15 Years Ago – Przybilla leads Magic to third Granite City Classic title
The 1997-98 campaign didn’t exactly get off to the start that the Magic were hoping for. Monticello, beginning the year ranked No. 1 in Class AAA, dropped two of their first four games.
But by the last night of 1997, Monticello had righted the ship, picked up a tournament championship and watched a star eclipse a milestone.
The first two games of the Granite City Class went Monticello’s way, but neither came easy.
In the opener, Monticello pulled away from Sartell late to win 50-39, despite holding just a one-point edge with six minutes to play in the game. Senior Joel Przyabilla scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked 10 shots in the opening victory.
In round two, Monticello squared off with St. Cloud Tech for the second time in the young season. And for the second time in just a few weeks, Monticello won 51-46. The Magic were in control for much of the game before a flurry of Tech three-pointers closed the gap late. Przybilla again paced the Magic, scoring 23 points, adding 12 boards and tallying nine blocked shots.
One of Przy’s buckets, a put back dunk late in the third quarter, put the senior center over the 1,000 point mark for his career.
The win set up a championship game against Monticello rival Rocori.
For three quarters, the game went back and forth. After a Spartans three, it was headed to the fourth all knotted at 38. Early in the year, the fourth quarter had been Monticello’s nemesis. They’d fallen apart in the fourth in each of their three early season losses. But this one would be different. The Magic scored the first seven points of the quarter including two free throws and a three-pointer from Dusty Decker, putting top-ranked Rocori in a quick hole. Eventually the Spartans worked the lead back down to two. But, Monticello had one more run left. Przy and Shawn McGuire put in lay-ups on the same possession (after a missed free throw) to extend the lead to six. On the next possession, and with just two minutes left, Bryan Goudy dropped in a long three-pointer giving Monticello its biggest lead, and assuring they would hang on for the 57-48 victory over the Spartans.
20 Years Ago – Holmstadt and LaVelle show early signs of a bright future
Two years before Monticello started its run of dominance in high school basketball, a young physical Magic hoops team showed signs that a power was in the making.
On a cold December night, Monticello played host to Alexandria in the first conference game of the season. In a sign of things to come, the Magic dominated the Cardinals in the paint all night on their way to a 75-56 victory.
While later Magic teams would rely on dominance from star players and senior laden teams, this team was more of a hodgepodge of a couple of young stars and a group of physical bangers.
The biggest star of this team, and teams to come, was sophomore Nate Holmstadt. The 6’6” center owned the inside against the Cardinals, scoring 27 points in under three quarers of action. But he was helped out against Alexandria, as Chad Henning (6’4”) and Clint Link (6’4”) added six and 11 points respectively to help take some of the pressure and work off of Holmstadt inside.
On the wing, the Magic were led by guard Jeremy LaVelle. The junior was one of the more talented all-around players in the area, and he showed it against Alexandria, notching 18 points to go with seven rebounds and seven assists.
Through one quarter of the conference opening contest, the visiting Cardinals hung with the Magic, trailing just 15-14 after the first break. But from there, Monticello pulled away. They extended the lead to double digits by the half, and continued to cruise from there.
They were led by their inside play, where they picked up the majority of their points, and a heavy majority of the game’s rebounds. The Magic out rebounded their opponents 38-16 on the night, as Monticello gathered nearly as many offensive rebounds as defensive rebounds.
Two more signs of Monticello’s physical dominance were evident in the stat sheet following the game. Monticello earned 28 free throw attempts, and forced four Cardinals to foul out of the game.
The Magic finished the month of December with a 2-0 conference record after beating Little Falls 55-29 a week later.
45 Years Ago – Wrestlers end year in style
Forty-five years ago, the Monticello Redmen wrestling team entered a new year with nearly as much momentum as possible. In their last match of 1967, Monticello nearly swept Kimball, instead winning 51-5. Monticello got pins from Don Hickman, Dick Brauch, Denis Larson, Dave Shelquist, Dave Holker, Al Brevik, Jerry Doerr, Joe Fitzgerald and Dan Holker.
Tom McLeod and Leon Larson added decision victories for Monticello, who won 11 out of the 12 matches.