Bill Bentson: Sweet 16 basketball tournaments provide great competition

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Bill Bentson
Wheelin' with WEB

How are you handling the “hands-free” law? Successfully, I hope. At the end of July, our local papers had a real good article on the law: “A primer on Minnesota’s new hands-free law that takes effect next week.” We’re a week (plus) into the new law. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, it would be worth your while to find one of the late July papers and check it out.

I’m in double-trouble with my phone. Not only don’t I have “hands-free” capabilities, I’m also in the “2G” category with my reception/power/“whatever.” The house we moved into up in Halstad has the worst cell phone reception ever. So bad, we had to get a land-line so the kids could get in touch with us at the house. It could be worse though. Remember having to “crank” the phone to get the operator and then worry about people listening in on the “party line?” I still remember our first number out in Browns Valley: 164R. The good ol’ days, right?

I checked out the Western Days supplement in the Chatfield News. I remember my parade days and car show days on the radio fondly. I would imagine the anxiety level is pretty high in Chatfield, especially if the sidewalks and roads aren’t done. And I’m guessing they are still working on them.

We had a seafood boil at Cori’s this past weekend, so maybe I got to the parade and got to walk around the park a little bit. I’ll always consider Chatfield a fine stop in my life.

Congratulations to Terry and Karen Huckstadt on their honorary grand marshal status. They are great choices! Also, congratulations to Holly Eisenman, grand marshal, for the parade.

Also, it’s nice to see that Pam Bluhm and Randy Bidsler are still involved. They do an excellent job and have done-so now for many years. And Gary and Troy are still ‘revving’ up the old cars for the Western Days Car Show on Sunday.

It looked like there were going to be a lot of great activities, as usual, so hope you all got involved. I’m sure there were several class reunions, too.

Sweet 16 tournaments

The annual Sweet 16 basketball tournament was held last weekend up at St. Benedict’s College in St. Joseph. There were some pretty good games and the talent level of Minnesota high school basketball is still high.

Here are all the results, through 15th and16th place.

Boys (record is in parenthesis): Championship (first and second place): Cretin-Derham Hall (4-0) 78, Park Center (3-1) 76. Third and fourth: Mankato East (3-1) 70, Waseca (2-2) 62. Fifth and sixth: Caledonia (3-1) 79, Eastview (2-2) 59. Seventh and eighth: Hopkins (2-2), Minneapolis North (1-3), won by forfeit.

Boys consolation bracket: Championship: Bemidji (3-1) 79, Mahtomedi (2-2) 48. Third and fourth (consolation): Henning (2-2) 71, Sartell-St. Stephen (1-3) 65. Fifth and sixth (consolation): Lake City (2-2) 60, Hayfield (1-3) 57. Seventh place and eighth (consolation): Minneota (1-3) 84, New Ulm Cathedral (0-4) 61.

Girls (record in parenthesis): The gals only had 12 teams, so they were put in three-team pools and determined a first, second and third place. The top team in each pool was in Division I, second best team in DII and third best in DIII. West pool: Hopkins (2-0), Minnehaha Academy (1-1) and Red Lake (0-2). North pool: Lakeville North (2-0), Fergus Falls (1-1) and Mankato East (0-2). South pool: Wayzata (2-0), Waconia (1-1) and Hawley (0-2). East pool: Austin (2-0), Stillwater (1-1) and Proctor (0-2).

Hopkins (4-0) beat Wayzata (3-1), 79-65, for the championship in DI and Lakeville North (3-1) downed Austin (2-2), 70-56, for third place in Division I. Stillwater (3-1) won the DII with a 84-70 win over Waconia (2-2). Fergus Falls (2-2) got third with a 52-31 win over Minnehaha Academy (1-3). In the Division III bracket, Hawley (2-2) won it, 52-46, over Proctor (1-3) and Mankato East (1-3) downed Red Lake (0-4), 65-60.

Paige Bueckers, UConn commit from Hopkins, played in the Sweet 16 games and looked really, really good. It is really going to be fun watching her this year, and next year on television for the Lady Huskies.

Legion, Division I

Excelsior beat Edina, 3-1, for the Division 1 state championship and played in the Central Plains regional tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D., this past weekend. Edina also went to the DI regional tournament as Minnesota’s number-two team. Edina beat Woodbury Blue, 13-9, to get the number-two spot. So Woodbury Blue was number-three. Buffalo was fourth. Also making it to the “Final Six” were Tri-City Red and New Ulm Gold.

Austin, representing the southeast sub-state lost to Tri-City Red, 1-0, and to Minneapolis SW Lakers, 2-1.

Tri-City’s John Solfest won the Fred Wannamaker trophy as the tournament MVP. Ham Lake won the Father Moran Sportsmanship Award.

The Central Plains (Region 6) tournament pairings, which played this past weekend, were as follows: Dubuque, Iowa (Post 137) vs. Appleton, Wis. (Post 38); Oshkosh, Wis. (Post 70) vs. Renner, S.D. (Post 307); Excelsior, Minn. (Post 259) vs. Fargo, N.D. (Post 2); and Edina, Minn. vs. Sioux Falls, S.D. (Post 15). It is a double-elimination tournament, running Aug. 7-11.

The winner of the Region 6 tournament (Central Plains) will move on to the National Legion World Series in Shelby, N.C. That tournament starts on Aug. 15. I believe some of the tournament in Shelby is on ESPN.

I thought it rather interesting that they had the two Minnesota teams in the same half of the bracket, and the two Wisconsin teams in the same half, but not the two South Dakota teams, one of which didn’t even have to qualify for the tournament, because Sioux Falls was the host city. I guess politics is involved in every aspect of our lives, even Legion baseball.

Legion, Division II

Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (DGF) won the Division II state tournament, played up in Ely last weekend. DGF beat Plato, 2-1, in the championship game. Caledonia took third with a 6-1 win over Wadena. Caledonia beat Luverne, 5-3, in the first round and then lost to DGF, 4-3, in the semi-finals. BOLD won the consolation championship with an 11-5 win over Luverne and Breckenridge beat Ely, 7-1, for seventh place.

Division II Central Plains Tournament

In Division II, we are the only region with a tournament, beyond the state. This year’s tournament was in Waupun, Wis.

There are six teams at the tournament: Plato, Minn., (16-4); Kindred, N.D., (24-16-2); Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, Minn., (28-4); New London, Wis., (23-9); Neenah St. Mary’s, Wis., (17-8); and Waupun, Wis., (26-2). DGF is the Minnesota winner and Plato is the runner-up. Waupun is the host city.

They started play on Thursday, Aug. 8, and will play through Sunday, Aug. 11. There are four games each day, Thursday-Saturday, and three games on Sunday. They are playing a complete round-robin, with each team getting five games; one against each of the other teams. Best record is the champion. I’m sure the tie-breaker is head-to-head competition.

That’s a lot of baseball. Jerry Raddatz has to be in baseball heaven, because you can bet your bottom dollar that he is there. Jerry is also a big fan of “Pirates on the Prairie” (all about the 1952 third-place basketball team and state baseball champions from Halstad).

Junior Legion tournaments

The Division I Junior Legion tournament is already done. Hopkins beat Excelsior for the championship, 11-10. Excelsior forced an “if necessary” game with a 7-2 win, then Hopkins won the “defensive” battle for the championship.

New Ulm was third and Eden Prairie took fourth.

The Division II tournament was played this past weekend in St. Charles. First round match-ups included La Crescent vs. Sacred Heart/MACCRAY, Holy Family vs. Aitkin, Morris vs. Esko and Luverne vs. St. Charles. La Crescent and St. Charles (host team) represented the southeast part of the state. Hope you had a chance to check out those games. The championship, third place and consolation championship games were all on Sunday.

Didn’t have room this week, but gear yourself up for my annual soap box rant on section football in next weeks “weekly Reader.”

That’s a wrap for this week. Hope everyone enjoyed their trip down memory lane at the annual Western Days celebration.

Hey to the Great 8, my Fab 4, my lovely wife, Carol, Melissa and you, the greatest “Readers” in the world. I’ve been working diligently on upgrading my website and starting to put the pieces together on what I want to cover and include for information. If you’ve got any suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. Have a great week, one day at a time. Hasta luego, my friends.

Fall sports are coming soon. Save me a spot next to you for the games. WEB