Prentice tops Cornell, Phillips falls to Edgar in WIAA PlayoffsSubmitted: 02/20/2018

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NORTHWOODS - The Prentice Bucs overcame a slow start to top Cornell 76-34 at home.

With the win, the #5 Bucs will move on to face #4 Clayton.

"I thought our team performance tonight was really great, we all worked together, we were talking. Us, as team leaders we have to keep our team together and I think we did a good job at doing that and came out with the win," said Prentice senior Bailey Burcaw.

Burcaw is one of two seniors on the team along with Caelyn Ulrich.

That's something the two seniors keep in mind each night.

"You just give 100% effort because you never know if it's going to be your last game," said Ulrich.

Elsewhere, #9 Edgar eliminated #8 Phillips with a 78-74 win.

Antigo: 50 Witt-Birn: 55
Menominee: 57 Medford: 67

Colby: 45 Athens: 49
Cornell: 34 Prentice: 76
Edgar: 78 Phillips: 74
Antigo: 52 Shawano: 60
Tomahawk: 21 Witt-Birn: 54
Auburndkale: 58 Chequamegon: 21

Antigo: 1 Notre Dame: 7

Story By: Mark Spillane

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ELCHO - Elcho girls basketball went 33 years without winning a conference title. Then the Hornets claimed back-to-back Northern Lakes championships in 2017 and 2018. That's thanks in large part to a pair of sisters.

"She can read my mind before I can even tell what's going on and vice versa," said Elcho senior Jessica Slowik.

"I don't even know how to explain it. It just happens," said Elcho sophomore Katelyn Slowik.

Whatever the explanation might be, the Slowik sisters make the Elcho Hornets tough to beat.

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NORTHWOODS - Below is a complete breakdown of where the Northwoods teams are seeded for the upcoming WIAA boys basketball playoffs. The seeds were determined on Sunday February, 18. The first round games will be played Tuesday February, 27.

Great Northern Conference

Rhinelander - No. 1 seed D2 Sectional 1
Medford - No. 9 seed D2 Sectional 1
Mosinee - No. 4 seed D2 Sectional 1
Lakeland Union - No. 3 seed D2 Sectional 1
Antigo - No. 10 seed D2 Sectional 1
Tomahawk - No 12 seed D3 Sectional 2
Northland Pines - No. 10 seed D3 Sectional 2

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Last year, the Hodags came in second in the conference (small schools division) by one point. They wanted to change that this year.

"We came in to this meet feeling fairly confident just because we've had a really good season and we came in undefeated," said junior Raven Sturtevant.

Coaches Heather Sturtevant and April Denis made sure the girls didn't get too confident along the way.

"Sometimes we get ahead of ourselves and think 'oh, we've got this in the bag', but they keep us in 'don't get ahead of yourselves', just focus on the now," said junior Mikayla Evenstead.

That meant focusing on the goal the team set, and almost reached.

"Our goal this conference meet was to get 120 and we got 119," said senior Stephanie Keuster.

Mosinee came in second with a score of 113.475. That score showed just how much their team is improving.

"This last Tuesday, we got our last team high with a 108 and this meet was just points above that which was really relieving," said junior Lydia Ruthe.

Junior Lydia Ruthe took the top spot in the all-around, just ahead of Keuster and Sturtevant for Rhinelander.

"I thought that I was going to get third, but I think my bar score and vault score really helped me come out on top there," said Ruthe.

Mosinee head coach Kris Schlei won coach of the year for the small schools division. That was voted on by the other coaches. But the team couldn't agree more.

"My team is really great, we're really supportive of each other and I think that's the best part," said Ruthe.

The Indians will see the Hodags again this Thursday at the sectional meet in Antigo.

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WAUSAU - Last week five Rhinelander wrestlers captured regional championships. On Saturday, all five of those Hodags punched their tickets to the state tournament. Tyler Olson, Jacob DeMeyer and Alec Kurtz won each won their respective weight classes at the Division 1 Wausau West sectional.

Reuben Guzik and Colton Krueger also advanced to state. Olson and Krueger will make their first appearances in Madison. Olson says he's excited to finish his wrestling career with the teammates it started with.

"That's just the greatest experience that I think anybody could ever ask for, knowing that I grew up with these guys. I've wrestled with [Jacob] DeMeyer and [Alec] Kurtz ever since I was pee-wee size, you know kindergarten. This is my 13th year and this is their 13th year," said Olson.

Krueger advanced to the state tournament after a close loss in the sectional final. He says he's not satisfied with just getting there.

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - The Rhinelander gymnastics team also won big on Saturday. The team took the Great Northern Conference small school's title in Wisconsin Rapids.

They beat out Mosinee, Medford, Chequamegon and Lakeland Union.

Junior Raven Sturtevant took first team all conference after winning the beam competition. And senior Stephanie Keuster also took first team all conference with her floor exercise.

Keuster wasn't able to compete in conference last year because of an injury, but was happy to be back on top.

"It feels good to be back this year. I'm doing a lot better in my routines this year and I'm having more fun this year than I did last year or sophomore year. We did win conference sophomore year, so it's kind of like a repeat from sophomore year to senior year and it feels really good," said Keuster.

Mosinee's Lydia Ruthe took first place in the all around in the small schools division.

And then Antigo's Emma Jansen did the same thing in the big schools division.

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Friday Night Blitz: 2/16/18Submitted: 02/17/2018

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NORTHWOODS - On this week's Friday Night Blitz we have updates from the state swim meet, playoff hockey and crucial basketball games around the area.

Rhinelander: 56 Antigo: 36
Tomahawk: 60 Crandon: 64
Northland Pines: 49 Medford: 76
Chequamegon: 43 Athens: 65
Stratford: 56 Marathon: 62
Rib Lake: 71 Phillips: 59
Abbotsford: 55 Prentice: 57
Wisconsin Rapids: 70 DC Everest: 51
SPASH: 72 Wausau East: 45
Marshfield: 62 Wausau West: 37

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MADISON - The Lakeland Union swimmers took home a fourth place team finish.

Take a look at the recap.

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#3 Antigo defeats #6 De Pere 6-3
#2 Northland Pines takes down #7 Rhinelander 10-0

Rhinelander boys swim team will compete at the state meet Friday night. Hear how they're feeling before the big night.

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CRANDON - Crandon's new football coach is a longtime assistant of former coach Jim Moore, who stepped down after last season.

The Crandon School Board approved the hire of Blaine Obey as the new coach of the Cardinals on Monday night.

Obey served as an assistant to Moore during Moore's three years at Crandon. He also was an assistant on Moore's staff in Rhinelander.

Crandon is coming off an undefeated conference championship run.

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IRON MOUNTAIN, MI - The Olympic dream came true for thousands of athletes competing in PyeongChang right now. 

But for many others who didn't make the cut, they are still competing and trying to make it to the next Olympic Games. 

Some of those athletes were in Iron Mountain, Michigan last weekend at the Giant Pine Mountain Ski Jumping competition.

"It's all about the flying. The feeling in the air, that's the reason why you start ski jumping," said Pashke.

Pius Pashke is a professional ski jumper from Germany. He was one of the dozens of jumpers that competed at the Pine Mountain Continental Cup event last weekend.

The hill in the U.P. is one of his favorites.

"It's more like a flying hill. You're not so high, but you're flying on the hill and on other hills, they're much higher and you're falling down. This is more fun," said Pashke.

There were two Americans competing against some of the hardest competition.

"As long as you feel fast and you're more like a plane.. going out, instead of up, that's generally when you'll have the best jumps," said Nick Mattoon, a professional ski jumper from Eau Claire.

Mattoon started jumping at the age of five.

"It's like competing at home. It feels so good to be back in the US and competing in front of our crowd," said Mattoon.

He now lives in Slovenia and trains all across Europe.

"I'm blessed beyond measure. I've been able to travel to 28 different countries in my life and I'm 22 so that's pretty cool," said Mattoon.

That training has paid off, but not as well as Mattoon would've hoped.

"Myself and A.J., the two people competing for the U.S. today, missed a spot for the Olympics by one person. So we were close, but not close enough." said Mattoon.

But he's not stopping there.

"I'm still dreaming for the Olympics, that's my goal. So we'll see," said Mattoon.

He already has his sights set for Beijing in 2022.

Ski jumping is more popular in Europe. Pius Pashke said the German team has a lot of young people trying out because their team has been so successful over the past few years.

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