Sports

Sat
26
Feb

Vermilion battles in home defeats

The Vermilion Ironmen closed out a difficult winter with two competitive home losses.
While the community college basketball team concluded a winless campaign, both Hibbing and Northland had to battle to defeat the Ironmen last weekend at the VCC gymnasium.
Hibbing held off a late Ironmen rally to preserve an 87-81 Northern Division victory last Saturday, and VCC led at the half before fading in a 69-45 defeat to Northland on Sunday.
Both contests had their moments for the Ironmen, who finished 0-24.
VCC won the second half in a hard-fought game that included four technical fouls in the opening stanza.
The Ironmen’s Ronand Ducros sizzled, scoring a game-high 26 points with 16 rebounds and going nine-for-10 from the floor.
Guard Jalen Easton poured in 22 points for VCC and nailed three three-point baskets, and De’Vonta Roberts had 12 points with teammate A.J. Taylor adding six.

Sat
26
Feb

Devine sixth at state

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s Zoe Devine saved her best for last.
Everything seemed to come together for the junior when it mattered most - the freestyle pursuit event at last week’s state high school Nordic ski meet.
Devine climbed two spots in an elite field and claimed elite status herself- sixth place overall in a field of 111 girls and all-state recognition.
With a combined time of 34:52.2, Devine had her best finish yet at a state meet and helped lift the Ely girls - who qualified as a team - to a ninth-place finish among 16 squads.
Devine was in eighth place after the Feb. 16 five-kilometer classic race and put together an even better showing the next day at Giants Ridge, site of the single-class state meet.

Sun
20
Feb

WolfTrack Classic set for Feb. 27

by Micah Larson
For the 14th year and running, mushers and their dogs from across the continent and spanning all age groups will converge here in Ely, “The Sled Dog Capital,” for the annual WolfTrack Classic Sled Dog Race.
The race is back from a COVID-restricted version of the event which completely prohibited spectators and scrapped the musher’s dinner which always preceded the event on the day before the race.
All normally scheduled features of the event are back up and running, beginning with the mushers spaghetti dinner on Feb. 26, at Vermilion Community College this year and is sponsored by VCC’s Wilderness Club. Both mushers and the public are welcome with tickets available at the door.
Race day is Sunday, Feb. 27 and features around 50 teams participating in both the six and eight-dog team races.

Sun
20
Feb

Ely boys on a hot streak

by Tom Coombe
The Ely Timberwolves may be surging at just the right time.
Heading into a key stretch that will almost certainly determine their playoff seed, the high school boys basketball team has won three straight contests, including a 70-51 home win over Lakeview Christian Academy on Tuesday night.
Junior Joey Bianco had 28 points and 12 rebounds for the Wolves and inched closer to his 1,000th career point during the win, Ely’s 13th of the year.
Bianco also helped kickstart the victory streak, sinking two free throws with one second left as Ely (13-8) rallied to stun Class AA Mesabi East 59-58 in a Feb. 11 road encounter.
The Wolves also got a triple-double from Bianco and a career-high 37 points by senior Harry Simons in Saturday’s 92-55 rout at Carlton.
Ely met Chisholm Friday night to begin a pivotal series of games that also includes a Feb. 22 home rematch with Mt. Iron-Buhl and a Feb. 25 road date with South Ridge.

Fri
11
Feb

Girls move on to state

by Tom Coombe
Ely will be very well represented at this week’s state Nordic ski meet.
The high school girls team is advancing after a second-place finish at Wednesday’s Section 7 competition at Giants Ridge, while seniors Gabriel Pointer and Jon Hakala are advancing as individuals.
It was a near-miss for the boys team overall, which placed fourth in a tight section meet, and senior Micah Larson was two spots away from qualifying as an individual.
In some ways, the section meet mirrored the regular season finale at Ely the week before, with area powerhouse Duluth East dominating and Ely battling other rivals for the second and final team slot for state.
The girls made it, with juniors Zoe Devine and Phoebe Helms finishing third and ninth, respectively and sophomore Ava Skustad coming in 12th.

Fri
11
Feb

Hockey team picks up win

by Tom Coombe
While North Shore continues to have their number, the Ely Timberwolves still managed a win on the ice this week.
Sophomore Drew Marolt had the hat trick in the high school hockey team’s 6-4 win over Burnett County (Wisc.) in a Feb. 4 clash at Siren, Wisc.
The Wolves weren’t able to carry their momentum into Monday, when North Shore beat the Wolves at the Ely Arena.
Ely, now 4-17, closes out the regular season today, in Babbitt, against Mora.
Playoff action comes next for the Wolves, and a fourth game with North Shore could be on the horizon.
Perhaps depending on a Friday night battle at Moose Lake, the Wolves will either be ninth or 10th in the Section 7A rankings and travel on Feb. 19 to meet either the seventh or eighth seed.
International Falls or North Shore are the likely destinations for the Wolves.

Thu
10
Feb

Ely Howler Jamboree this weekend

The Ely Howler Jamboree is this weekend,
It is a mini and mite hockey jamboree. A total of 14 teams will be participating with all games at the Ely Ice Arena.
Games on Saturday (8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Sunday (8 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Concessions will be available and there are LOTS of raffle prizes, over 30....including a brand new 3 person Eskimo Pop-UP ice shelter, a signed UMD Jersey and a full day pontoon rental.

Fri
04
Feb

Skiers prep for sections

by Tom Coombe
Tuesday at Hidden Valley may have been a sneak preview of things to come.
Ely’s Nordic Wolves hosted their section rivals in what served as a dress rehearsal of sorts for the Feb. 9 Section 7 competition at Giants Ridge.
Combining the traditional pursuit format with a brand-new relay division, the skiers braved the wind and cold and Ely once again served notice that it will be a section contender in both the boys and girls ranks.
The Ely girls took second among nine teams, while the boys were in third, just a point behind runner-up Proctor-Hermantown.
Top individual finishers at the home event were senior Gabriel Pointer, who placed second in the boys division, and junior Zoe Devine, the fifth-place girls finisher.
Both have previous state meet experience, but several other Wolves will also be gunning for state berths when the section contenders gather at Giants Ridge.

Fri
28
Jan

Winter Frolic back at HS with usual activities

by Tom Coombe
After an unconvetional celebration during the 2020-21 school year, Winter Frolic Week returns at Ely High School with a more traditional celebration.
The annual mid-winter, mid-school year event went on last year, but amid Covid-19 restrictions that scrapped many of the usual festivities - including the dance.
That’s not the case this year and the monotony of the middle of the school year will be broken up with an array of events and old-fashioned fun in the works as students celebrate the season.
While the bulk of the events are coming up, the celebration actually has already begun with a pep rally that took place at the end of the school day Friday - including the announcement of Winter Frolic royalty candidates.
Hallway decorating follows Sunday, setting the stage for dress-up days, home sports events, pep fests as well as a dance.

Fri
28
Jan

Dramatic win for Wolves

by Tom Coombe
The Ely Timberwolves’ biggest win of the year was a heartstopping, and in the case of Mason Davis, toothshaking.
Less than a minute after a collision knocked him out of the game, and knocked two teeth from his mouth, Davis returned to the floor and picked up a key steal and basket that helped preserve a thrilling 58-56 win over Duluth Marshall.
Saturday’s win, which came with dramatic momentum shifts down the home stretch, came against a Marshall team that was ranked fourth in Section 7A.
It came after a 72-49 loss at Mt. Iron-Buhl the night before and may have sent a message that the Wolves (9-6) can compete against the teams in the upper echelon of a stacked section.
“I think it was a great game for us and proved we can play with the better teams when we combine good defense with good offensive possessions,” said Ely Head Coach Tom McDonald.

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