morris mn - We're a community on the grand, seemingly endless prairie of the Upper Midwest. Empty, you might say? It's the epitome of richness, both in the overall environment and the hardy souls who populate. Morris is home to the University of Minnesota-Morris, a small public liberal arts college of distinction.
History-making music group for UMM - morris mn
The UMM men's chorus opened the Minnesota Day program at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair (Century 21 Exposition).
Friday, March 9, 2012
Hancock girls finish 21-5 but all's not peachy
The Hancock girls added another chapter to the glittering history of the program. They recently closed out the 2011-12 season with a 21-5 record.
It's a little bittersweet because they couldn't retrace the path to state they took last year. The big obstacle was Parkers Prairie. It turns out this is Parkers' year in sub-section, just like last year belonged to the Owls.
Last year's Owls finished fourth in state. A high place finish can be elusive of course. If you think it's hard now, think back to when we had a two-class system. As for the days of the one-class system (a la "Hoosiers"), there was no girls basketball then. So we should all be happy, right? Hancock fans should be quite content.
Unfortunately I had a downbeat exchange of emails with coach Jodi Holleman Thursday (3/8). I contacted Jodi, a long-time acquaintance, to remind her she should share game details in her usual way with the Pheasant Country Sports website. The fact she didn't gave a hint, in my mind, that something was amiss.
I spent 27 years in the print media and I can sense when something might be amiss. High school sports can be a very delicate and precarious thing to be part of.
Jodi answered me and said she resigned after the Parkers game. It was clear it wasn't a happy decision. She said her ten conference titles, 300 wins and three trips to state were apparently "not enough." She expressed exasperation. She suggested support wasn't forthcoming from where it was needed.
None of this should come as a shocker. It can happen anywhere. I'm disappointed to see this. Holleman had a predecessor who left amid great turbulence. That predecessor's shortcomings landed him in prison.
So, can any of the current issues really be that concerning?
I would love having a daughter play under coach Holleman. Her "day" job is at the UMM P.E. Center office. I guess she's relieved of the coaching headaches now. If a vacancy should in fact happen in Morris, I'd love to see ol' Motown go after her. She is the type of individual who goes "the extra mile."
Good luck, coach Holleman.
On the upbeat side, she'll have more time to follow her daughter Bree playing at Southwest State. Again, congrats to the 21-5 Owls.
Owls 50, Henning 33
The HHS girls took a routine step in round #1 of post-season play on Thursday, March 1.
The highly-touted Owls weren't likely to be challenged to a great extent by a round #1 foe. Henning took to the court to try to challenge the Owls. Fans filled the bleachers in the Hancock High gym. The Owls notched their 20th win.
It was actually a close game at halftime when the HHS lead was a modest four, at 21-17. But in the second half it became clear who the higher seed was.
Coach Holleman's Owls revved up to score 29 points in the second half, to 16 by Henning. So the final score was 50-33.
HHS won the right to advance and play at UMM's "big floor" on Saturday.
The Henning Hornets ended their season with a 15-11 record.
Serandon Bigalke made both of Hancock's successful three-point shots. The Owls were two of nine in 3's, and made 20 of 50 in total field goals. In freethrows their stats were eight of 15.
Kendra Schmidgall was an offensive force with 22 points scored. Courtney Greiner scored nine, and Bigalke and Olivia Koehl contributed eight each. Sami Schmidgall added to the mix with three points.
Greiner led in rebounds with 12 followed by Sami Schmidgall with nine and Koehl with seven. Greiner set the pace in assists with seven.
Greiner had four steals to edge out two of her teammates each of whom had three: Sami Schmidgall and Kendra Schmidgall.
Kendra came to the fore in blocked shots, swatting aside five shots.
The top Henning scorer was Megan Richter who put in ten points including a three-pointer. Britta Torgerson and Gretchen Freed each made a "3" for the Hornets.
Owls 59, Brandon-Evansville 39
Hancock took step #2 in the post-season on Saturday, 3/3, overcoming the Brandon-Evansville Chargers.
The second-seeded Owls had a relatively easy time of it, playing at their "second home" of sorts: the University of Minnesota-Morris.
The Owls displayed their talents on the "big floor" of the P.E. Center. They assumed a 24-15 lead at halftime and went on to win 59-39. Thus they earned the right for a re-match with (apparent) sub-section kingpin Parkers Prairie (the Panthers). The Panthers are having one of those peak kind of seasons.
Hancock came out of the weekend with a 21-4 season record. Parkers Prairie climbed through the Section 6A South semis with a 65-38 triumph over Wheaton-Herman-Norcross. Parkers took a 26-2 record into sub-section finals night.
The 6A North picture had Ada-Borup and Waubun in the finals.
Hancock's key players made contributions typical of them against Brandon-Evansville. Coach Holleman had to feel pleased with her team's long-range shooting. The Owls would need that weapon going into the Parkers game. Against B-E the Owls succeeded on eight of 18 shots from 3-point range - quite fine.
Kendra Schmidgall's shooting eye and poise were sharp as she connected for five of these. Serandon Bigalke made two 3-pointers and Olivia Koehl had the other.
In total field goals the Owls were 22 of 48. The Owls were an efficient seven of nine in freethrows.
Greiner hustled for nine rebounds and she was followed by three of her mates each with five: Kendra Schmidgall, Koehl and Sami Schmidgall.
Greiner was a masterful passer as she produced ten assists. Bigalke had four. Greiner also had three steals among her stats.
Here's the scoring list: Kendra Schmidgall 22, Koehl 12, Greiner 12, Bigalke 10 and Karol Algarate 3.
The top B-E scorer was Heather Strese with 25 points.
Parkers Prairie 63, Owls 39
The end came for Hancock GBB sooner than everyone wanted, on Tuesday night (3/6) at our P.E. Center in Morris. The Owls took the Jim Gremmels court knowing a huge challenge awaited.
Coach Holleman had her team focused to try to blunt the strengths of the Parkers Prairie Panthers. Parkers owned the No. 1 seed and had a nemesis reputation in the eyes of the Owls (and many others).
Alas, there was no overcoming those Panthers and their top-seeded status. Parkers was the 63-39 winner, thus moves on in the post-season. It was the Section 6A South championship game.
The next step is the section championship game. (It gets complicated for people who don't follow this closely.)
The Owls and their fans can look back on a truly highlight-filled season even though there was some sting at the end.
The final HHS record: 21-5. HHS took the Pheasant Conference crown with a 6-0 mark.
Parkers is now striving to get past Ada-Borup.
Congrats to Hancock girls basketball and their outgoing coach, on another winter made shorter than it might otherwise be, thanks to all the hoops excitement and success.