Sports

Sun
19
Dec

Ironmen pull out last-second victory

If the Vermilion Ironmen go on to have a banner season, they might point to their Dec. 11 game at Anoka-Ramsey as the contest that started it all.<BR><BR>Severely shorthanded by injuries, the community college basketball team went to Anoka and pulled out a 56-55 win against one of the state’s top teams.<BR><BR>Sophomore Gavin Erickson’s 15-foot jumper with three seconds left gave the Ironmen the win and a split on a tough road swing that started with a 71-55 loss at Minneapolis.<BR><BR>But VCC still managed a solid weekend - and got a gutty win - despite the absence of top scorers Aaron Overby and Jameel Koonce and guard Wendell Hairston, all injured and on the bench.<BR><BR>Erickson’s game-winning hoop and a huge performance by freshman guard Anthony Anderson, who had a game-high 34 points, eight assists and six steals - lifted Vermilion (3-4).<BR><BR>“I was really impressed,” said Vermilion Head Coach Paul McDonald.

Mon
13
Dec

Ski teams ready to roll

It would be quite a feat to top their performance from a year ago, but that’s exactly what members of the Ely Nordic ski teams are out to do.<BR><BR>The Timberwolves’ high school girls squad won the section title and placed third in the one-class state competition, while Ely’s boys were third in the section and sent two skiers to state.<BR><BR>That seems like a tough act to follow, but the Wolves appear to be in good shape for another strong season.<BR><BR>Five of the seven Wolves who formed Ely’s section champion girls squad are back and the boys team returns both of its state participants.<BR><BR>Ely was scheduled to open the season over the weekend in a meet at Giants Ridge.<BR><BR>For the Ely girls, it was the first step in a quest to return to state competition.<BR><BR>“Our hope is really to come together as a team as far as working together and supporting each other,” said head coach Paula Anderson, who ta

Sun
05
Dec

Skaters count on depth, hope to climb

Despite losses to graduation, injuries and defections, Ely’s high school boys hockey team still has plenty of skaters.<BR><BR>With over 30 players out for the squad, the Timberwolves are fielding both varsity and B-squad teams and figure to count depth as one of their strengths during the 2004-2005 campaign.<BR><BR>Ely is 1-2 thus far, starting with a win at Bagley but falling to Delano and Moose Lake-Willow River the weekend of Nov.

Tue
30
Nov

Ironmen go 1-1 in Gogebic tourney

Over the weekend at Ironwood, Mich., the Vermilion men's basketball team went 1-1 at a tournament hosted by Gogebic Community College. The women's team lost both of its tournament games.<BR><BR>The Ironmen lost 96-79 to Gogebic in the first round, despite 39 points from Jameel Koonce. VCC beat Hibbing 85-83 in the consloation finals, with Koonce scoring 30 points and Anthony Anderson adding 26.<BR><BR>In the women's tournament, Gogebic beat the Ironwomen 78-51 Saturday. Former Ely Timberwolves Lara Doran (16 points) and Gena Jerich (14) were Vermilion’s top scorers.<BR><BR>The Ironwomen couldn't hang on to a six-point second-half lead in the consolation round and lost 57-54 to Northern Division rival Hibbing. Jerich had 18 points and Doran finished with 15 points for VCC, 0-4.<BR><BR>Both Vermilion teams host Fergus Falls Friday in Ely.

Mon
29
Nov

For Wolves, Scott leads the way

No matter who the Ely Timberwolves match up with this winter, there’s a good chance that the best player on the floor will be wearing an Ely uniform.<BR><BR>In senior Tim Scott - who has a chance to become one of the few players in state history to score 2,000 points and collect 1,000 rebounds -the high school boys basketball team has one of the area’s top players.<BR><BR>Scott, a three-year starter and all-conference selection and an all-area pick last year, leads the Timberwolves into the 2004-2005 campaign, which starts Tuesday night with a home game against local rival Babbitt-Embarrass (7:30 p.m., high school gymnasium).<BR><BR>The Wolves have plenty of question marks after the graduation of several seniors who helped contributed to a 14-10 season in 2003-2004, but there are no questions about the talents of Scott, who averaged 24.1 points and 10.7 rebounds per contest.<BR><BR>Ely will look to the 6-3 Scott in all areas, according

Mon
22
Nov

Girls hockey team ready for debut

A new era began Saturday night at the Babbitt Arena.<BR><BR>It’s been over a decade since the community has hosted a high school hockey game, but that changes Saturday with the birth of a regional high school girls hockey program.<BR><BR>The Babbitt-Embarrass Knights host Eveleth-Gilbert, kicking off a 16-game season for a Babbitt-based squad that also includes players from both Tower-Soudan and Ely.<BR><BR>“Saturday will be a special night,” head coach Ryan Lossing said before the game. “A lot of the old-timers in town haven’t had hockey in their backyard in a while.

Mon
22
Nov

Ely girls look to rebuild

Ely’s high school girls basketball team has some holes to fill.<BR><BR>The graduation of their top scorers and rebounders - a nucleus anchored by 2004 graduates Gena Jerich, Lauren Klun and Lara Doran - leaves a sizeable void for the Timberwolves as they start the 2004-2005 campaign Tuesday night against International Falls.<BR><BR>When they head out onto their home floor for the opening tip against the Broncos, the Wolves won’t look much like the team that went 15-10 a year ago.<BR><BR>Only one regular - senior Jackie Lekatz - returns.<BR><BR>Another senior who got plenty of playing time a year ago, senior Candice Smrekar - hasn’t joined the team yet because she’s competing this week in the state high school diving meet.<BR><BR>Two other seniors also appear set for prominent roles this winter.<BR><BR>At 5-11, senior Angie Mackie is the tallest of the Ely players.

Mon
22
Nov

Another state bid for Smrekar

by Tom Coombe<BR><BR>Diver Candice Smrekar earned a return trip to the state meet while several of her teammates had strong showings at the high school girls swimming and diving section finals in Hibbing.<BR><BR>Despite an off day, Smrekar still took third in the diving competition and moves on the state Class A meet, which begins today in Minneapolis.<BR><BR>She’s the only athlete to advance, but the Timberwolves still managed to string together a series of good performances in the Nov. 13 finals.<BR><BR>“We had an excellent Saturday,” said Ely Head Coach Nancy Smrekar. “I can’t really say enough. Everybody improved or stayed the same from the preliminaries.

Mon
15
Nov

Ironmen need lift from new talent

It’s a given that in community college basketball, freshmen are counted on to contribute immediately.<BR><BR>But the Vermilion Ironmen must rely heavily on first-year players during the 2004-2005 campaign, which starts Friday night at home against Itasca.<BR><BR>The Vermilion team that takes the floor will bear little resemblance to the squad that finished second in the state a year ago.<BR><BR>Gone are several sophomores who contributed to a 21-6 slate last year, and injuries have taken another chunk out of the Vermilion roster.<BR><BR>“We’re a little shy on depth, but I think we’ll be OK,” said VCC Head Coach Paul McDonald, who begins his 15th season at the helm.

Sun
14
Nov

Vermilion to host weekend tournaments

The Vermilion Community College basketball teams will once again open their season with respective weekend tournaments in the friendly confines of their home gymnasium.<BR><BR>The 11th annual event starts at 2 p.m. Friday, with four teams in both the men’s and women’s field.<BR><BR>The Vermilion squads are joined by two Minnesota schools - Itasca (Grand Rapids) and Rainy River (International Falls) - and tournament mainstay Gogebic Community College of Ironwood, Mich.<BR><BR>The first two tournament matchups involve the Rainy River and Gogebic women’s (2 p.m.) and men’s (4 p.m.) squads. The Vermilion teams close out the evening session, with the Ironwomen taking on Itasca at 6 p.m., with a Vermilion-Itasca men’s game set for an 8 p.m. finale.<BR><BR>The Saturday lineup starts with the women’s third-place game at 10 a.m., followed by men’s third-place game at noon. The championship games are slated for 2 p.m. (women’s) and 4 p.m.

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