The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports Columns

December 26, 2012

Rueda: Holidays a good time for prep tournaments

AMBOY — It’s tournament time in southern Minnesota and we’re not talking section playoffs or state championships.

It’s holiday tournament time and a large number of area teams will be bouncing basketballs or skating across ice and multiple venues.

The showcase event in Mankato is the Pepsi Holiday Boys Basketball Tournament hosted by Bethany Lutheran College. Mankato Loyola will compete in that one, which begins at 6 p.m. today.

The Crusaders will take on pre-tournament favorite Maple River in the first round (6 p.m., Younge Gym). The eight-team tourney continues Friday and concludes with the 8:30 p.m. championship game on Saturday.

The Mankato East boys began play in the Marshall Fastbreak Club Holiday Tournament Wednesday. The six-team competition ends Friday.

The Mankato West boys will participate in the Worthington Daily Globe Holiday Tournament beginning at 6 p.m. today. The three-day, four-team competition includes Perham, Worthington and Sibley East.

Other area boys basketball tourneys include The Federated Insurance Tournament in Owatonna, the St. James Area Holiday Tournament and the Mountain Lake Area Tournament, the Windom Holiday Classic and the St. Peter Holiday Tournament. St. Peter’s event is a two-day, four-team tournament being hosted by the third-ranked Class AA team in the state.

On the girls side, St. Clair is hosting its annual eight-team event. Minnesota Valley Lutheran, ranked in the Top 10 in the state in Class A, is the favorite. The competition runs today through Saturday.

The Mountain Lake Area and St. James Area tournaments also begin today. St. Peter hosts a two-day competition beginning Friday.

Windom’s Holiday Classic and the Norwood Young America Tournament will be held Friday and Saturday. The Mankato East and Mankato West girls teams are not involved in tournaments over the break.

The Mankato East boys hockey team began play in the River Lake Holiday Tournament in Paynesville on Wednesday. The eight-team competition culminates with the championship game at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The Mankato West boys hockey team is at the Marshall Hilltopper Holiday Classic in Duluth today through Saturday. Class A’s 15th-ranked Scarlets are matched up against Notre Dame in today’s first round at 5:45 p.m.

Notre Dame is rated No. 1 in Wisconsin. Delano, Minnesota’s 16th-ranked Class A team, is also in the field.

The Mankato East/Loyola girls hockey team, rated fourth in the state in Class A, is at the Blaine Schwan’s Super Rink Holiday Tournament. The event begins today.

The Cougars take on the Bismarck Blizzard in the first round and Dodge County in the second round. East/Loyola wraps up the competition sometime on Saturday.

Jim Rueda is the Free Press sports editor. To contact him, call 344-6381 or e-mail him at jrueda@mankatofreepress.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports Columns
  • Thoma column: Bartlett's failure no surprise — except to the Twins The Jason Bartlett Experiment ended last week with its inevitable failure; the former shortstop aborted his rehab assignment in Fort Myers and retired. The idea that Bartlett would be a ideal bench component was always illogical. That Ron Gardenhire

    April 21, 2014

  • Courrier: There are no winners in MSU football saga Where to start? In 28 years in the business, there has never been a more odd, twisted, rollercoaster story than the Todd Hoffner saga. And that was before he came back to the Minnesota State campus this week, when strange became tragic and the chance

    April 17, 2014

  • Thoma column: Twins are scoring lot of runs; can this continue? The Minnesota Twins entered Sunday's play with the American League's second-highest number of runs scored. And, they haven't had the advantage of hitting off their own pitching staff. OK, it's dreadfully early in the season, far too early to draw co

    April 14, 2014

  • Courrier: Masters is first sign that winter has been conquered Don't know if anybody noticed but it's been a tough winter, with brutal cold and piles of snow that are now just disappearing. If not for an exciting season of local basketball and hockey, it would have an unbearable four months. Minnesota State had

    April 10, 2014

  • Thoma column: We all know the Ryan Braun saga: Winner of the National League MVP award, flunked a drug test, convinced the arbitrator to toss his suspension on the basis that his sample was mishandled, was snagged anyway in the Biogenesis investigation, suspended

    April 7, 2014

  • Focus will be on Mavericks' QBs this spring The Minnesota State football team began its spring practice period this week, 14 workouts in 27 days, trying to see who has been working hard to maintain a starting position and which backups might be ready to get more playing time in the fall. The b

    April 4, 2014

  • Thoma column: For the remade Twins, 2014 looks like more losing The start of the baseball season is supposed to be about fresh beginnings, wide open promises and the hope that springs eternal in the human breast. I'm here to quash that kind of optimism among the followers of the Minnesota Twins. (I strive to be a

    April 1, 2014

  • Shot clock isn't answer for high-school basketball A few weeks back, the state's basketball fans were all riled up that during a state-tournament game, the Hopkins boys spent much of the four overtimes holding the basketball, preferring not to shoot until the final seconds of each extra period in the

    March 28, 2014

  • Thoma column: Projected lineup is Mauer, Arcia and a bunch of outs The Minnesota Twins begin play in earnest in less than a week -- weather permitting -- and wow, do they have lineup issues. They scored 614 runs last season, 13th in the 15-team American League and almost 100 under the league average (702). Justin Mo

    March 26, 2014

  • Thoma column: Perkins extension may not be such a relief over time In the abstract, long-term contracts for relief pitchers are bad bets for teams. Nobody seems to be too concerned about that rule of thumb when it comes to Glen Perkins' new deal with the Twins. The contract, worth more than $21 million in guaranteed

    March 17, 2014