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Hoops, hockey events abound over holiday

December 26, 2012
Charlie Sorrells - Sentinel Sports Editor , Fairmont Sentinel

FAIRMONT - The latest technological gadgets are recharging, you literally cannot stomach any more mashed potatoes and stuffing, and there aren't any NFL football games until Sunday.

You can cure the boredom and fulfill your sports fix, while keeping everyone in your extended family entertained, by hitting the roads throughout Minnesota to watch a full slate of high school holiday tournaments today through Saturday.

If your tastes lean toward putting on a stocking cap and gloves, and enjoying a cup of hot chocolate, then head for either Paynesville or Blaine.

First-year head coach Brady Meyer and his Fairmont Area Cardinal boys hockey team kick off the four-day sports stretch by facing Princeton at 2:30 p.m. today in the River Lakes Holiday Tournament's quarterfinals at Koronis Arena in Paynesville.

The eight-team boys hockey event continues Thursday before wrapping up its final round Friday.

If you're interested in girls hockey, then you can make the trek to Blaine to watch the multi-team, multi-division Schwan Cup at the multiple Schwan Super Rinks.

Fairmont Area mentor Scott Kuhl and the Cardinals open the Green Division's eight-team bracket by facing Minnehaha Academy at 12:45 p.m. Thursday at Super Rink No. 7.

The Green Division bracket action continues Friday before concluding on Saturday.

If you prefer prep basketball, you can either travel as far away as St. Cloud or as close as Blue Earth to watch area hoopsters hit the hardwood.

First-year head boys basketball coach Randy Kuechenmeister and the Blue Earth Area Bucs tip off action in their 19th annual four-school holiday tournament on Thursday night at Blue Earth Area High School.

Jackson County Central faces United South Central at 6 p.m. Thursday in Game 1 before Blue Earth Area takes on first-year head coach Scott Chirpich and the Granada-Huntley-East Chain Mustangs at about 7:45 p.m. in Game 2.

The third-place contest starts at 6 p.m. Friday, with the championship game set for an approximate 7:45 p.m. tipoff.

If you want to travel to Mankato, you can venture to the eight-team Pepsi Holiday Tournament at Bethany Lutheran College.

Fairmont mentor Jared Thompson and his Cardinals tip off the three-day event against New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the North Gym, followed by St. Clair against St. Croix Lutheran at 8:30 p.m.

In the games played at Younge Gym, Maple River squares off against Mankato Loyola at 6 p.m. Thursday, followed by Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial against Minnesota Valley Lutheran at 8 p.m.

The holiday tourney continues Friday and Saturday at both gyms on the BLC campus in Mankato.

If you drive to Mountain Lake, you can see both boys and girls basketball teams in action.

First-year head coach Bruce Hartwig and the Truman Bluejays face Ellsworth in Game 2 of Thursday's girls event at about 2:45 p.m. Host Mountain Lake Area tips off the girls bracket against Westbrook-Walnut Grove at 1 p.m. Thursday.

The girls tournament's third-place game will tip off at 6 p.m. Friday, with the championship game following at about 7:45 p.m.

But the Truman girls cagers are not alone in Mountain Lake, as Truman/Martin Luther mentor Roland Wendt and the newly-combined BluejayKnights face Ellsworth at 6 p.m. Thursday night. Mountain Lake Area faces Lakeview in Game 2 at about 7:45 p.m.

The boys tourney's third-place game tips off at 1 p.m. Friday, followed by the championship game at about 2:45 p.m.

In you're in the vicinity of Mountain Lake, you could drive to Windom to watch another pair of four-team tournaments, only on Friday and Saturday.

Martin County West mentor Cliff Anderson and the Mavericks play Cleveland in Game 2 of the boys bracket at about 4:30 p.m. Friday in Windom. Host Windom opens the event against Fulda at 3 p.m.

The boys event's third-place game returns to Windom at 6 p.m. Saturday, while the tourney title game tips off at about 7:30 p.m.

In the girls' portion of the Windom Holiday Classic, Blue Earth Area head coach Al Cue and the Bucs face Fulda at 6 p.m. Friday, while first-year Martin Luther mentor Leslie Wokasch and the Knights battle host Windom at about 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The third-place game returns to Windom at 3 p.m. Saturday, with the championship set for about 4:30 p.m.

If you travel to St. Cloud, then the 7th Annual St. Cloud Tech girls basketball tournament should be a stopping point.

Fairmont mentor Don Waletich and the Cardinals play Sioux Falls Roosevelt at 4 p.m. Thursday at St. Cloud Tech High School.

The Cardinals then close out the eight-school, non-bracketed event by playing Rocori at 4 p.m. Friday.

And remember, wherever you go, take your cell phone charger along just in case.



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