Scott, Kasson-Mantorville are on the rise

Brandon Scottis regarded as one of the top football players in southeastern Minnesota. The 6-foot-4, 255-pound Kasson-Mantorville senior signed Wednesday to play at Division II power Minnesota-Duluth.

Scott can also play some basketball. He showed that Monday night, when his 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocked shots propelled K-M past Rochester Lourdes, 58-48.

K-M finished 4-22 last season after going 21-6 the year before. Now they are 13-9, with recent wins over tough teams Lourdes, La Crescent and Hayfield.

Scott is a big reason for that turnaround, which is happening under first-year KoMets head coach Kelly Raymond. Scott is averaging 15 points, nine rebounds and over three blocks per game. Leading scorer is Raymond's sophomore son, Braxton Raymond, at 17 points per game.

But it's Scott who may be the most irreplaceable player on this team. He's not only big, but athletic.


"Brandon is very active defensively," Kelly Raymond sad. "He has excellent instincts. And people don't realize how quick he is. Plus, he's a quick jumper."

Scott has helped make it a satisfying and winning season thus far for Raymond, who came over from St. Peter High School.

"We have chances to win a lot more games," Raymond said. "We're learning. But it's the kids who make it enjoyable. They're working hard and giving it everything they've got." — Pat Ruff

Lake City better with Kuchinka back

Things have gone much better for the Lake City boys basketball since Dec. 27.

That coincides with Brady Kuchinkagetting back in the lineup. The standout sophomore point guard had been sidelined since late September after breaking his ankle playing football.

Kuchinka was missed. Lake City began its season losing seven of its first nine games. A tough schedule didn't help, nor did getting acclimated with a young team that includes three sophomore starters, and a coach — Greg Berge—who was back in the coaching saddle for the first time since 2005.

Lake City has responded to Kuchinka's return by winning nine of its last 11 games. Plowing through a softer schedule during the stretch helped, but likely not as much as getting Kuchinka back.


The athletic and sturdy guard is averaging 20 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. He's shooting close to 50 percent from the field and is hovering around a gaudy 90 percent from the free-throw line.

"We're certainly glad to have (Kuchinka) back," said Berge, who is also the Lake City principal. "He is very skilled and an intense competitor. He makes everyone around him better." — Pat Ruff

Jech hitting his stride with Mayo

Dan Jechis playing the best he has all season, and the Rochester Mayo boys basketball team is reaping the benefits.

Jech, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound junior, on Monday turned in a game of 32 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots in an upset win over Winona. One game prior to that, Jech had 17 points — including three dunks — and 12 rebounds in a 45-44 loss to powerful John Marshall.

Mayo coach Shaun Langlikes what he sees from his junior.

"Dan is being patient (offensively), and we're doing a better job of getting the ball to him," Lang said. "Plus, he's been staying out of foul trouble and rebounding really well."

Jech, considered potentially the best of Rochester's big three of big guys — JM's Ngor Barnabaand Lourdes' Jacob Schaeferthe two — is getting looked at by a number of Division I mid-major schools. They include Northern Iowa, Drake and Nebraska-Omaha. Jech has excellent leaping ability and quickness for a guy his size.


— Pat Ruff

Moore ruled ineligible

John Marshall point guard Deonte Moorehas played his last game with the Rockets. The senior has been ruled ineligible to play the rest of the season due to school policy.

Moore, a three-year starter, was averaging seven points, four assists and two steals.

— Pat Ruff

JM-Century doubleheader doubles as fundraiser

The girls-boys basketball doubleheader between John Marshall and Century on Tuesday will once again help raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Coaches vs. Cancer at Century High School will start with a silent auction and a free-throw contest between crosstown rivals.


The Coaches vs Cancer event has grown to include t-shirt sales, dash for cash in the stands, cancer survivor honorary tip-off and many more activities.

The girls varsity game will tip off at 5:45 p.m., followed by the boys varsity game at 7:30.

— Donny Henn


Century favored in Big Nine meet

The Big Nine Conference meet will be held on Friday at Saturday in Mankato.

Rochester Century has won the Big Nine meet the past 10 seasons and figures to be the team to beat again this season.

The Panther finished the regular season with a 6-0 mark in dual meets and has now won 102 straight dual meets dating back to 2003.


Junior Jason Triand sophomore Alex Kolferare two of Century's top-end swimmers.

John Marshall, headed by junior Michael Streyleand freshman John Becker, was 5-5 in dual meets during the season. Mayo, which was 5-3 in dual meets, is led by seniors Jason Chang, Jake Dworakand Michael Bower.

Friday's opening session will begin at 5 p.m. and is at Mankato East High School. The finals are 1 p.m. on Saturday and will be held at Minnesota State, Mankato.

— Guy N. Limbeck

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