7 Years Ago – Zaruba sets Magic scoring record
Jill Zaruba, a standout senior post for the Monticello girls basketball team, put together a big all-around week to help the Magic pick up three key wins during the stretch run of the 2006 season. But she did more than help the team’s record during the week of Feb. 16, she also set a record of her own. With 15 points in a Feb. 13 game against St. Cloud Apollo, Zaruba brooke Krista Woolhouse’s career scoring record which had been held since 1987. Zaruba finished the week with 1,306 points, moving past the previous record of 1,293.
It was hardly the only standout moment in a memorable week of a special year. Monticello earned a conference win over Cambridge, and other wins over Sartell and Apollo as they ran their record to 15-7 on the year.
In the 60-50 win over Cambridge, Shari Laugen dropped in 18 points, while Zaruba stuffed the stat sheet with nine points, 10 rebounds, four steals and three blocks. Zaruba and Laugen continued to lead the way in a 58-48 win over Sartell. The senior post scored 14 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while Laugen added 12 more points of her own.
And in the final contest of the week, Zaruba scored 15 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and garnered four steals as she surpassed the career scoring mark early in the contest. Laugen matched Zaruba with 15 points in the game.
The Magic season would end in the section final, with a 55-53 loss to St. Michael–Albertville, but not before Zaruba tallied career totals of 1,365 points and 1,006 rebounds.
15 Years Ago – Overflow crowd watches Joel Przybilla’s Magic fall to Darius Lane’s Totino Grace Eagles
By 6 p.m., fans were being turned away from the Monticello Middle School gym. It was still 90 minutes until the basketball game between Monticello and Totino Grace, two of the state’s top teams, would begin.
The crowd, eventually numbering an estimated 2,300 (including many who lined up right after school, and an additional 300 people watching on two large television screens in the school’s second gym) was treated to a great show. But the pro-Magic crowd likely would have scripted a different ending. The second showdown between the two teams, featuring two of the state’s best players (Darius Lane and Joel Przybilla), went Totino’s way. The Eagles held off the Magic down the stretch, earning a 63-57 win in what was likely the most anticipated local hoops game ever played at Monticello.
The game went back and forth until the final minutes. The visiting Eagles jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead, as they looked to avenge an early season loss to Monticello on their home floor. But the Magic came right back. They ended the first quarter down just one point, 16-15. In the second quarter, Monticello pulled ahead by three, but struggled to extend the lead beyond that against the Eagles’ pressure defense and uptempo offense. The visitors put together a small run before the half, just in time to regain their one point lead, 32-31, at the break.
The Eagles extended the lead to four points to begin the fourth and final quarter, but Monticello wasn’t quite ready to go away. The seesaw continued for the opening minutes until a Dusty Decker three-pointer pulled the home team to within one with just five minutes remaining in the game. That’s when Darius Lane (who would go on to star at Div. I Seton Hall) took over. Hall, who scored 17 of his game-high 32 points in the fourth quarter, led the charge as the Eagles went on a 12-0 run to extend their lead all the way to 13 points with just a couple of minutes remaining.
A couple of made threes, plus some missed free throws by the Eagles, allowed the Magic to climb back within 5 with 40 seconds still remaining, but the comeback ended there for the top-ranked Magic.
Despite losing the game to his star counterpart, Przybilla finished the game with an impressive stat line of his own. The seven-footer scored 21 points, grabbed 18 rebounds and tallied seven blocks in defeat. Dusty Decker added 15 points for the Magic, including a couple of big threes.
35 Years Ago – Doran wrestles opponents, flu, on way to second-place finish at state
To even get to the state meet, Redmen wrestler Jim Doran needed to overcome a bout with the flu that had a history of sidelining Magic wrestlers. In previous years the flu had cost Doran, his brother, and others a chance at the state meet. This year, the senior wouldn’t be stopped. He came down with the illness before sections, but dealt with what was a relatively mild case of the flu at the same time as he dealt with all of the other section wrestlers. He won matches all the way throughout sections, earning a spot at the state meet. In state, a healthy Doran earned a second-place finish, the highest ever for a Redmen wrestler at the state tournament.
Doran picked up a big win in his first match, cruising to a 10-0 lead before earning a third-period pin. In the quarterfinals, Doran won a hard fought match. He was awarded a first period point when his opponent stalled, and from there each wrestler earned one escape point as Doran held on for a 2-1 decision. In the semifinals, the Redmen wrestler faced off with Dave Frentzel of Benson, who carried a 28-0-1 record into the match. Doran wasn’t phased. He carried a 4-2 lead into the closing minute of the match and when Frentzel tried a desperation move, Doran caught him, putting him on his back for a near fall and earning the final cushion in a 7-2 decision.
In the final, Doran fell behind to Mike Keough of Wabuon 4-0 after the first period and was not able to muster a comeback. The Monticello senior lost the match 5-1.
“I can’t say I’m upset,” Doran told the Times after the match. “Cause I gave it my best shot.”
Contact Clay Sawatzke at email@example.com