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Journal-Press Internet Sports & School - December 14, 2017
Rob LaPlante

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



Much-needed offense comes versus Jackets

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By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

One goal.

Through the first four games and a 1-3 start, one goal a game is all the offense the Buffalo boys' hockey team has been able to muster.

The latest coming in a 4-1 road defeat last Saturday, Dec. 9 at St. Cloud Tech/Apollo.

Tied 1-1, St. Cloud dominated the final 17 minutes, outshooting Buffalo 19-2 in the third period, but more importantly, outscoring them 3-0.

Junior Nathan Mueller was peppered with 40 shots on goal. Buffalo was held to just 17.

Junior Treyton Welch's first goal of the season gave the Bison an early 1-0 lead. Sophomore Devin Huebner and junior Ryan Nelson assisted on the goal at 8:45 of period one. Nelson's team-leading three assists also leads the team in points.

The teams skated to a 1-1 tie after one period as St. Cloud scored the first of four unanswered goals at 14:24 on a power play off the stick of Josh Bach. The Bison had a golden opportunity just moments after Bach's goal, but failed to convert on a 5-on-3 man advantage for 1:20.

No goals were scored in the second period with St. Cloud holding a 21-15 shot advantage after 34 minutes. Again, Buffalo's power play failed to convert, this time with a 5-minute major on a checking from behind call.

"We need to clean up our power play," said head coach Aaron Johnson. "If we score on the 5-on-3 or the 5-minute major we earned, we change the entire complexion of the game."

Instead, Bach netted his second of the game and eventual game winner just 1:53 into period three. Noah Bissett would later add two insurance goals.

"We made a few mistakes turning over pucks early in the third period and they capitalized. St. Cloud's a very experienced team with 13 seniors. Once they got the lead, they smelled blood and really came after us," Johnson said. "The majority of the game we played hard and smart. Take away a 4-5 minute stretch in the third and we were pretty good."

With a very inexperienced and young team to start the season, Johnson predicted that offense could struggle early.

"I don't think anyone is frustrated. All of our forwards are in roles that they have not played in at the high school level," Johnson said. "Usually you have upperclassmen that can ease the transition and shoulder some of the top line/power-play roles – we don't have that this year. We're doing a lot of good things and I think it just is a matter of time before we see the results." 


Offense comes

Buffalo overpowered a struggling Cambridge-Isanti squad with a 15-3 road win Tuesday, Dec. 12 in Isanti. The Bison outshot the Bluejackets 79-23 for the game.

The Bison led 5-0 after one period, outshooting the Jackets 39-0. The score was 12-1 after two periods. The third period was played under running time.

Sophomore Jake Braccini scored his first career varsity goal and point 1:38 into the first period. He made it 2-0 just five minutes later. Jake finished with three goals and three assists. Sophomore Tyler Braccini recorded his first varsity point with an assist on Jake's second goal. Tyler ended the night with a goal and three helpers.

Jake was one of three Bison to record a hat trick, joining Welch and junior forward Ben Klein.

Other goal scorers included: Nelson, senior Ben Lindvall, senior Tyler Marr, junior Joe McNamara, and sophomore Alex Beckman.

Next up for the Bison is a non-conference battle on Thursday, Dec. 14 against Delano. Game time is 7:15 p.m.


St. Cloud 4, Buffalo 1

(Saturday, Dec. 9 at St. Cloud)

Bison1  0  0  -   1

St. Cloud1  0  3  -   4

First period: B -- Treyton Welch (Devin Huebner, Ryan Nelson) 8:45; SC -- Josh Bach (Casey Hormann, Conner Doucette) 14:24, PP.

Second period: No scoring.

Third period: SC -- Bach 2 (Nick Richert, Luke Johnson) 1:53; SC -- Noah Bissett (Carter Rieland, Brad Amundson) 3:02; SC -- Bissett 2 (Rieland, Tyler Lunderby) 14:36.

Goalies: B – Nathan Mueller (loss) 40 shots, 36 saves; SC – Soren Falloon (win) 17 shots, 16 saves. Shots: B – 6-9-2 – 17; SC – 9-12-19 – 40. Power Plays: B – 0-1; SC – 1-1.


Buffalo 15, Cambridge-Isanti 3

(Tuesday, Dec. 12 at Isanti)

Bison5  7  3  - 15

Bluejackets0  1  2  -   3

First period: B -- Jake Braccini (unassisted) 1:38; B -- J. Braccini 2 (Tyler Braccini) 6:28; B -- Ben Klein (Cal James, Ryan Nelson) 8:19; B -- Treyton Welch (Klein) 15:03, SH; B -- Ben Lindvall (unassisted) 16:24.

Second period: B -- Welch 2 (Klein, Nelson) 1:28; B -- Tyler Marr (Alex Beckman) 2:28; B -- Joe McNamara (J. Braccini, T. Braccini) 8:18; B -- Klein 2 (James, J. Braccini) 10:06, PP; B -- Welch 3 (James) 12:13; B -- T. Braccini (Devin Huebner) 12:28; B -- J. Braccini 3 (Welch)14:48; CI -- Harrison Grandgenett (Derek Becklin) 16:20.

Third period: B -- Klein 3 (T. Braccini, J. Braccini) 2:15, PP; B -- Beckman (unassisted) 8:14; B -- Nelson (Welch) 10:34; CI -- Nathan Schibilla (Luke Miller) 15:35; CI -- Jacob Ziebarth (Easton Parnell, Blake Carlson) 16:53.

Goalies: B – Nathan Mueller (win) 23 shots, 20 saves; CI – Brody Nelson (loss) 79 shots, 64 saves. Shots: B – 39-24-16 – 79; CI – 0-8-15 – 23. Power Plays: B – 2-4; CI – 0-3.



Weekend produces mixed results

Buffalo knocks off defending champs; stumble against Maple Grove

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By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

The Buffalo girls' basketball team had very little time to enjoy its first win of the season.

Just nine months removed from posting a perfect 32-0 record and Class 4A state title, the early season struggles in 2017-18 for defending champion Elk River continued when the visitors from Buffalo earned a 59-51 road win last Friday, Dec. 8.

The loss was the fourth in five games to start this season for an Elks squad that graduated all five starters and return only one varsity regular from last year's squad.

The win was the first in three tries for a Bison team also in transition, only the new look is felt from a new coaching staff.

"Elk River is still a good team. They have great ball movement, they are patient, and by no means was that a game where we thought we would just walk away with a victory," said first-year Bison head coach Grant Stewart. "We knew we had to fight and play well. It wasn't always pretty at times, but they fought through it. That was a huge win for us."

Although Elk River lost the star of last year's team in Gabi Haack, last year's Miss Basketball winner and current freshman guard at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, this year's squad features her younger sister Lydia, a sophomore, who ended the night with 18 points and 10 assists.

Haack's offense wasn't enough as Buffalo turned in one of its best defensive efforts of the season. They held Elk River to just 25 first-half points and led 33-25 at the break. They outscored the Elks 28-26 in the second half.

Bison junior guard Jordan Zrust led all scorers with a season-high 24 points. She also led the way with seven rebounds, six assists and three steals.

Senior Megan Lowell had nine points and 10 rebounds. Junior Reese Wishart had seven points and senior Bailee Larson had six.

Even though the Elks are a totally new-look team from a year ago, Larson says it always feels good to beat the champs.

"They are still a decent team," Larson said. "It felt really nice to finally come together as a team and win a game."

The Bison had less than 17 hours to savior the win prior to suffering a 60-38 home defeat last Saturday afternoon against section-rival Maple Grove. 

The Crimson, who twice have ended Buffalo's season in the opening round of the Section 8-4A playoffs each of the past two years, came out firing.

Three-point buckets in the opening minutes by Autumn Mlinar and Abby Schulte helped build an early 10-3 lead.

Bison senior Sarah Hudson scored all five of her points in the opening few possessions. Her three-pointer and driving layup were Buffalo's opening five points.

Zrust hit back-to-back threes midway through the half to cut the Crimson's lead to 19-14. Coming off her best offensive game the night before, Zrust was held to just 11 points against a Maple Grove team that forced the left-handed guard into a number of double teams and weak side dribbles.

Thanks to some strong defense, Buffalo forced Maple Grove midway through the first half into some forced shots. The Crimson were stuck on 19 for nearly four minutes. Buffalo closed the gap to 23-21 on a Larson three-pointer with five minutes to play in the half.

Crimson forward Katrina Theis started to heat up late in the half. Theis scored 12 of her game-high 16 points in the opening 18 minutes. Maple Grove led 33-25 at the break.

The Crimson amped up their aggressive style more so in the second half. Buffalo's offense struggled through it, and became frustrated when calls were not going their way. The Crimson pulled away going on an 18-8 run to start the half.

"I was very happy with the way we played in the first half. Maple Grove is a good team and they came out shooting well from the perimeter, but our girls never gave up and they kept battling. It could have easily been tied at halftime," Stewart said. "The second half we kind of collapsed and stopped executing. We didn't do the things we needed to do. Those are the things we'll need to work on going forward."

Nobody was blaming officials after the loss, but the game also played out to a similar script a year ago when Maple Grove won last year's playoff game 64-48. Buffalo led early only to have a series of questionable calls go against them to turn the momentum.

"I think not getting the calls we wanted brought us down more than it should have," Larson said. "Overall, our effort was there, but we need to work on our mental toughness and execution. That's kind of been a struggle for us in previous losses. But we've improved a lot since our first game, and I think that says a lot as far as where we're going to go the rest of the season."

"We can't worry about calls," Stewart said. "That happens at times and we have to play through it. They need to let me handle those things and not let it bring them down."

Buffalo (1-3 overall) next competes at home Thursday, Dec. 14 at 7:15 p.m. against another section opponent in Brainerd.

The Bison will be seeking their first home win. They lost earlier games to Wayzata and Moorhead. The string of tough games to open the schedule is something that Stewart says will benefit the team down the road.

"It's a blessing in disguise you could say that we're playing these tough opponents up front, because we see where we need to work on and know what we have to do to get better," he said.


Buffalo 59, Elk River 51

(Friday, Dec. 8 at Elk River)

Bison31  28   -  59

Elks25  26   -  51


Bison (59) -- Jordan Zrust 24; Megan Lowell 9; Reese Wishart 7; Bailee Larson 6; Kiera Johnson 6; Areefa Seepersaud 3; Lauren O'Connell 2; Sarah Hudson 2.

Elks (51) -- Lydia Haack 18; Matia Person 12; Alexa Engebretson 7; Ellie Maass 5; Madison Leuthold 4; Ally Gramstad 3; Johanna Langbehn 2.


Maple Grove 60, Buffalo 38

(Saturday, Dec. 9 at Buffalo)

Crimson33  27   -  60

Bison25  13   -  38


Crimson (60) -- Katrina Theis 16; Autumn Mlinar 12; Abi Schulte 10; Jordyn Lamker 9; Lauryn Moline 4; Rebekah Tyler 3; Ali Hinze 2; Sam Carroll 2; Paige Hinze 2.

Bison (38) -- Jordan Zrust 11; Reese Wishart 7; Bailee Larson 7; Sarah Hudson 5; Megan Lowell 4; Kiera Johnson 2; Areefa Seepersaud 2.



Opening invitational features state's elite

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By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and Wayzata finished 1-3, respectively, in last year's Class AA boys' swim/dive state meet. The same three teams also finished in the same order in last Saturday's nine-team Minnetonka Invitational.

Buffalo was one of nine teams to compete in the invite. The Bison finished sixth with 117 points. The Skippers were the runaway winners with 769.5. Eden Prairie was second at 423 and Wayzata third at 307.5.

"We scored more points than last year, despite having over 20 new athletes on our roster," said Bison head coach Pam Brophy. Buffalo scored 104 points in the same invite a year ago, also resulting in sixth place.

The relay teams registered 54 of the Bison's 117 points last Saturday. All three of Buffalo's A-relay teams posted faster times than last year's opening meet.

Seniors Marco Maffei, Triston Kosek, Parker Kabe, and junior Max Menzemer posted a seventh-place time of 3:29.73 in the 400 freestyle relay. Buffalo's B-relay team of sophomores Troy Giddings, Dakota Malwitz, Nick Oak, and junior Kolbe Kramer scored points in the same event with a 16th place time of 3:49.71.

Kabe, junior Carter Barton, and sophomores Will Bofenkamp and Cael Tuchtenhagen teamed for an eighth-place time of 1:36.37 in the 200 free relay.

Scoring for the 200 medley relay team with a 14th place time of 1:50.04 were Maffei, Barton, Menzemer and Kosek.

Ryan Chev eCoupons"Our relays had great times," Brophy said. "Our top relays are ahead of where we started last season. We also had a number of individuals who set PRs (personal records) in events with significant time drops."

Individually, Kabe posted Buffalo's top scores. He finished eighth in the 200 free (1:53.05) and also placed 14th in 100 breaststroke (1:11.41).

"This was Parker's first 100 breaststroke for us in two years, and a very good time for him," Brophy said.

Barton also scored individually with a ninth-place finish in 200 individual medley (2:13.29), and 11th with a PR time of 59.05 in the 100 butterfly.

Menzemer also enjoyed a big afternoon setting PRs with a 13th place finish in the 200 individual medley (2:16.31), and 12th place finish in the 500 free (5:35.39).

Buffalo's divers also enjoyed success. Sophomore Quincy Kabe, freshman Vance Winter, and eighth-grader Sam Yost accounted for 17 total team points. Kabe, a state diver a year ago, finished 10th with an 11-dive score of 283.40. Winter was 11th (258.05) and Yost 13th (238.45). Yost had missed practice time prior to the meet due to an injury.

"All in all, we are very pleased with how well our kids performed on Saturday," Brophy said. "We are very proud of our hard work and determination demonstrated by our kids, and happy to have the opportunity to compete in this prestigious invitational."

Other teams competing were: Eagan, North St. Paul, Minneapolis South, Forest Lake, and Grand Rapids.

Next up is a much anticipated home dual starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14 against Monticello. Both teams tied 93-93 in last year's meeting. Buffalo has never defeated the Magic.


Minnetonka Invite

(Saturday, Dec. 9 at Minnetonka)

Team scores: 1. Minnetonka 769.5; 2. Eden Prairie 423; 3. Wayzata 307.5; 4. Eagan 291; 5. North St. Paul 222; 6. Buffalo 117; 7. Minneapolis South-Washburn-Roosevelt 90; 8. Forest Lake 79; 9. Grand Rapids 26.

Individual scores (points scored):

200 Medley Relay: 1. Minnetonka (Erik Gessner, John Shelstad, Quinn Yeager, Kai Louie) 1:36.99, (40); 14. Buffalo (Marco Maffei, Carter Barton, Max Menzemer, Triston Kosek) 1:50.04, (6); 19. Buffalo (Will Bofenkamp, Kolbe Kramer, Cael Tuchtenhagen, Troy Giddings) 1:56.85; 23. Buffalo (Dakota Malwitz, Dylan Neska, Noah Christenson, Sam Backes) 2:01.99; 29. Buffalo (David Elsenpeter, Jacob Kugler, Bry Peeler, Jack McDonnell) 2:13.93.

200 Freestyle: 1. Michael Shelstad (Minnetonka) 1:50.24, (20); 8. Parker Kabe (B) 1:53.05, (11); 19. Triston Kosek (B) 2:04.63; 21. Dakota Malwitz (B) 2:07.69; 27. Nick Oak (B) 2:11.45.

200 Individual Medley: 1. John Shelstad (Minnetonka) 1:55.92, (20); 9. Carter Barton (B) 2:13.47, (9); 13. Max Menzemer (B) 2:16.31, (4); 20. Cael Tuchtenhagen (B) 2:23.67; 25. Dylan Neska (B) 2:32.64.

50 Freestyle: 1. Jared Baetzold (North St. Paul) 21.40, (20); 15. Will Bofenkamp (B) 24.81, (2); 19. Andrew Plys (B) 25.42; 24. Sam Backes (B) 26.34; 29. Ty Kosek (B) 28.11.

1-Meter Dive: 1. Jordan Nguyen (Eagan) 404.60; 10. Quincy Kabe (B) 283.40, (7); 11. Vance Winter (B) 258.05, (6); 13. Sam Yost (B) 238.45, (4); 22. Brandon Beschel (B) 113.65.

100 Butterfly: 1. Mitchell Whyte (North St. Paul) 51.25, (20); 11. Carter Barton (B) 59.05, (6); 16. Marco Maffei (B) 1:01.05, (1); 23. Kolbe Kramer (B) 1:09.29; 27. Dylan Neska (B) 1:10.96.

100 Freestyle: 1. Jared Baetzold (North St. Paul) 47.18, (20); 16. Will Bofenkamp (B) 55.13, (1); 24. Levi Pederson (B) 59.63; 27. Sam Backes (B) 1:01.16; 33. Braden Schiro (B) 1:08.78.

500 Freestyle: 1. George Thiss (Minnetonka) 5:01.45, (20); 12. Max Menzemer (B) 5:35.39, (5); 14. Triston Kosek (B) 5:39.12, (3); 17. Troy Giddings (B) 5:49.39; 22. Nick Oak (B) 6:17.09.

200 Freestyle Relay: 1. Minnetonka (Isaac Alberts, Michael Shelstad, George Thiss, John Shelstad) 1:30.28, (40); 8. Buffalo (Carter Barton, Cael Tuchtenhagen, Will Bofenkamp, Parker Kabe) 1:36.37, (22); 26. Buffalo (Ty Kosek, Jack Ireland, Cooper Polzin, Luke Menzemer) 2:02.25; 30. Buffalo (Josh King, Joey Anderson, Austin Willey, Alexei Hensel) 2:19.96.

100 Backstroke: 1. Erik Gessner (Minnetonka) 51.42, (20); 16. Marco Maffei (B) 1:03.09, (1); 17. Cael Tuchtenhagen (B) 1:03.55; 21. Dakota Malwitz (B) 1:07.18; 26. Bry Peeler (B) 1:16.69.

100 Breaststroke: 1. Alex Deng (Eden Prairie) 1:00.31, (20); 14. Parker Kabe (B) 1:11.41, (3); 20. Kolbe Kramer (B) 1:15.55; 27. Jacob Kugler (B) 1:23.12; 28. Troy Giddings (B) 1:23.21.

400 Freestyle Relay: 1. Eden Prairie (Artem Demidov, Alex Deng, Nicholas Tullemans, Soren Dunn) 3:15.34, (40); 7. Buffalo (Marco Maffei, Triston Kosek, Max Menzemer, Parker Kabe) 3:29.73, (24); 16. Buffalo (Troy Giddings, Dakota Malwitz, Nick Oak, Kolbe Kramer) 3:49.71, (2); 19. Buffalo (Noah Christenson, Levi Pederson, Bry Peeler, Andrew Plys) 3:57.84; 29. Buffalo (Kylie Yncierto, Luke Menzemer, Max MacCallum, Braden Schiro) 4:34.47.


Kluver suits up for North stars

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By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

Senior Ryan Kluver became the third straight Bison football player in as many years to play in the annual Minnesota Football Showcase played last Saturday, Dec. 9 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Kluver was invited to the North All-Stars as an offensive lineman. He played both offensive and defensive line this past season for a much improved Bison team that finished 4-5 overall.

The football showcase is reserved for an all-star game for the top senior players in the state. Tyler Johnson made the North squad a year ago as a wide receiver. Adam Treptau made the North squad three seasons ago as a defensive lineman.

Kluver credits head coach Todd Bouman for helping turn the Bison program around.

"Bouman does so much, and a lot of people don't realize it," Kluver said. "We've increasingly been getting better and that's because of his attitude towards winning and his knowledge of the game and how much time and work he puts in off the field. He took a very broken program and is putting it back together piece by piece and I'm really excited to see how the team does in the future."

Team North lost to the South squad 28-14 in last Saturday's matchup. It was the second year that the 45th annual Minnesota Football Coaches Association Tackle Cancer All-Star Football Game was held at U.S. Bank Stadium through teamwork by the Minnesota Football Coaches Association and the Vikings.

Minnetonka linebacker Ty Barron was the South Defensive MVP. Jaylen Newton of Cretin Derham-Hall was the South Offensive MVP. Newton ended with eight catches for 131 yards and two TDs. He also threw a TD pass for 40 yards.

Minneapolis North safety Tayler Johnson was the North Defensive MVP. Otis Weah of Moorhead was the North Offensive MVP.

Kluver also played defensive line in the game and was credited with three tackles (2 solo).

Kluver was joined on the North squad by fellow North Central District North Division players: Zach Gust (fullback) of St. Francis, Ronald Audette (offensive lineman) of Elk River, Eli Solberg (CB/WR) of Rogers, and Conner Knoepfle (QB) Andover. Other area players to play included: Matthew Feldick (OLB) of St. Michael-Albertville, Steven Hajas (LB) Delano, and Alex Toedter (OLB) Maple Lake.

"I found out I made the team last Nov. 3, and I was shocked. I knew that Coach Bouman had nominated me, but I didn't really expect to make it. When I heard the news, I was so speechless," Kluver said. "What excited me most about playing is pretty much the fact that I'm playing with some of the best football players in the state. Not many people get an opportunity like this."

While the all-star game was his last high school football game, Kluver says it will not be his final game played. He currently has offers from Southwest Minnesota State, Winona State, and South Dakota State University.

"There is a lot of football in my future," he said.



Pins lead Bison past Rogers; Scherber open champ

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By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

Buffalo has had trouble in recent seasons defeating Rogers on the gridiron, but get them on the mat, and the results are much more competitive.

The Bison unveiled their new wrestling mat by defeating their Mississippi 8 rivals, 43-21, last Thursday, Dec. 7 in Buffalo.

It marked the third time in the past four meetings the purple and black grapplers have defeated the blue and black. Bison head wrestling coach Ben Presler, who also coaches ninth-grade football, says numbers play a big factor in the success in both sports.

"Rogers is a pretty young team with a bright future. Buffalo knows as well as anybody that getting athletes out to play multiple sports isn't always the easiest," Presler said. "I think a lot of people think good football teams have good wrestling teams, but we have to get those guys out for the sport."

In last Thursday's dual, Rogers had five of its weight classes filled out with varsity football players, but four of their lightweights included middle schoolers.

Bison senior Caleb Drews pinned one of Rogers' multi-sport athletes to record six key points at 170 pounds. It was one of four matches that ended with a Buffalo fall.

"Those pins are huge," Presler said. "With wrestling, that's what you want – you want bonus points. In most matches with 14 matchups, most end 8-6 or 7-7 for wins. It's going to come down to those bonus points. A big thing for us is kids getting pinned or not getting pinned."

Drews was involved in a high-scoring matchup, leading Rogers' Nolan Erickson 12-7, before earning a pin 21 seconds into the third period.

"I was trying to get the fall a few other times in my match," said Drews, who twice earned three-points for near falls. "In the beginning of the match, I really wanted to work on my feet game. I threw a lot of shots and took a lot of shots, but ended up working out at the end."

Also recording wins by fall for Buffalo were freshman Ryan Scherber (113 pounds), sophomore Taavi Larson (126), and senior Jacob Scherber (195). Buffalo led 10-0 early on Ryan Scherber's pin and a 12-0 major decision by freshman John Dahlheimer (106). Other Bison winners included: senior Ben Ruhr (132) by forfeit, senior Ryan Dugan (145) a 5-3 decision, senior Josh Anderson (160) a 5-2 decision, and junior Hunter Hendricks (220) an 8-6 decision.

Not wrestling due to an eye injury was Bison junior Riley Habisch.

The win improved Buffalo's dual record to 3-1 to open the season. Drews says he's a fan of wrestling duals early in the year.

"I think it really gets us into the swing of the season and the atmosphere that comes with it," Drews said. "It prepares us for the mid-season grind with all the matches and tournaments coming up."


Ethan Herman

Buffalo's first open tournament resulted in a sixth-place team finish, one individual champion, four medalists, and six of 10 wrestlers reaching the podium (top-5).

The Bison's 112 points ranked sixth out of 14 participating teams at last Saturday's Ethan Herman Memorial Tournament hosted by the Chaska-Chanhassen Storm Hawks at Chanhassen High School. Owatonna, ranked No. 8 in Class 3A, finished first with 205 points.

Jacob Scherber earned the 182-pound title with pins over Johan Rodvik (home schooled) and Cameron Roberts of Owatonna. Scherber's 14-1 major decision over Maple Grove's Evan Hull came in the title match.

Other Bison medalists included a second-place finish at 152 pounds by eighth-grader Owen Herbst, and third-place wins at 106 pounds by Dahlheimer and 132 pounds by Ruhr.

Ryan Scherber (113) and senior Seamus Filkins (285) each finished fourth. Anderson (160) was sixth. Wrestling, but not placing included Larson (126), Dugan (145), and Hendricks (220). Buffalo wrestled with opens at 120, 138, 170, and 195 pounds. Drews, junior Tommy Samson, and junior Riley Habisch did not wrestle.

Next up for Buffalo is a dual meet at conference rival St. Michael-Albertville on Thursday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. The Knights are ranked No. 3 in Class 3A.


Buffalo 43, Rogers 21

(Thursday, Dec. 7 at Buffalo)

106: John Dahlheimer (B) 12-0 major dec. over Ty Cassidy (R). 4-0.

113: Ryan Scherber (B) fall 2:29 over Ryan Lund (R). 10-0.

120: Sam Essendrup (R) 6-4 dec. over Tommy Samson (B). 10-3.

126: Taavi Larson (B) fall 2:40 over Dylan Jackson (R). 16-3.

132: Ben Ruhr (B) forfeit win. 22-3.

138: Brett Wilson (R) fall 1:15 over Kyle Baloun (B). 22-9.

145: Ryan Dugan (B) 5-3 dec. over Blake Helling (R). 25-9.

152: Jake Born (R) fall 0:56 over Owen Herbst (B). 25-15.

160: Josh Anderson (B) 5-2 dec. over Anthony Lenz (R). 28-15.

170: Caleb Drews (B) fall 4:21 over Nolan Erickson (R). 34-15.

182: Double forfeit. 34-15.

195: Jacob Scherber (B) fall 0:45 over Gavin Eicher (R). 40-15.

220: Hunter Hendricks (B) 9-6 dec. over Jon Krumsieg (R). 43-15.

285: Tommy Anderson (R) fall 1:21 over Seamus Filkins (B). 43-21.


Ethan Herman Memorial

(Saturday, Dec. 9 at Chanhassen)

Team scores: 1. Owatonna 205; 2. Eden Prairie 146; 3. Maple Grove 145; 4. East Ridge 143; 5. Mankato West 129.5; 6. Buffalo 112; 7. Elk River 92.5; 8. Minnetonka 91; 9. Chaska-Chanhassen 85; 10. Osseo 81; 11. Burnsville 41.5; 12. Hopkins 39; 13. Minneapolis Washburn 36.5; 14. Glencoe-Lester Prairie 10.

106: 1. Blake West (Owatonna); 3. John Dahlheimer (Buffalo). Buffalo: Dahlheimer bye; Dahlheimer 9-7 dec. over Tanner Holt (East Ridge); Max Johnson (Maple Grove) 6-5 dec. over Dahlheimer; Dahlheimer 14-8 dec. over Gabe Broullard (Burnsville).

113: 1. Ryder Rogotzke (East Ridge); 4. Ryan Scherber (Buffalo). Buffalo: Scherber bye; Scherber 6-1 dec. over Kanin Hable (Owatonna); Bryce Dagel (Eden Prairie) 3-2 dec. over Scherber; Patrick Lockwood (Washburn) 6-5 dec. over Scherber.

120: 1. Boyd Mumbuwa (Minnetonka). Buffalo: Open.

126: 1. Landon Johnson (Owatonna); DNP (Did Not Place): Taavi Larson (Buffalo). Buffalo: Jordan Scott (Burnsville) 5-3 dec. over Larson; Larson bye; Pedro Velasquez (Chaska-Chan) 13-1 major dec. over Larson.

132: 1. Charlie Pickell (Mankato West). 3. Ben Ruhr (Buffalo). Buffalo: Ruhr bye; Ruhr fall 1:36 over Will Hones (East Ridge); Riley Becker (Owatonna) 12-8 dec. over Ruhr; Ruhr 12-0 major dec. over Ben Greunstein (Eden Prairie).

138: 1. Roman Rogotzke (East Ridge). Buffalo: Open.

145: 1. Josh Block (Mankato West); DNP: Ryan Dugan (Buffalo). Buffalo: Sam Tollison (East Ridge) 9-6 dec. over Dugan; Dugan bye; Adolphus Summerville (Osseo) injury default over Dugan.

152: 1. Brandon Kidd (Elk River); 2. Owen Herbst (Buffalo). Buffalo: Herbst fall 1:51 over Matthew Langford (Chaska-Chan); Herbst 7-0 dec. over Payton Thao (East Ridge); Herbst fall 1:05 over Matt Gerner (Burnsville); Kidd (Elk River) fall 3:33 over Herbst.

160: 1. Peyton Robb (Owatonna); 6. Josh Anderson (Buffalo). Buffalo: Jacob Meissner (Osseo) 7-0 dec. over Anderson; Anderson bye; Anderson fall 2:28 over Maxwell Fuecker (Minnetonka); Anderson 8-3 dec. over Simon Koenigs (Mankato West); Meissner (Osseo) 4-1 dec. over Anderson.

170: 1. Matthew Boyum (Chaska-Chan). Buffalo: Open.

182: 1. Jacob Scherber (Buffalo). Buffalo: Scherber bye; Scherber fall 2:54 over Johan Rodvik (home schooled); Scherber fall 0:36 over Cameron Roberts (Owatonna); Scherber 14-1 major dec. over Evan Hull (Maple Grove).

195: 1. Nicholas Staska (Owatonna). Buffalo: Open.

220: 1. Sam Horn (Eden Prairie); DNP: Hunter Hendricks (Buffalo). Buffalo: Hendricks 6-3 dec. over Aaron Bertsch (Hopkins); Grant Krull (Chaska-Chan) 1-0 dec. over Hundricks; Hendricks bye; Jagger Schack (Osseo) fall 1:59 over Hendricks.

285: 1. James Johnson (Minnetonka); 4. Seamus Filkins (Buffalo). Buffalo: Filkins bye; Filkins fall 4:30 over Jacob Foss (Eden Prairie); James Johnson (Minnetonka) fall 1:14 over Filkins; Seth Hopkins (Elk River) injury default over Filkins.


Big 'D' lifts Bison boys hoops to first win at Moorhead

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By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

For the second straight season, the Buffalo boys' basketball team notched its first win of the year against the Moorhead Spuds.

After a 0-2 start a year ago, the Bison defeated the Spuds 90-89 at home. Buffalo started 0-3 this season, only to defeat Moorhead 74-64 last Friday at Moorhead.

A total of 72 of 74 Buffalo points came from the four starting sophomores. Matt Willert led the way with 22 points. Tony Dahl scored 20. Brandon Maatz had 18 and Aidan Bouman scored 12 to go with eight assists.

Despite the win, the Spuds led 38-35 at halftime.

Bison head coach Josh Ortmann said his team never panicked going into the break.

"We have confident kids who believe in their abilities," he said. "The biggest thing tonight did for us was help us grow and believe in what we're doing defensively."

The Bison held a high-powered Moorhead team to just 26 second-half points.

"They have a bunch of guys that can score and we battled defensively better than we have all year in the second half," Ortmann said.

Fifteen of Willert's 22 points came from the three-point line. Willert was 5-for-10 from beyond the arc.

Seniors Trevor Dalbec and Jake Anderson didn't dent the scoreboard, but again were forces on the defensive end. Junior guard Jack Munsterteiger scored Buffalo's other two points.

Buffalo dropped to 1-4 on the season with a 63-49 road loss on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at Waconia.

Defensively, the 63 points were a season-best for fewest points allowed. Offensively, the 49 points was also a season low.

Dahl led the way with 17.

Next up is the Bison's much anticipated first road game of the season on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 7:15 p.m.


Holiday Hoops

Bison fans, and high school basketball fans in general, are encouraged to pack the gym when they host an upcoming two-day, four-team showcase over holiday break.

The showcase kicks off with a 4 p.m. showdown on Thursday, Dec. 28 with a Stillwater and Monticello matchup. At 6 p.m. or shortly after the conclusion of game one will be Buffalo hosting Pipestone.

It will be the first ever meeting between Buffalo and Pipestone. The Arrows are a Class AA school from Section 3, but have a connection as twin brothers, Todd and Troy Bouman, are assistant coaches on their respective teams – Todd with Buffalo, Troy with Pipestone.

The second day features a 2 p.m. showdown with Pipestone facing Monticello and a 4 p.m. finale with Buffalo taking on Stillwater. Admission gets you in the door for both games for each separate day.  


Buffalo 74, Moorhead 64

(Friday, Dec. 8 at Moorhead)

Bison35  39   -  74

Spuds38  26   -  64


Bison (74) -- Matt Willert 22 (6 rebounds); Tony Dahl 20 (3 assists, 3 steals); Brandon Maatz 18 (5 rebounds); Aidan Bouman 12 (8 assists); Jack Munsterteiger 2; Jake Anderson 0 (4 rebounds, 4 assists).

Spuds (64) -- Maleeck Harden 16 (5 rebounds); Noah Melton 15; Logan Garcia 11; Ethan Hoff 9 (8 rebounds); Ben Nelson 5; Drew Hagen 5; Alend Alemadi 3.


Waconia 63, Buffalo 49

(Tuesday, Dec. 12 at Waconia)

Bison23  26   -  49

Wildcats31  32   -  63


Bison (49) -- Tony Dahl 17; Brandon Maatz 14; Matt Willert 10; Trevor Dalbec 4; Jack Munsterteiger 2; Walker Haight 1; Josh Birkholtz 1.

Wildcats (63) -- Nick Fulford 14; PJ Hayes 12; Ben Hester 11; Charlie Gove 9; Collin Spotts 8; Ryan Biehn 7; Alec Olson 2.



Brains and bars vault Bison past STMA

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By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

Shortly after recording a 138.9 to 128.5 home win last Thursday, Dec. 7 over St. Michael-Albertville, Bison gymnastics head coach Martha Driscoll-Nelson pointed to last year's Section 8AA Team Academic Championship banner.

In the ever-changing sports world where analytics has become a huge factor in success, Driscoll-Nelson is confident her group, which finished a year ago with a collective team GPA of 3.967, will adapt to changes necessary to help increase scoring.

Coming off a home loss to Monticello just two days prior, the Bison corrected some mental mistakes from the first meet that cost them points.

"I don't care what sport it is, if you're smart, you know how to play the game," Driscoll-Nelson said. "That's what they're doing, and that's what they have been doing for years. These kids are competitors and they listen and they go after it."

In particular, Bison senior Amanda Montplaisir was an example of someone making improvements both mentally and physically.

Montplaisir earned the top all-around score against STMA with a 36.375. After falling off the beam against Monticello, Montplaisir stuck her beam routine with a near-perfect 9.525 against the Knights.

"When I fell last Tuesday, I wasn't super upset with it," Montplaisir said. "But being able to stick it all today was really nice."

She also improved her uneven bar routine from an 8.40 against Monticello to a top-score of 8.85 versus the Knights. The increased points on bars from the opening meet was a result of better execution on a few moves, but also correcting a mental mistake.

"Amanda's bar routine the opening meet was one move short. You have to have at least eight moves and she had seven," Driscoll-Nelson said. "She also worked like a dog on getting her Cast Handstand all the way up before she did her Giants."

As a team, Buffalo improved in two days from a 32.00 on bars to a 32.85 – not the highest scores, but a major improvement.

"We totally got beat by Monticello on bars," said Driscoll-Nelson, referring to a 2.40 scoring difference in that event. The Magic won that meet by 1.45 points. "Like any sport, we strategized to see what we could do to score more points.

"When kids take the fitness test in my physical-education class, it's the kids that have the worst weightlifting and the slowest mile that can make the most improvements," she continued. "Where can we make the biggest improvements here? It's where we have the biggest holes, which is there (pointing to the uneven bars)."

With competition in the Mississippi 8 always at a high in gymnastics, a 10-point margin of victory is rare. The biggest discrepancy came in Buffalo's bread-and-butter events. The Bison outscored STMA 35.25 to 32.975 on beam, and 36.175 to 31.95 on floor.

The Bison registered the top-three finishes on floor. Peters scored a 9.525, Montplaisir 9.35, and senior Rachel Haas 8.90. Senior Peyton Retterath was fifth at 8.40.

Peters finished second to Montplaisir on beam with 9.15. Haas was fifth at 8.50. One meet after earning top all-around, Peters was second to Montplaisir with a 36.30. STMA's Peri Dombeck was third in all-around at 32.975.

Bison junior Samantha Poeschl earned top-combination score of 32.60. She finished first in junior varsity vault (8.40) and JV floor (8.25). She was fourth on varsity bars (7.85) and seventh on varsity beam (8.10).

Buffalo's junior varsity squad, which features new gymnasts; freshman Kailey Bomstad, seventh-graders Tori Nelson, and seventh-grader MacKenzie Wahl helped the JV squad score 110.30 points. STMA's JV squad scored 111.75.

"Hopefully, within the next week or two we will start seeing some of the new girls move up to the varsity ranks," Montplaisir said.


Buffalo 138.90

St. Michael-Albertville 128.50

(Thursday, Dec. 7 at Buffalo)

Vault: 1. Madi Peters (B) 9.125; 2. Amanda Montplaisir (B) 8.650; 3. Sam Twardy (B) 8.500; 4. Molly Davison (B) 8.375; 5. Peri Dombeck (STMA) 8.350; 6. Peyton Retterath (B) 8.350; 7. Sydney Chervenak (STMA) 8.200; 8. Rachel Haas (B) 8.125; 9. Regan Miller (STMA) 8.075; 10. Maria Flores-Marquez (STMA) 8.000. Totals: Buffalo 34.625, STMA 33.000.

Uneven Bars: 1. Amanda Montplaisir (B) 8.850; 2. Madi Peters (B) 8.500; 3. Molly Davison (STMA) 8.000; 4. Samantha Poeschl (B) 7.850; 5. Ella Herbst (STMA) 7.700; 6. Sam Twardy (B) 7.650; 7. Peri Dombeck (STMA) 7.600; 8. Rachel Haas (B) 7.325; 9. Regan Miller (STMA) 7.275; 10. Sydney Chervenak (STMA) 6.650. Totals: Buffalo 32.850, STMA 30.575.

Balance Beam: 1. Amanda Montplaisir (B) 9.525; 2. Madi Peters (B) 9.150; T3. Sydney Chervenak (STMA) 8.525; T3. Peri Dombeck (STMA) 8.525; 5. Rachel Haas (B) 8.475; 6. Molly Davison (STMA) 8.300; 7. Sam Poeschl (B) 8.100; 8. Maria Flores-Marquez (STMA) 7.625; 9. Sam Twardy (B) 7.450; 10. Regan Miller (STMA) 7.025. Totals: Buffalo 35.250, STMA 32.975.

Floor Exercise: 1. Madi Peters (B) 9.525; 2. Amanda Montplaisir (B) 9.350; 3. Rachel Haas (B) 8.900; 4. Peri Dombeck (STMA) 8.500; 5. Peyton Retterath (B) 8.400; T6. Sam Twardy (B) 8.250; T6. Molly Davison (STMA) 8.250; 8. Sydney Chervenak (STMA) 7.800; 9. Abby Johnson (STMA) 7.400; 10. Maria Flores-Marquez (STMA) 7.175.

All-Around: 1. Amanda Montplaisir (B) 36.375; 2. Madi Peters (B) 36.300; 3. Peri Dombeck (STMA) 32.975; 4. Molly Davison (STMA) 32.925; 5. Rachel Haas (B) 32.825; 6. Sam Twardy (B) 31.850; 7. Sydney Chervenak (STMA) 31.175.



Sohler helps slams door on Dodge County

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Buffalo drops key section games to Roseau, NWC

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

One streak came to an end, but a new one started for Bison sophomore forward Jada Habisch.

A string of seven straight games of scoring a goal ended in a 7-0 home loss the Buffalo girls' hockey team suffered last Friday, Dec. 8 against Roseau.

The Rams, ranked No. 17 in Class AA, visited the Civic Center for the first time since Buffalo joined Section 8AA at the start of the 2013-14 season.

Buffalo and Roseau have met in the section playoffs three times since then with Roseau holding a 2-1 edge in wins.

One would have guessed by the play on the ice that it was the home team rather than the visitors that traveled over 300 miles and five-and-a-half hours for last Friday's contest.

Roseau outshot Buffalo 15-4 in period one and took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission. Kayla Santl scored the Rams' second and third goals that period, and opened period two scoring two more. Santl ended the night with four goals.

Brooke Zagone and Mariah Huglen added third-period tallies. Buffalo junior goalie Kennedy Sohler was pulled after Roseau's seventh goal. Sophomore Jadyn Mealman made her season debut and stopped all three shots fired her way.

Sohler has been busy all year, facing an average of 30 shots per game through 10 starts. The heavy workload is something she says she thrives on.

"Not really," said Sohler, when asked if she's becoming fatigued. "I like how the season's going so far. It's hard, since we're all young. But we've all been playing with each other since we have been 10. We all know each other so it's easy to be around each other."

Knowing another home game was scheduled the following day against Dodge County, Bison head coach Mark Nordvall began strategizing for the Wildcats during the Roseau game.

"We played scared in the first period Friday night," Nordvall said. "So I told the girls that we were going to use the third period Friday night to say this is how we would prepare for Saturday's game."

Not happy with his team's approach, Nordvall still gave credit where credit was due in a 7-0 blowout.

"You couldn't tell Roseau's first line from their third – they are just tenacious – by far the best team we've seen," Nordvall said. "Kennedy made some stellar saves, but there is just a lot of talent on that team. We have played good teams that have a few marquee players, but you couldn't tell the difference from a third-line center to a first-line wing with Roseau."

Buffalo's focus and execution was much better in a 2-0 home win in Saturday's game against Dodge County, a Class-A school that previously owned a four-game winning streak over the Bison.

After going scoreless for only the second time this season, Habisch scored both goals, her 14th and 15th tallies of the year. She opened the scoring 4:45 into period one. The score remained 1-0 until her second goal at 7:33 of period three.

Both goals came on breakaways, and both coming on her backhand.

"We gained some of our confidence back with this win, and Kennedy getting that shutout is awesome," Habisch said.

Habisch credited good play from their own end for setting her up on both goals. The first goal was unassisted, but junior forward Emma Carlson won a puck a battle along the boards forcing a Wildcat turnover and a Habisch breakaway. Junior Hailey Strenge's assist from center ice led to Habisch's second goal.

"I couldn't have done this without my teammates," Habisch said. "They are always feeding me the puck and supporting me throughout the whole season so far."

Buffalo was outshot 30-19 for the game, but most of the shots Sohler faced were not of the grade-A variety.

"I think the defense did well, especially with AJ (freshman Allisen Carothers) not being there," Sohler said.

In an attempt to create more offense, Carothers was moved for the first time in her career from defense to center. While she didn't score, Nordvall was impressed.

"We've kind of been in a rut here, so we changed it up," Nordvall said. "We put AJ up front to add some offense, because we've had trouble scoring. We'll see what happens going forward."

While the shots were not as difficult as the night before against Roseau, the emergence of his starting goalie has been one of the biggest positives this season.

"Kennedy's been the biggest-brightest surprise of the year," Nordvall said. "She's really stood out and she's got confidence. When you have confidence, it's easier to play better."


Challenge Cup

Five unanswered goals in period three broke a 2-2 tie and gave North Wright County a 7-2 home win over Buffalo on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at the Moose Sherritt Arena in Monticello.

 The victory resulted in the Riverhawks retaining the Wright County Cup traveling trophy in the annual Challenge Cup series between the two teams.

NWC's win evened the all-time series at 12 wins apiece.

After a scoreless first period, Bison junior Erica O'Borsky's sixth goal of the season gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead. NWC answered with two goals over a 1:59 span, but Habisch's 16th goal tied it 2-2 after two.

Two goals each by Chloe Finnerty and MacKenzie Bourgerie, and one by Heather Biehl accounted for NWC's five-goal third period.

Next up for Buffalo (4-7-0 overall, 2-3 conference) is a 7 p.m. road game on Friday, Dec. 15 at Chisago Lakes.


Roseau 7, Buffalo 0

(Friday, Dec. 8 at Buffalo)

Rams3  2  2  -   7

Bison0  0  0  -   0

First period: R -- Ella Helgeson (unassisted) 2:58; R -- Kayla Santl (Reese Strand) 11:22; R -- Santl 2 (unassisted) 16:42.

Second period: R -- Santl 3 (Anika Stoskopf) 4:34; R -- Santl 4 (Lindsey Kallis, Stoskopf) 11:40, PP.

Third period: R -- Mariah Huglen (Gina Wensloff) 7:06; R -- Brooke Zagone (Ellie Hedlund, Maggie Crosson) 12:00.

Goalies: R – Kiana Flaig (win) 15 shots, 15 saves; B – Kennedy Sohler (win) 32 shots, 25 saves; Jadyn Mealman 3 shots, 3 saves. Shots: R – 15-11-9 – 35; B – 4-7-4 – 15. Power Plays: R – 1-1; B – 0-2.


Buffalo 2, Dodge County 0

(Satudary, Dec. 9 at Buffalo)

Wildcats0  0  0  -   0

Bison1  0  1  -   2

First period: B -- Jada Habisch (unassisted) 4:45.

Second period: No scoring.

Third period: B -- Habisch 2 (Hailey Strenge) 7:33.

Goalies: DC – Annabel Smith (loss) 19 shots, 17 saves; B – Kennedy Sohler (win) 30 shots, 30 saves. Shots: DC – 13-6-11 – 30; B – 6-8-5 – 19. Power Plays: DC – 0-2; B – 0-2.


North Wright County 7

Buffalo 2

(Tuesday, Dec. 12 at Monticello)

Bison0  2  0  -   2

Riverhawks0  2  5  -   7

First period: No scoring.

Second period: B -- Erica O'Borsky (Sadie Driver) 8:27, PP; NWC -- Brinna Martin (Heather Biehl, Brooke Johnson) 9:01; NWC -- Johnson (Payton Allen) 11:00; B -- Jada Habisch (unasisted) 15:28.

Third period: NWC -- Chloe Finnerty (Martin, MacKenzie Bourgerie) 2:37; NWC -- Finnerty 2 (Bourgerie) 7:21; NWC -- Biehl (Megan Sullivan) 8:43; Bourgerie (unassisted) 13:54; NWC -- Bourgerie 2 (Finnerty, Sullivan) 16:36, PP.

Goalies: B – Kennedy Sohler (loss) 36 shots, 29 saves; Jadyn Mealman 1 shot, 1 save; NWC – Anna LaRose (win) 25 shots, 23 saves. Shots: B – 7-6-12 – 25; NWC – 9-12-16 – 37. Power Plays: B – 1-4; NWC – 1-4.


Buffalo FFA Corn Drive growing large numbers

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Buffalo FFA members present a check for $2,018 to True Friends Organization from the annual FFA Corn Drive held last month. The funds will be used to help sponsor local campers. Pictured above is the team who raised the most money and corn donations (left-right): Kathryn Miller, Jon Miller, Breanna Freund, and True Friends Representative Brooke Jensen. (Submitted photos)




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