Sports

Fri
10
Jan

“Iron” VCC squad falls to Mesabi

by Tom Coombe
Vermilion’s “Iron Five,” nearly came away with a win.
Ahead through three quarters, the Ironwomen ran out of gas in the final stanza Wednesday, as visiting Mesabi rallied for a 64-54 community college basketball victory.
The Lady Norse trailed after three quarters but outscored Vermilion 19-7 in the final quarter to pull out the Northern Division contest.
Vermilion, which fell to 0-7 for the winter, had the bare minimum of five available players as Shawna Butler, Alexis Hughes, Lauren Huchel, Alanna Sjoberg and Terri Sutton logged the entire 40 minutes without a break.
That may have taken its toll late in the contest as VCC’s shooting percentage fell from 38 percent in the opening half to just 19 in the second.
Vermilion went only seven-for-37 from the field in the second half, including one-for-14 from three-point distance.

Fri
03
Jan

Ely wins holiday tourney

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s holiday tournament opponents never really had a chance.
That’s what the Timberwolves did to back-to-back opponents in its home event last weekend, getting off to fast starts in back-to-back contests and rolling to a pair of lopsided wins and a first-place finish in the four-team high school boys basketball event.
Ely blew out Isle 84-44 in the opening round and jumped out to a 27-3 lead in the tournament final against Bigfork en route to a 74-48 romp.
The wins gave the Wolves - one of the early-season surprise teams in Section 7A - an 8-1 record for the winter.
At the Ely Hoops for Hope Tournament, the hosting Timberwolves used a strong 41-point first half to cruise to a 74-48 win over Bigfork Saturday.
In some respects, the home holiday tournament and some time off this week were the calm before the storm.

Fri
27
Dec

Alumni hockey, basketball games held over Christmas break

Fri
27
Dec

Big turnout for annual basketball alumni games

by Toni Zaverl
It was another good night in the Ely high school gym as the alumni players come together to play in the second annual Ely Hoop Club alumni basketball game.
We switch gears up this year and played the alumni game before Christmas and seem to have a good turnout.
This alumni game was put in place by Hoop Club board member Toni Zaverl to bring back old time fun and have an event that will bring the community together as well as serve for a fundraiser for the Hoop Club Scholarship fund.
The Ely Hoop Club would like to thank all the players who sign up and played in this year’s game. Also the family and fans that came to watch and make this special and annual event happen.

Fri
27
Dec

Two seconds for ski teams

by Tom Coombe
The styles changed but the results remained largely the same for Ely’s Nordic Wolves.
Both Ely ski teams took part in the Dec. 19 Cloquet Invitational, which featured classic rather than freestyle competition.
The switch did little to slow down the Wolves, who came home with second-place finishes in both the boys and girls competitions.
The Ely boys competed without all-state skier Jasper Johnston, who has been taking part in U.S. Junior National qualifying events, and fell five points shy of the host Lumberjacks in the seven-team boys event.
Senior Raif Olson was the individual runner-up and sophomore Gabriel Pointer was a spot behind in third.
A third-place showing by senior Brooke Pasmick helped lift the Wolves to second-place among the girls - eight points back of Mesabi East.

Fri
20
Dec

Kallberg joins 1,000-point club

by Tom Coombe
Brielle Kallberg hit a milestone on Monday, and this week she and her teammates will take their next steps toward another one.
The Ely senior scored her 1,000th career point during the high school girls basketball team’s 72-50 home victory over Chisholm.
It was the final home game for the Wolves before this week’s Hoops for Hope Holiday Tournament.
Now in its sixth year, the fundraiser for the Spiritwood Foundation has generated well in excess of $15,000 and a successful tournament will bring the Ely program close to the $20,000 mark.
Ely Head Coach Darren Visser started Hoops for Hope in 2014, in part to incorporate community service as part of the program.
“The Hoops For Hope Tournament has helped our teams to see that they can have a positive impact on their community,” said Visser. “The community gives so much to our kids and this is a way to give back.”

Fri
20
Dec

Winless skaters show progress

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s high school hockey team remains without a victory, but the Timberwolves’ fourth straight defeat was their most competitive yet.
The Wolves put up a season-high 31 shots on goal in a 1043 loss to Moose Lake Area, in a Dec. 13 contest at the Ely Arena.
Ely’s final game before a holiday break was very competitive for two periods, and came on the heels of a lopsided 12-0 defeat against section contender Eveleth-Gilbert just three days earlier.
Senior Luke Olson, who had all four goals for Ely, scored twice in the first 10 minutes of play to give the hosts an early 2-1 lead.
The Rebels, who had a size advantage against an Ely team that includes several freshmen and eighth-graders, were more physical and got to the Wolves as the contest progressed.
Rebels Jordan Fjosne and Henry Ribich both scored in the final five minutes of the opening period on the way to hat tricks of their own.

Fri
13
Dec

OT only blemish for Ely girls

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s high school girls basketball team is a missed free throw away from a perfect start.
Other than a late collapse that resulted in an overtime defeat to Two Harbors last weekend, it has been smooth sailing for the Timberwolves, who improved to 4-1 Tuesday night with a 60-24 romp at Silver Bay.
The lopsided win eased some of the sting from Saturday, when a shorthanded Ely team ran out of gas in the second half as a 16-point lead went by the wayside and the visiting Agates rallied for a 51-47 win.
Ely missed several free throws late in regulation and a last-second basket forced overtime, where the Wolves again struggled at the free throw line.
Ely went 17-for-40 from the line, which set the stage for a tough finish.

Fri
06
Dec

Wolves reload, start strong

by Tom Coombe
It may be too early to say how the Ely Timberwolves will stack up this winter in Section 7A, but Tuesday’s season-opener offered more than a few reasons for optimism.
The Wolves, despite an overall lack of height, a key injury-related absence, and several new faces in the lineup, ran away from visiting Two Harbors in the second half of a 76-41 high school boys basketball victory.
Senior Dylan Fenske had 31 points and 11 rebounds and classmate Evan Omerza dished out a game-high 11 assists as the Wolves warmed up after a slow start.
Fenske and Omerza are the only returning starters for an Ely team that, entering the 2019-20 season, is a question mark in 7A.

Fri
22
Nov

Wolves take to the ice

by Tom Coombe
This winter, Ely will field one of the youngest teams in the history of its high school hockey program.
Yet head coach Ben Johnson said there’s no shortage of talent or desire among the Timberwolves, who open the 2019-20 season this weekend with a two-game home set against Kittson Central of northwestern Minnesota.
Only a handful of upperclassmen are on a 23-player roster, but fifth-year head coach Ben Johnson nonetheless likes what he has seen out of his team in early-season practices.
“We’re three weeks ahead of any team we have had the last four years,” said Johnson. “Obviously we’re super super young, but they are good players who are catching on quick. By far it’s the best attitude and work ethic we’ve had going into a season.”
The Wolves went just 5-16-1 last winter, but their fifth win was historic - a 3-2 playoff victory over International Falls in what was the program’s first-ever win against the Broncos.

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