season.

   Players and coaches credited a larger than normal weekday crowd for pushing them to the limit.

   “We played for 80 minutes on Thursday and played in front of a great crowd,” Rodenwald said.

   “It was super-exciting,” Lexi Boyd said. “We’ve never had that big of a crowd before. For them to do chants and stuff was crazy.”


Buffalo 3, Big Lake 0

(Thursday, Sept. 13 at Buffalo)

Big Lake                        0  0   -  0

Buffalo                          2  1   -  3


First Half: B -- Lexi Boyd (Brooke Bergeron) 20:27; B -- Jada Habisch (Hannah Helmbrecht) 38:40.

Second Half: B -- Mya Holmquist (Lexi Boyd) 57:30.


BL - Taylor Moen (loss) 12 saves; B - Carly LaPlant (win) 2 saves.


Monticello 2, Buffalo 0

(Tuesday, Sept. 18 at Buffalo)

Monticello                      1  1   -  2

Buffalo                          0  0   -  0


First Half: M -- Ally Frickel (Abi Frandsen) 32.46.

Second Half: M -- Frandsen (Kamee Kitzman) 20:22.


M - Lauren Jones (win) 5 saves; B - Carly LaPlant (loss)  saves.



Buffalo boys first at Hutch, Waconia

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

Last Thursday’s Hutchinson Invitational didn’t produce the year’s best times, but the seventh-ranked Buffalo boys’ cross country squad still walked away from Lake Marion with its first invitational title of the season.

With a score of 40, the Bison finished 35 points lower than second-place Prior Lake’s 75.

Buffalo placed three of the top-five runners, and five of the top 17.

Winning his first race of the season was sixth-ranked Isaac Basten, who finished the 5-kilometer race in a time of 16:28.0. Ironically, it was Basten’s slowest time posted this season, but given the field, he didn’t need to stretch his limits.

“Issac had a different plan,” said Coach Dave Knutsen. “He paced the first two miles, and then picked it up in the last mile.”

The Bison were the only team out of 12 ranked among the top-10 in either class. Basten was the only male runner out of 83 total that was also ranked.

Placing second and third overall in 16:45.1 was Nick Oak. Alexei Hensel finished third and fifth overall in 17:12.5. Also scoring were Ryan Russek (17:39.8) and Joey Anderson (17:48.0).

The Bison and Basten both placed first in the same invite a year ago, but scored much higher with 58.

“Last year it was hot, and we talked ourselves out of running to our ability,” Knutsen said. “We were more focused this year. Our effort level was very good.”

While the competition wasn’t at its highest, team wise or individual for the boys, the Hutch meet is always a good one in that 10 other Section 2AA teams also compete.

Finishing a distant third behind Buffalo’s 40 points was Willmar at 110.

“Willmar has been going through injuries this year, but they are still our best competition in the Section,” Knutsen said. “I think they will be tough by the section meet.”


Berg paces girls squad

Unlike the boys field, the girls had much stiffer competition at Saturday’s Hutch Invite.

Sixth-ranked Willmar (44 points) ran past tenth-ranked Marshall (77) as invite champions. Buffalo placed ninth with a score of 215 – Fifty-eight points and two spots lower than last year’s seventh-place showing of 157.

 “There were very good section teams on the girls side,” said Knutsen, who along with coach Jill Hanson are still trying to figure out who belongs on the varsity lineup.

Kaitlin Berg finished as Buffalo’s top runner in two of the three meets this, including Saturday’s race at Lake Marion. Berg’s time of 21:52.2 was still way down from the leaders as she placed 29th overall.

Willmar’s Leah Hansen, ranked No. 10 in Class AA, was medalist with a time of 19:24.1.


Run the Lakes

Buffalo boys’ made it two straight invite wins with a first-place score of 51 at Tuesday’s 13-team Waconia Run the Lakes Invitational at Crown College.

Basten placed second overall in 16:02.74. Chanhassen’s Nicholas Scheller was medalist at 15:51.21. Brett Hanson, Oak, Anderson, and Russek scored for the Bison.

Buffalo girls’ finished fifth out of 13 teams with a score of 154, but dropped times from the Hutch Invite. Host school Waconia won the girls’ race at 60.

O’Malley topped all Bison runners with a 10th-place finish of 20:57.4. Meghan Pierson of Chanhassen was medalist in 19:13.9. Scoring for the Bison were O’Malley, Berg, Ryleigh Stenson, Emma Latcham-Reiter, and Lily Hanson.


Hutchinson Invite (Boys)

(Thursday, Sept. 13 at Lake Marion)

     Team scores: 1. Buffalo 40, 2. Prior Lake 75, 3. Willmar 110, 4. Mankato East 119, 5. Hutchinson 134, 6. Marshall 161, 7. Waseca 183, 8. Chaska 198, 9. Waconia 221, 10. Mankato West 234, 11. New Prague 255, 12. Orono 284.

     Medalist (83 runners): 1. Isaac Basten (Buffalo) 16:28.0.

     Bison places-scoring: 1-1. Isaac Basten 16:28.0; 2-3. Nick Oak 16:45.1; 3-5. Alexei Hensel 17:12.5; 4-14. Ryan Russek 17:39.8; 5-17. Joey Anderson 17:48.0; 6-23. Brett Hanson 18:04.9; 7-36. Andrew Macheel 18:27.8.


Hutchinson Invite (Girls)

(Thursday, Sept. 13 at Lake Marion)

     Team scores: 1. Willmar 44, 2. Marshall 71, 3. Waseca 77, 4. New Prague 126, 5. Prior Lake 134, 6. Mankato West 158, 7. Mankato East 182, 8. Orono 203, 9. Buffalo 215, 10. Waconia 216, 11. Chaska 240, 12. Hutchinson 353.

     Medalist (80 total runners): 1. Leah Hansen (Willmar) 19:24.1.

     Bison places-scoring: 1-29. Kaitlin Berg 21:52.2; 2-31. Alexis O’Malley 21:57.9; 3-48. Emily Kern 22:38.9; 4-49. Ryleigh Stenson 22:42.3; 5-58. Emma Latcham-Reiter 23:20.1; 6-73. Lily Hanson 23:35.7; 7-74. Dani Ruhr 23:40.2.


Waconia Invite (Boys)

(Tuesday, Sept. 18 at Crown College)

     Team scores: 1. Buffalo 51, 2. Mankato East 69, 3. Chanhassen 74, 4. Waconia 126, 5. Belle Plaine 165, 6. Delano 174, 7. Chaska 182, 8. Glencoe-Silver Lake 198, 9. LeSueur-Henderson 257, 10. Watertown-Mayer 279, 11. Rockford 311, 12. Dassel-Cokato 315, 13. Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 316.

     Medalist (88 runners): 1. Nicholas Scheller (Chanhassen) 15:51.21.

     Bison places-scoring: 1-2. Isaac Basten 16:02.74; 2-7. Brett Hanson 16:57.47; 3-11. Nick Oak 17:17.25; 4-15. Joey Anderson 17:30.98; 5-16. Ryan Russek 17:35.36; 6-22. Austin Willey 17:41.61; 7-27. Alexei Hensel 18:08.09.


Waconia Invite (Girls)

(Thursday, Sept. 18 at Crown College)

     Team scores: 1. Waconia 60, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 75, 3. Belle Plaine 107, 4. Chanhassen 154, 5. Buffalo 154, 6. Mankato East 160, 7. Glencoe-Silver Lake 183, 8. LeSueur-Henderson 186, 9. Rockford 202, 10. Delano 229, 11. Dassel-Cokato 254, 12. Chaska 257, 13. Watertwon-Mayer 390.

     Medalist (80 total runners): 1. Meghan Pierson (Chanhassen) 19:13.9.

                  Bison places-scoring: 1-10. Alexis O’Malley 20:57.4; 2-22. Kaitlin Berg 21:22.0; 3-37. Ryleigh Stenson 22:00.2; 4-40. Emma Latcham-Reiter 22:15.5; 5-45. Lily Hanson 22:25.4; 6-53. Dani Ruhr 22:58.2; 7-69. Sarah Volden 23:42.0.



Same teams, same results

Becker edges Buffalo to win Bison Invite; wins over St. Francis, STMA improves conference record to 5-1

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

For the second straight season, Becker, Farmington, and Mound Westonka were guest teams in last Saturday’s Buffalo girls’ tennis invitational.

Like a year ago, it was the same four teams posting the same identical records, with Becker winning their second straight invitational with a 3-0 record. Buffalo finished second at 2-1, Mound Westonka was third at 1-2, and Farmington finished 0-3.

After opening with a 6-1 win over Farmington, the Bison suffered their only loss of the day in a 4-3 showdown with Becker.

Match points were won by Anna Lee and Vanessa Blanchet at one and two singles. Anna Ebnet and Nicole McHenry won their match at three doubles.

Tied 3-3, the deciding match point came down to a third-set tiebreaker between Cassie McNitt and Ohnica Melenich against Becker’s Hannah Bengtson and Megan Nelson. Buffalo took the opening set 7-6 with a 7-5 win in the tiebreaker, but Becker’s duo won 6-4 in set two, and 11-9 in the decisive third-set super-tiebreaker.

The Bison closed out the invite with a 4-3 victory over Mound Westonka. Blanchet, who was the only Buffalo singles player to go 3-0 on the day, won the lone singles point for Buffalo with a 7-5, 6-3 victory in the two hole.

Down 3-1 in match scoring, Buffalo doubles teams rallied to take all three matches to secure the win.

Cassie McNitt and Alaina Lee won the decisive fourth point 7-5, 6-3 in straight sets. The other matchups came down to the wire. McHenry and Grace Murphy dropped their first set 6-4, but won the second set by the identical score. Down 5-2 in the super-tiebreaker set, they rallied for a 10-6 win.

Ebnet and Hillary Hovland won the first set 6-4 at two doubles, but lost the second one 6-4. They trailed 9-5 in the super-tiebreak, but scored six straight points to win their match 11-9.

Head Coach Scott Larsen came into the invite minus one of his top weapons in junior Ella Stevens, who sat the past week nursing a sore shoulder.

“It’s definitely a concern,” said Larsen, following Buffalo’s 6-1 home win last Thursday over St. Francis.

Stevens didn’t play in the St. Francis win, either. The hope is that the soreness will go down with rest, yet he still hopes to utilize her skill in key matches down the stretch.

The injury allowed Larsen to use the invite as an experiment throughout his entire lineup. Kiley Herbst and Alayna Russell each had a shot in the singles lineup, while Grace Murphy teamed for two wins at three doubles with Nicole McHenry.

The Bison improved to 13-5 overall and 5-1 in conference play with a 4-3 road win on Tuesday at St. Michael-Albertville.

The victory spoiled the home debut on the new courts at STMA High School.

“It was a great match,” Larsen said. “We had excellent wins by Anna Lee and two doubles. Vanessa gave us our fourth point.”

Blanchet’s win was her fifth in a row at two singles. She defeated STMA’s Brooke Beck in straight sets.


Buffalo 6, St. Francis 1

(Thursday, Sept. 13 at Buffalo)

     Singles: No. 1 – Anna Lee (B) def. Marlis Green (SF) 6-1, 6-0; No. 2 -- Vanessa Blanchet (B) def. Noelle Meyers (SF) 6-1, 2-6, 6-4; No. 3 -- Emma Carlson (B) def. Jenna Koch (SF) 6-0, 6-2; No. 4 -- Makenna Schadewald (SF) def. Kiley Herbst (B) 6-3, 6-2.

     Doubles: No. 1 – Cassie McNitt & Ohnica Melenich (B) def. Sammy Johnson & Sadie Pennebaker (SF) 6-3, 6-2; No. 2 -- Hillary Hovland & Alaina Lee (B) def. Cheyenne Cox & Grace Thull (SF) 6-2, 6-2; No. 3 -- Anna Ebnet & Perrin Thompson (B) def. Kristen Nathe & Madison Rothbauer (SF) 6-2, 6-2.


Buffalo Invitational

Team records: 1. Becker 3-0, 2. Buffalo 2-1, 3. Mound Westonka 1-2, 4. Farmington 0-4.


Match 1

Buffalo 6, Farmington 1

(Saturday, Sept. 15 at Buffalo)

     Singles: No. 1 – Anna Lee (B) def. Ashley Renwick (F) 6-1, 6-0; No. 2 -- Vanessa Blanchet (B) def. Katie Rowe (F) 6-0, 6-0; No. 3 -- Ohnica Melenich (B) def. Sydney Hubbard (F) 6-3, 6-2; No. 4 -- Kiley Herbst (B) def. Anna Bakke (F) 6-2, 6-2.

     Doubles: No. 1 – Cassie McNitt & Alaina Lee (B) def. Hailey Kamowski & Rose Bauer (F) 6-1, 6-2; No. 2 -- Kailey Felch & Kami Finstad (F) def. Hillary Hovland & Anna Ebnet (B) 6-1, 7-5; No. 3 -- Nicole McHenry & Grace Murphy (B) def. Abbie Clayton & Sophia Stokes (F) 6-0, 2-6, (12-10).


Match 2

Becker 4, Buffalo 3

(Saturday, Sept. 15 at Buffalo)

     Singles: No. 1 – Anna Lee (BU) def. Anna Ritchie (BE) 6-2, 6-0; No. 2 -- Vanessa Blanchet (BU) def. Courtney Nuest (BE) 2-6, 6-2, (10-8); No. 3 -- Julia Bengtson (BE) def. Emma Carlson (BU) 7-5, 6-2; No. 4 -- Maddie Moe (BE) def. Kiley Herbst (BU) 6-2, 6-3.

     Doubles: No. 1 – Hannah Bengtson & Megan Nelson (BE) def. Cassie McNitt & Ohnica Melenich (BU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, (11-9); No. 2 -- Alayna Lindquist & Jackie Yoerg (BE) def. Hillary Hovland & Alaina Lee (BU) 6-3, 6-2; No. 3 -- Nicole McHenry & Anna Ebnet (BU) def. Ally Kangas & Jazlyn Toedter (BE) 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).


Match 3

Buffalo 6, Mound Westonka 1

(Saturday, Sept. 15 at Buffalo)

     Singles: No. 1 – Alex Welty (MW) def. Anna Lee (B) 6-2, 7-5; No. 2 -- Vanessa Blanchet (B) def. Carter Phillips (MW) 7-5, 6-3; No. 3 -- Kate Verlander (MW) def. Ohnica Melenich (B) 7-5, 6-4; No. 4 -- Sara Funderburk (MW) def. Alayna Russell (B) 6-3, 6-2.

     Doubles: No. 1 – Cassie McNitt & Alaina Lee (B) def. Lily Hames & Grace Prchal (MW) 7-5, 6-3; No. 2 -- Hillary Hovland & Anna Ebnet (B) def. Lauren Burris & Grace Peterson (MW) 6-3, 4-6, (11-9); No. 3 -- Nicole McHenry & Grace Murphy (B) def. Kali Wirth & Leandra O’Connell (MW) 4-6, 6-4, (10-6).


Buffalo 4, STMA 3

(Tuesday, Sept. 18 at STMA)

     Singles: No. 1 – Anna Lee (B) def. Emma Thole (STMA) 6-0, 6-1; No. 2 -- Vanessa Blanchet (B) def. Brooke Beck (STMA) 7-6, 7-5; No. 3 -- Meadow LaDuke (STMA) def. Emma Carlson (B) 6-3, 4-6, 7-5; No. 4 -- Ellie Breuer (STMA) def. Kiley Herbst (B) 6-3, 6-2.

                  Doubles: No. 1 – Gabby Olsen & Bella Wardini (STMA) def. Cassie McNitt & Ohnica Melenich (B) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4; No. 2 -- Hillary Hovland & Alaina Lee (B) def. Olivia Flaten & Colette Sinclair (STMA) 6-3, 6-1; No. 3 -- Ella Stevens & Anna Ebnet (B) def. Chloe Dehmer & Hailey Peterson (STMA) 6-3, 6-3.



Coyotes to debut soccer legs

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

The Buffalo Coyotes debuted last season as a first-year Adapted Floor Hockey and Softball co-op program from the schools of Buffalo, Monticello, and St. Michael-Albertville.

The Coyotes return to the field of play for year two in 2018-19, but this fall will mark the inaugural year as an Adapted Soccer team.

Coaching the Coyotes will be Ruth Clarke, who will be assisted this season by Brooke Ziwicki, a teacher in the Monticello school district. Ziwicki replaces former assistant Dave Kaufmann, who took a position in the Cambridge-Isanti school district.

The Coyotes will play 10 regular season games as a member of the CI (Cognititve Impaired) North Division, which also features teams from Columbia Heights/St. Anthony, Minneapolis Edison, Robbinsdale Area, Mounds View, Park Center, Minnetonka/Wayzata, North Suburban, White Bear Lake Area, St. Cloud Area, and Anoka-Hennepin. Park Center is the defending CI Divisionb state champion.

All games are played on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, starting at 4:30 p.m. All teams qualify for the section playoffs, with the top-two teams from each of the four sections advancing the state tournament, which is hosted by Stillwater High School from Nov. 16-18.

Buffalo has 10 members on this year’s roster – six coming from Buffalo High School, which includes: Austin Peterson-Lomker, Justas Emery, Omar Emery, Kyle Kauffman, Lexi Georges, and Nathaniel Westphal. Justine and Brenden Garrity are from Monticello, and Mia Camp and Mackenzie Davis are from STMA.

            The Coyotes first game is Monday, Sept. 24 at Columbia Heights.



Buffalo improves to 3-0

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

The Buffalo girls’ swim/dive team improved to 3-0  in duals with a 101-80 road win Tuesday night at St. Cloud Tech.

The Bison came into the meet having posted decisive wins over Rogers and Princeton.

Head Coach Rachel Busch anticipated the Tech matchup as their toughest meet to date. But like the previous two matchups, it took less than the 12 scheduled events to clinch the win.

First and second-place finishes in the 200-freestyle relay gave Buffalo a 92-48 lead. They secured the win, taking nine of the 16 points in the 100 backstroke. The final two events were run in exhibition.

Buffalo posted first-place finishes in all three relays. Julia Kolles (200 free), Brianna Shroyer (200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke), Tianna Kosek (50 free, 100 free), and Kassy Shroyer (100 fly) posted individual wins.  

Next up is a 6 p.m. road meet on Thursday, Sept. 20 at Monticello.


Buffalo 101, St. Cloud Tech 80

(Tuesday, Sept. 18 at St. Cloud)

     200 Medley Relay (8-4-2): 1. Buffalo (Sydney Polzin, Brianna Shroyer, Kassy Shroyer, Julia Gleason) 1:55.51; 2. St. Cloud Tech (Halen Condon, Claire Heller, Jeeho Sohn, Meredith Matchinsky) 1:56.85; 3. Kolby Schendel, Marna Hanson, Madeline Hill, Elle Kaiser) 2:02.64. (10-4).

     200 Freestyle (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Julia Kolles (B) 2:07.65; 2. Emma Hoffman (SCT) 2:08.62; 3. Zoe Hiers (B) 2:11.06; 4. Kaitlyn Schendel (B) 2:12.12; 5. Arin Staehling (SCT) 2:30.98. (21-9).

     200 Individual Medley (6-4-3-2-1): 1.  Brianna Shroyer (B) 2:21.72; 2. Sydney Polzin (B) 2:27.90; 3. Marna Hanson (B) 2:30.19; 4. Sydney Gustin (SCT) 2:38.12; 5. Alaina Murphy (SCT) 2:41.69. (34-12).

     50 Freestyle (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Tianna Kosek (B) 24.91; 2. Kassy Shroyer (B) 25.79; 3. Jeeho Sohn (SCT) 26.12; 4. Julia Gleason (B) 26.75; 5. Kierstyn Nelson (SCT) 27.48. (46-16).

     1-Meter Dive (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Meredith Matchinsky (SCT) 288.10; 2. Journey Bennett (SCT) 167.95; 3. Kwynn Kalamaha (B) 154.65; 4. Mardi Marek (SCT) 149.70; 5. Alayna Mills (B) 132.85. (50-28).

     100 Butterfly (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Kassy Shroyer (B) 1:00.72; 2. Jeeho Sohn (SCT) 1:03.81; 3. Julia Kolles (B) 1:06.30; 4. Ellie Carik (B) 1:08.88; 5. Kierstyn Nelson (SCT) 1:08.98. (61-33).

     100 Freestyle (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Tianna Kosek (B) 54.11; 2. Haley Condon (SCT) 58.13; 3. Elle Kaiser (B) 59.72; 4. Claire Heller (SCT) 1:00.13; 5. Madeline Hill (B) 1:00.66. (71-39).

     500 Freestyle (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Emma Hoffman (SCT) 5:46.84; 2. Zoe Hiers (B) 5:48.33; 3. Kolby Schendel (B) 5:52.71; 4. Kaitlyn Schendel (B) 5:57.01; 5. Wren Scott-Lumbar (SCT) 7:03.50. (80-46).

     200 Freestyle Relay (8-4-2): 1. Buffalo (Kassy Shroyer, Julia Gleason, Kaitlyn Schendel, Tianna Kosek) 1:45.22; 2. Buffalo (Trinity Geyen, Julia Kolles, Brianna Shroyer, Elle Kaiser) 1:49.50; 3. St. Cloud Tech (Meredith Matchinsky, Kierstyn Nelson, Abby LaLonde, Emma Hoffman) 1:49.86. (92-48).

     100 Backstroke (6-4-3-2-1): 1. Haley Condon (SCT) 1:04.42; 2. Kolby Schendel (B) 1:04.62; 3. Sydney Polzin (B) 1:05.34; 4. Elle Kaiser (B) 1:09.75; 5. Nusha Miltenoff-Mikolchak (SCT) 1:13.73. (101-55).

     100 Breaststroke (6-4-3): 1-EX. Brianna Shroyer (B) 1:11.42; 2. Claire Heller (SCT) 1:14.55; 3. Sydney Gustin (SCT) 1:19.10; 6. Brinna Doom (SCT) 1:22.56. (101-68).  

                  400 Freestyle Relay (8-4): 1-EX. Buffalo (Julia Kolles, Kaitlyn Schendel, Kolby Schendel, Tianna Kosek) 3:52.65; 2. St. Cloud Tech (Jeeho Sohn, Emma Hoffman, Haley Condon, Claire Heller) 3:55.27; 5. St. Cloud Tech (Arin Staehling, Nusha Miltenoff-Mikolchak, Olivia Stadther, Brinna Doom) 4:40.58. (101-80).


BHS Homecoming candidates 


Pictured are the 2018 Buffalo High School Homecoming female candidates that were announced during an assembly on Monday in the main gym. The Royalty will be announced at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 24 in the BHS Performing Arts Center. Pictured (front row, left-right): Kwynn Kalamaha, Audrey Green, Amara Alvarez, Erica O’Borsky; (back row, left-right): Carly Wilfahrt, Emily Kern, Gabby Hernandez, and Sarah Burke. (Photos by Doug Voerding)



Pictured are the 2018 Buffalo High School Homecoming male candidates that were announced during Monday’s assembly. Pictured (front row, left-right): Austin Willey, Grayson Wubben, Tucker MacCallum, Bryce Thompson; (back row, left-right): Treyton Welch, Kolbe Kramer, Tim Siemers, and Jack Munsterteiger.



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