Saturday, March 27, 2021

So here we go! State basketball on the horizon *BREAKING BREAKING NEWS

It has been a long, LONG time since I've been this excited about a high school athletic contest. I am excited for MANY reasons for our upcoming game!

This is SUPER, super exciting! I can BARELY contain it!

I was just about this excited when the B-B-E Jaguars wrestling team squared off with Bertha-Hewitt/Parkers Prairie/Verndale in the Class 1A state quarterfinals on March 13. That was super exciting, but at that time I was juggling a gazillion items, sports and non-sports related, and that load tempered my enthusiasm. That afternoon at West Central Area high school in Barrett was surreal, with our Jaguars winning their first-ever Section 5A championship and clinching a first-ever team state berth. That was a lot to take in, and I had really NO time at all to catch my breath and take in the moment. From my recollection, we had no more than a 30-minute long break between matches. Before long, the Jaguars were in a neck-and-neck state tournament battle with the Raiders, and at the end the win slipped away, and the team season was over. It was a huge, colossal disappointment. But we moved on.

That seemed a long ago. SO MUCH has happened since that time with basketball playoffs and much, much more. Fast forward to today, and the irony! Our B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball team faces West Central Area! This is nuts. We are separated by just ONE school district! (Minnewaska) B-B-E girls' basketball and WCA haven't met on the basketball court since (I believe) the 1996-1997 season! That was SO, so SO long ago! B-B-E and WCA squared off twice per season when the Knights were members of the West Central South Conference in the 1990s. That seems like ANCIENT times relative to our modern era! Their high school was brand-spanking new, ALL new, in the Fall of 1995. Back then it was a grades 7-12 facility.

Today, WCA high school holds grades 5 to 12 for the entire school district.

*UPDATE: as of 13:15, there is no announcement yet on the state quarterfinal site or time/day/etc....I'll get more video and other updates up around 14:00 today. Right now I have to fly over to the speech meet...the finals round starts at 13:45!

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: we go to Perham high school for the state quarterfinals on TUESDAY, MARCH 30. THAT is official! I do not have a time yet. That is still being negotiated.

For the record, that's a 100-mile drive from B-B-E high school! I am stunned that we are not driving to Alexandria or Fergus Falls. But complaining at this point is a waste of energy. The uncertainty of the location and day is gone. Now we just wait for the tip-off time to be determined.

UPDATE: IT IS A 7 P.M. TIP-OFF! State tournament quarterfinals at Perham high school, Tuesday, March 30 =
#4-ranked B-B-E vs. #18-ranked West Central Area
(Minnesota Basketball News rankings)

The trip to Perham on a Tuesday is gonna all but kill me. My Bonanza Valley Voice prints the next morning. This means that my blogging will be erratic and irregular, between now and then...95% of my energy is focused on getting my April 1 issue put together and ready for press. ON THE PLUS SIDE, YES, there is a SILVER lining to this news...the Perham high school is absolutely magnificent. For fans who make the trip, you will be blown away. They have one of the finest rural Minnesota school facilities, bar none.

By the way...LAST YEAR: WCA went 22-8 overall, 7-1 in the Pheasant Conference as solo champs...they lost 56-50 in the section finals to Henning at the UMM gymnasium in Morris.

State wrestling news...
The Class 1A team state semifinals are in the book. Here are the results...

Semifinal No. 1 = Kimball Area 46, Royalton/Upsala 26
Semifinal No. 2 = Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie 37, Jackson County Central 36

What a wild match that was with BHPPV and JCC!!! CRAZY! Now two opponents that our Jaguars defeated in the regular season will square off for a state championship.

UPDATE: good luck to members of the B-B-E Speech team! They are in a virtual meet this afternoon. I haven't heard how many have advanced to the finals. More to come.

**Here's a video clip from the first half of the section finals against Swanville:

More to come after 3 p.m.!

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