Sports

Fri
02
Dec

Skaters swept in home set

by Tom Coombe
One of Class A hockey’s most prolific scorers couldn’t be contained last weekend.
As a result, Tyler Hennen and Kittson County Central swept two games from the Ely Timberwolves in a season-opening series at the Ely Arena.
Hennen had a whopping eight points in the Bearcats’ 9-5 win on Nov. 25, and the following afternoon he added four goals and two assists in a 7-2 romp.
In less than 24 hours, Hennen racked up 14 points and all but single handedly controlled the series.
Ely, which at times struggled on offense a year ago, managed seven goals in two games but couldn’t match Hennen’s firepower.
The opening game of the series was decided in the second period, when the Bearcats scored twice on the power play in the first four minutes and rattled off six straight goals in a 13-minute span to grab an 8-2 lead.

Fri
02
Dec

Two Wolves make All-District team

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s high school football team has a pair of all-district honorees, including a repeat selection.
Senior Erron Anderson was selected to the North Sub-District 9-Man All-District Team, as picked by league coaches, and he’s joined by teammate and fellow senior Jason Kerntz on the squad.
A third Ely player, junior Deegan Richards, gained honorable mention.
The recognition comes after a year in which the Wolves were very competitive in all but two regular season games - but only had one victory to show for it.
Anderson, a two-way starter for the Wolves, was a key player on both sides of the ball.
He racked up 400 yards rushing and picked up another 152 receiving for the year, and scored six touchdowns.
A defensive lineman, he recorded 43 tackles with a fumble recovery and an interception return for a touchdown.
Kerntz teamed with Anderson to form a potent one-two combination in the Ely backfield,

Fri
25
Nov

Ironhawks score DQ Classic sweep

A dramatic second-half surge lifted the Vermilion Ironhawks to a sweep in the annual DQ Grill and Chill Classic.
Fueled by tournament MVP C.J. Brown, Vermilion outscored Itasca 51-21 in the second half and rallied to beat the Vikings 78-59 in community college basketball action last Saturday in Ely.
It was Vermilion’s second straight win in the annual home tournament, and followed a 63-54 opening night victory over Gogebic.
Brown, a sophomore from Minneapolis North, was the first winner of the DQ Paulie Outstanding Player Award, established this season in memory of longtime tournament sponsor, the late Paul Ivancich.
Brown caught fire against Itasca, scoring a game-high 30 points on an 11-for-15 shooting performance. He added five steals, three rebounds and two assists and helped Vermilion turn things around in the second stanza.
Itasca led 38-27 at the half but was held to only 21 second-half points.

Fri
25
Nov

Ely native Turnbull retiring from coaching

After coaching thousands of athletes on 80 teams over 42 years, Ely area resident Mike Turnbull plans to retire from Iowa Lakes Community College, where he is the volleyball coach, in 2023.
It was just over three years ago, in August, 2019, when Turnbull joined the Iowa Lakes staff after making his first attempt at retirement.
Over his 42-year coaching career, Turnbull has served in a coaching capacity for various sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, football, and women’s volleyball at collegiate and high school levels.

Fri
18
Nov

Wolves leave their prints in St Paul

by Tom Coombe
When the Class A state volleyball tournament was seeded, the Ely Timberwolves didn’t crack the top-five and their unbeaten record was largely overlooked.
A week later, nobody in Class A volleyball was overlooking the Wolves.
In the span of three days, the Wolves took a set from and gave the defending state champions a scare, followed up with the program’s first-ever state tournament win, and were on the short end of a state consolation championship thriller.
The Wolves wound up sixth in the Class A state tournament, ended a storybook season with a school-record 30 wins and perhaps most of all - put Ely volleyball on the statewide map during the course of a dramatic state tournament run at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center.

Fri
18
Nov

7A swimming: Records fall, medals won, section honor

by Tom Coombe
The season couldn’t have ended on a much higher note for the Northeast Range/Ely Nighthawks.
While the girls swim team won’t be sending anyone on to state, the Nighthawks set three team records and had four medal-earning performances at the Section 7A meet, which wrapped up last Saturday at Hibbing.
The Nighthawks also brought home an academic honor while both head coach Cheri DeBeltz and assistant coach Lynn Gulbrandson won respective Section 7A Coach of the Year honors.
“We had a great section meet,” said DeBeltz. “Overall, we had 95 percent lifetime or season-best swims and we had our best finish at the section meet.”
Overall, NRE was eighth among 11 teams in a field that included many schools with much higher enrollments.

Sun
06
Nov

Wolves fall to defending state champs

The Ely girls volleyball team gave the defending state champs a run for their money but Mayer Lutheran cashed in a trip to the semifinals with a 3-1 win.

Ely fell 26-15 in the first set but dealt Mayer Lutheran a 26-24 loss in the second before a large Ely crowd at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. ML didn’t lose a set last year in the state tournament.

The next two sets didn’t go Ely’s way, with ML picking up 25-12 and 25-11 wins to advance.

The Wolves will now face Pine River/Backes at 3 p.m. for a chance to advance to the Consolation Championship on Saturday.

Sat
05
Nov

Ely volleyball team wins Section 7A title

Seeding meeting Sunday for Class A State Volleyball Tournament. The Ely Timberwolves, the Section 7A champion, will play at either 5 or 7 p.m. Thursday in St. Paul. Wolves defeat Floodwood 3-1 before a raucous crowd in Hermantown.

Unbeaten Ely will play #2 seed Mayer Lutheran at 7 pm Thursday, at Xcel Center in St. Paul, in opening round of State Class A Volleyball Tournament. Wolves are making their first appearance at state.

Fri
04
Nov

For Wolves, 28 is great

by Tom Coombe
One could understand why the Ely Timberwolves may have been a bit leery, if not outright nervous before Wednesday’s Section 7A semifinal matchup with defending champion South Ridge.
After all, the last time the high school volleyball team had dropped a match it was 52 weeks earlier, on the same floor in Hibbing, and against the same foe in South Ridge.
But those worries ended early, and the Timberwolves scored sweet revenge.
Getting off to a stronger than usual start, Ely unleashed its arsenal of hitters against the Panthers and never looked back, scoring a 25-18, 25-15, 25-15 sweep before a nearly full house at Hibbing’s Lincoln Gymnasium.
The win, Ely’s 28th straight without a defeat this fall, put the Wolves into the Section 7A finals for the first time in program history.

Fri
04
Nov

State meet next for runners

by Tom Coombe
Molly Brophy and Zoe Devine have already been on Minnesota high school cross country’s biggest stage, or perhaps more fittingly, its grandest trail.
But this weekend they’ll have familiar company.
Brophy and Devine will be joined by the rest of their Ely teammates, who will compete in Saturday’s State Class A Meet at Northfield.
The Timberwolves punched their ticket to state by taking second in the Oct. 28 Section 7A meet at Duluth.
In addition to the Ely girls team, sophomore Caid Chittum of the Ely boys qualified for state individually and he’ll also compete on Saturday, as the meet is held on the campus of St. Olaf.
Starting time is 12 noon.
Only an eighth-grader, Brophy has already made quite an impact as a varsity runner.
She moved into the Ely lineup late in her seventh-grade season and advanced to state, finishing 91st overall in her first time on the state course.

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