Bentson: Taking in college games featuring local athletes

Bill Bentson

As you probably know by now, one of my favorite stops when I drive back to the southeast part of the state (or Pillager, or St. Michael), is the McDonald’s (you’re welcome for the plug) in Detroit Lakes. I always take a survey, no matter how unscientific it may be: who is your favorite Viking? The #1 response has always been the same, Adam Thielen. And most of the time, the response has always been 100 percent, AT.

Most of the time I get my order to-go. But a couple weeks ago I had a little more time, so I got it “for here,” meaning, I was going to sit down and eat it in the restaurant. I also usually like something to read. As I approached the newspaper rack, I saw a familiar face on one of the papers, “Old Times-Vintage, Collectible and Antique Treasures” Donald-Brian Johnson. Yes, Chatfield’s Donald-Brian Johnson! He had an article, and pictures; Lovin’ Lladro, porcelain perfection for the holidays. Design trends of the mid-20th century. The article, with the pictures, covered about eight pages. Congratulations, Mr. Johnson, nice work.

My travels the past couple of weeks have included a couple college games, men/women double-headers at UM-Crookston and Concordia (Moorhead).

I go up to watch the teams at UM-Crookston because I’ve known Mike Roysland (women’s coach), and his assistant, Nate Mahlen (Fosston), for many years and the guys’ team has an excellent, and exciting, player in Harrison Cleary. This particular game, UMC is playing Moorhead State (now Minnesota State University, Moorhead, MSUM).

Moorhead has a couple of players that I am familiar with, notably because I saw them play during their high school careers. Most of you are probably not familiar with Mariah McKeever. She played for Ada-Borup West and had a great career for the Lady Cougars. She is a reserve for the Lady Dragons and saw limited action in this game.

The other player, that all basketball fans in southeast Minnesota would know, is Megan Hintz. Megan was a super-star at Dover-Eyota and has the same notoriety at Moorhead State. At halftime of the women’s game, I ventured into the MSUM “fan-base” to see if mom and dad were in attendance. And they were. Tom and Lori had also made the trip to Bemidji State the day before for that game, too. We visited for a few minutes and then talked some more after the game.

While we were visiting after the game, another lady, Traci Green, overheard some of our conversation, namely that I had been at Fillmore Central, and Preston-Fountain. Come to find out, she graduated from Preston-Fountain in 1986, and was the daughter of the principal, Russ Haeffner. I’m sure that many of you remember Traci and her dad. Small world, isn’t it?

By the way, Hintz had a great game in their 95-59 win; 17 points, shooting eight for 11 from the field and 1/2 from the free throw line, along with seven rebounds. She leads the team in scoring, over 15 points per game, and rebounds, 7.5/game. MSUM was just a half game behind UM-Duluth in the north division of the NSIC.

On January 22, I went down to Concordia (Moorhead), to watch the Cobbers take on St. John’s (men) and St. Benedict’s (women).

So why am I going to a Concordia versus St. John’s/St. Ben’s game? Well, I happen to know Jerry Fogarty, longtime assistant coach for the Johnnies (20 seasons) and one of the St. John’s players, Kyle Sorenson (Caledonia). And besides, I kinda like basketball.

I think Jerry spent some time at Rochester Lourdes, back in the day. And Sorenson, he was a star at Caledonia. I had a great visit with Mr. Fogarty before the game. We also get together at the state tournament, Sweet 16, and other summer-time tournaments.

Sorenson had a pretty good game, scoring seven points on 3/6 shooting, 1/2 from three-point range. Based on the stats given in the game program, Sorenson probably had as much time in this game, as he’s had in all the previous “Johnny” games. Way to show your stuff, Kyle! He also appears to be a motivational leader for the team, too.

Interestingly, all 16 players listed on the St. John’s roster are from Minnesota. Small towns are well represented on the roster, too: St. Joseph, Geneva, Gaylord, Dundas, Caledonia and Elko. Add to that, from the Concordia men’s roster: Proctor, Lake Park, Milan, Hermantown, Perham, Morris, Turtle River, Starbuck and Hayti, S. Dak.

The Concordia women’s team also has a player from Ada-Borup, Elizabeth Birkemeyer. Elizabeth is a starter for the Lady Cobbers and is a very instrumental player on the team.

And just to throw in a few more small towns from the women’s squads: St. Martin, Argyle, Canby, Euclid, Swanville, Ortonville and Lamberton. I love small towns, can you tell?

I also got to hook up with Jason Montonye (Graceville). Montonye is the compliance director at Concordia, and also on the football staff. I had both of his parents, Barb (Stueve) and Tom, as students when I was principal out at Graceville. Montonye played football for Moorhead State and had some tryouts with some NFL teams. A never stop kind of player, just like mom and dad, and sister, Mollie.

I also want to thank the administrative personnel at both UM-Crookston (didn’t get a name). I also met the radio broadcaster from WDAY (Larry Knutson), who covers the Concordia games. It seems like old-home week at every ballgame, which creates some great memories. Lots of fun. Hope you didn’t get too bored?

Have you noticed that many of the advertisements, on TV and in the newspaper, are promoting multiple purchases like “two-for-$6” and “four-for-$4?” It’s a proven fact, that people are willing to pay more, if the particular product is bundled, rather than a single-item-purchase.

I wrote a paper for an econ-class when I was in college at General Beadle. The store manager would display a product at the front of the store and advertise it as three-for-$1. If you went to the shelf where this product is normally stored, it would show that each item was marked 32 cents, or even 33 cents. In either case, you would save money if you bought three of the single item, rather than from the display showing a multiple number of the item for a certain amount. It’s just a marketing phenomenon that consumers would rather buy in bunches that in single items, even if they’re paying more in the bunch purchase. Check it out, next time you go to the store, and see if your store is trying to rip you off.


2019-20 Three Rivers Conference GBB standings

through Tuesday, Jan. 21

East division         TRC         All     vs W

Cotter                       9-1      16-3        4-1

Fillmore Central       6-3      11-5        2-2

Lewiston-Altura      3-6      4-11        1-3

Caledonia                 3-7      5-12        1-4

La Crescent-Hok.    2-7      4-11        0-4

Rushford-Pet.         0-10      2-14        0-5


West division                                    vs E

Dover-Eyota              8-1      13-3      4-1

PEM                           7-2        8-8      5-0

Southland                   6-3      10-5      3-2

St. Charles                  5-5      8-10      4-2

Chatfield                    3-7      7-10      3-3



2019-20 Southeast Conference GBB standing

through Wednesday, Jan. 22

East division            SEC    reg. s

Houston                      7-0      11-4

Mabel-Canton            5-4      7-10

Lanesboro                  5-4      6-10

Schaeffer Acad.        3-7      4-14

Spring Grove             1-7      3-14

West division

Kingsland                   8-0      11-7

Grand Meadow         7-2      10-6

Randolph                    5-4      6-10

Lyle/Pacelli                3-7      4-13

LeRoy-Ostrander      0-9      0-14


2019-20 Southeast Conference BBB standings

through Wednesday, Jan. 22

East division

Schaeffer Acad.        8-1      13-2

Houston                      7-2      10-7

Spring Grove             5-4        7-8

Lanesboro                  2-8      5-10

Mabel-Canton            1-9      2-12

West division

Randolph                    8-1      11-5

Grand Meadow         7-2      11-4

Lyle/Pacelli                8-3      11-4

LeRoy-Ostrander      5-6        7-9

Kingsland                   3-7      5-11

Glenville-Emm.       0-11      1-14


2019-20 Three Rivers Conference BBB standings and schedule

through Tuesday, Jan. 21

East division         TRC    reg. s     vs W

Caledonia                 8-0      14-0        5-0

La Crescent-Hok.    7-0      10-3        4-0

Lewiston-Altura      5-3      13-3        4-1

Rushford-Pet.           2-6        7-8        1-4

Fillmore Central       1-6      3-10        0-4

Cotter                       0-8      1-14        0-5


West division                                    vs E

St. Charles                  5-2        8-6      4-1

Dover-Eyota              4-3        6-8      1-3

PEM                           4-4        8-5      2-3

Southland                   4-3        7-5      2-2

Wabasha-Kell.          3-4        8-6      3-2

Chatfield                    2-6      3-10      2-3



That’s going to do it for another week. Check out our High School Basketball Hall of Fame for the latest class, for the latest scores and QRF rankings. If you ever want the latest Top 20, compiled by the Minnesota Basketball News, I have it. Just give me a jingle.

Hey to the Great 8 (congrats, Kiel on the new job), my Fab 4, my darling wife, Carol, Dave and you guys; you’re all The Greatest. Hasta luego, my friends. Have a great week, one day at a time. WEB