Lourdes optimistic despite fall from strong start
What started out as such a promising year for the Rochester Lourdes boys basketball team, still has plenty of potential.
But that’s only if the Eagles finish by doing things better than they have of late.
Lourdes, which at one point was 7-0 with an upset of No. 2 Class AA ranked Plainview-Elgin-Millville mixed in, is now 17-8. Lourdes went through a stretch midway though the season in which it lost three straight to ranked Class AA teams P-E-M, La Crescent and Byron. The Eagles also had slight upset losses recently to Kenyon-Wanamingo and Triton.
Those losses have made what looked like it would be a special season for Lourdes seem a bit less than that. Still, Lourdes coach Jim Dalybelieves there is still time for his team to regain its stride. The Eagles finish their regular season by hosting struggling Pine Island tonight.
"I think we are competing much better of late; I’ve seen better effort," Daly said. "But we need to always be competing as a team. And we have to make sure we execute our system at both ends (of the court)."
That said, the thing Daly aches for most is better offensive balance. Too often the last two months he’s watched a couple of his players have strong scoring nights, while the rest of the team offers little in the way of points. For Lourdes to make a strong run in the playoffs, he knows that has to change.
"We can’t have two guys score for us, and three or four others not make any plays," he said. "We have to be more balanced scoring wise."
— Pat Ruff
Rochester freshmen have impact
It’s rare that a freshman gets varsity playing time in the history of Rochester boys basketball.
But there are currently two cases of it happening. Freshman John Mattisonhas been starting all season for John Marshall, mostly at point guard. And freshman Kvale Taylorhas been seeing action the past two weeks for Mayo, at the off guard.
Mattison leads the struggling Rockets in scoring at eight points per game, while shooting better than 45 percent from the field. Taylor, regarded as a terrific athlete, has scored 10 points in three games for Mayo. He also has four steals.
Their coaches see bright futures for them both. JM coach Rich Cainpoints especially to the savvy that Mattison already possesses.
"John’s got a lot of composure for how young he is," Cain said. "He’s also got great stamina and is tenacious on defense."
Taylor is regarded by some as among the top young players in the state. Mayo coach Shaun Langhesitated about calling him up to the varsity so early. But Taylor’s talents won him and his players over.
"Our (players) realize that Kvale has the skills and such high potential for a freshman," Lang said. "He’s got so much raw ability. He’s got really quick hands and good vision up the court. But his best thing is his ability to get to the basket."
— Pat Ruff
Idso out with wrist injury
Mayo 6-foot-8 junior center Michael Idsohas been sidelined the past two games with a right wrist injury. A right-handed shooter, Idso’s mobility in that hand has been restricted by the injury.
Idso, who’s averaging 13 points and nine rebounds, hurt the wrist when he fell to the court Feb. 16 against Mankato West. Mayo coach Shaun Lang is not certain when Idso will return to the lineup.
— Pat Ruff
Former area coaches honored
Two former Rochester area baseball coaches are among a group who have been selected for induction into the Minnesota High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2010.
Frank Aunan, who coached at Zumbrota and Zumbrota-Mazeppa, and Bob Starkof Caledonia will be in the class of eight coaches who are inducted at a banquet Oct. 30 in Minneapolis.
The other inductees include: Neil Pierce, Alden-Conger; Dennis Boe, Redwood Valley; Gary Halek, Sauk Rapids; Glenn LaChapelle, Apple Valley; Ken Staples, Robbinsdale Cooper; and former Minnesota Twins player Craig Kusick, Rosemount.
Kusick, who played nearly his entire career for the Twins from 1973 to 1979, died of leukemia in 2006 at age 56.
— Donny Henn
Spring Grove, M-C might pair
There have been discussions about Spring Grove and Mabel-Canton pairing for football.
The move could begin with the 2011-12 school. Both schools are currently members of the Southeast Conference and play nine-man football. Mabel-Canton is projected to have declining numbers in football over the next few years, which could make fielding even a nine-man team difficult.
If the move is made, Spring Grove and Mabel-Canton would join the Three Rivers Conference for football, and play 11-man.
The Three Rivers is projected to be an 11-team football conference because newcomer Onalaska Lutheran, based in Wisconsin, is dropping out.
Spring Grove and Mabel-Canton currently coop for junior high football.
— Guy N. Limbeck