Prep report: Leopold’s 3-pointer lifts Spartans over Hawks in LSC opener

Junior guard scores 21 points and hits four 3-pointers.
Solon Springs’ Gretchen Hammond (23) rips a rebound away from Mercer’s Hana Joustra (13) in the first half of the game in Solon Springs on Tuesday evening, Dec. 7, 2021. The Eagles defeated the Tigers 56-21. Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
We are part of The Trust Project.

Superior junior guard Savannah Leopold scored 21 points and hit four 3-pointers, including the game-winner with 24 seconds remaining, to lead the Spartans to a 59-56 girls basketball victory over Hermantown in their Lake Superior Conference opener Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, in Superior.

Eva Peterson was also in double figures in scoring with 10 points and Emma Raye added nine for the Spartans (4-0 overall, 1-0 LSC).

Liv Berkeland hit five 3-pointers and scored 23 points to lead the Hawks (2-2, 0-1) while Jess Kukowski added nine points.

“It was a good high school basketball game,” Spartans coach Dave Kontny said. “Give Hermantown credit. They played well, shot the ball well and are well coached. We had nice scoring balance tonight and got great minutes from our bench.”

There are always things to work on, however, as Superior was only 13 of 27 from the free-throw line.


“I thought we played better defensively in the second half but we looked tired tonight and it was evident from the free-throw line, missing 14,” Kontny said. “That almost came back to haunt us. I am proud of our kids, we kept battling and making plays. We feel fortunate to come out of there with the win.”

The Spartans will host Cloquet at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11.

Hermantown 33-23—56
Superior 30-29—59
Hermantown — Jess Kukowski 9, Avery Farrell 5, Liv Berkeland 23, Emma Harsted 4, Lauren Biondi 6, Gianna Asguard 2, Sahra Cornelius 7. Totals 25 3-6 56.
3-point goals — Berkeland 3.
Superior — Annabel Manion 8, Emma Cooper 2, Natalee Sigfrids 2, Kloe Zentkowski 7, Savannah Leopold 21, Eva Peterson 10, Emma Raye 9. Totals 19 13-27 59.
3-point goals — Manion 2, Leopold 4, Peterson, Raye.

Solon Springs 56, Mercer 21

Solon Springs had a great first half on the defensive end of the floor, then had a great second half on both ends of the floor in an Indianhead Conference home rout of Mercer on Tuesday.

The Eagles led 19-11 at the half, then hit the accelerator, scoring 37 points in the second half, while keeping up their defensive prowess.

Three Eagles scored in double figures, led by Kyra Latvala's 12 points. Claire Holmstrom and Gretchen Hammond scored 10 points apiece.

Mercer Tigers 11-10--21
Solon Springs Eagles 19-37--56

Mercer-- KD Knipp 8, Eilg Schroman 8, Amber Eith 2, Ruyn Selcuk 2, April Klopatrick 1. Totals 21.
3-point goals -- None.
Solon Springs -- Kyra Latvala 12, Claire Holmstrom 10, Gretchen Hammond 10, Bailey Monson 9, Paetyn Simenson 6, Ella Postl 4, Madelyn Swanson 3, Jaelyn Gehl 2. Totals 56.
3-point goals -- Madelyn Swanson 1 .


Eau Claire Memorial 90, Superior 74

The Old Abes put five scorers in double figures to pull away from the Spartans in the second half.


For Superior, Evan Bennett racked up a game-high 29 points and Jake Kidd added 15. The Spartans host Duluth Denfeld on Friday night.

Superior 34-40--74
Eau Claire Memorial 39-51--90

Superior -- Evan Bennett 29, Curran Starry 3, Tanner Swanson 8, Jake Kidd 15, Shane Leask 9 , Rob Olson 10. Totals 27 14-17 74.
3-point goals -- Starry 1, Swanson 2, Leask 3.
Eau Claire Memorial -- Shaw 7, W. Boser 17, Jesperson 6, McBride 11, Albert 17, Schroeder 15, C. Boser 1, Etzel 4, Stoik 10. Totals 36 9-12 90.
3-point goals -- W. Boser 1, Jesperson 2, McBride 1, Albert 3.

Northwestern 86, Cumberland 48

The Tigers got off to an overwhelming start on Tuesday in Maple, outscoring Cumberland 55-15 in the first half.

Five different players scored in double figures led by Cole Lahti's 21 points. John Grohn and Jase Nelson added 19 apiece, with Grohn on the mark for four 3-pointers.

Cumberland 15-33—48
Northwestern 55-31—86

Cumberland — Jax Effertz 6, Monty Peterson 14, David Olson 4, Vaughn Johnson 12, Edward Chafer 5, Gavin Gores 7. Totals 19 6-10 48.
3-point goals — Peterson 2, Johnson, Gores.

Northwestern — John Grohn 19, Monte Mayberry 11, Gavin Williams 3, Bennett Nelson 13, Jase Nelson 19, Cole Lahti 21. Totals 37 4-9 86.
3-point goals — Grohn 4, Williams, B. Nelson, Lahti 2.


Superior 6, Duluth Marshall 2

Robert Powell scored twice, including a backbreaking goal on a shorthanded breakaway 2:14 into the third period, as the Spartans evened their record at 2-2 with a win over the Hilltoppers.


Marshall's Garrett Olek struck first, but Superior had the next three to take a 3-1 lead early in the second period. Marshall closed to within a goal after two before the Spartans finished with three unanswered.

Trevor Soderlund made 22 saves for the Spartans, who play at North Shore on Tuesday, Dec. 14.

Duluth Marshall 1-1-0—2
Superior 1-2-3—6

First period — 1, DM, Garrett Olek (Samuel Aamodt), 3:58; 2, S, Andrew Rude (George Hansen, Carson Gotelaere), 12:40.
Second period — 3, S, Lucas Williams (Trevor Durfee), :27; 4, S, Robert Powell (Hansen), 3:26; 5, DM, Joseph Stauber (Camden Cowan, Pierce Gouin), 11:33 (PP).
Third period — 6, S, Powell (unassisted), 2:14 (SH); 7, S, Kell Piggott (unassisted), 14:29; 8, S, Tyler Friedrich (Carter Pettit, Mason Stenberg), 16:17.
Goalie saves — DM, Sam Anderson 23, S, Trevor Soderlund 22.


Superior 90, Menomonie 79

Superior showed its strength in depth in the pool on Tuesday, topping Menomonie despite the hosts having a 7-5 advantage in first-place finishes.

Paolo Pagnucci and Zeke Fish had starring roles for the Spartans in their season opener. The two formed half of a winning 200 medley relay, then went out and won two individual events apiece.

Fish claimed the 100 butterfly in 1 minute, 11.06 seconds and the 100 backstroke in 1:20.19, while Pagnucci was best in the 200 individual medley (2:27.41) and 100 breaststroke (1:11.84).

200-yard medley relay SUPERIOR (Zeke Fish, Paolo Pagnucci, Will Monroe, Ryan Peterson), 2:04.33; 200 freestyle Kevin Leach, M, 1:54.37; 200 individual medley Pagnucci, S, 2:27.41; 50 freestyle Kody Kazmarek, M, 24.30; 1-meter diving, Dylan Norby, M, 190.85 pts; 100 butterfly Fish, S, 1:11.06; 100 freestyle Kazmarek, M, 53.98; 500 freestyle Leach, M, 5:14.06; 200 freestyle relay MENOMONIE (Gavin Hall, Connor Klimek, Kazmarek, Leach), 1:42.11; 100 backstroke Fish, S, 1:20.19; 100 breaststroke Pagnucci, S, 1:11.84; 400 freestyle relay MENOMONIE (Hall, Dylan Foslid, Kazmarek, Leach), 3:55.34.

Jed Carlson joined the Superior Telegram in February 2001 as a photographer. He grew up in Willmar, Minnesota. He graduated from Ridgewater Community College in Willmar, then from Minnesota State Moorhead with a major in mass communications with an emphasis in photojournalism.
What to read next
For the second straight year, Superior's Emma Raye is the Telegram's Player of the Year.
This year's team includes five seniors, three juniors and three freshmen.
Northwood/Solon Springs sophomore Abe Ahlberg is this year's pick.
This year's squad includes six seniors, two juniors and three sophomores.