Winter Sports Soundbites: Jacket girls, Viking boys cagers sweep holiday tournaments

Cambridge-Isanti’s Kobe Karels ducks under a “low bridge” of Coon Rapids defenders while driving to the basket during the Jackets’ game against the Cardinals. Coon Rapids would come from behind to beat C-I 81-72.

 Girls basketball

The Bluejacket girls basketball team enters the 2022 portion of its schedule riding a five-game winning streak, including coming out on top of both of its Granite City Classic games over the Christmas break. Both games were convincing victories for C-I, with the team topping Alexandria 57-52 and Anoka 74-48.

In the game against the Cardinals, C-I was down by a mere point at halftime, outscoring Alexandria 35-29 in the second half. With senior Mikayla Aumer experiencing rare foul trouble that held her to 12 points, the Wiltrout sisters picked up the slack. Maraya scored a team-high 20 points, with Evelyn adding 12.

Aumer was back to her typical scoring the following day, however, scoring 34 points in the win over the Tornadoes. Maraya Wiltrout continued her hot scoring by adding 19 points.

The Jackets now sit with an 8-2 record and a second place ranking in Section 7AAAA behind undefeated Blaine.

After a two-week break from game action over the holidays, North Branch got 2022 off on the right foot, recording a 54-43 win over Little Falls. Paige Peaslee and Ella Kuhlman scored matching 21 points in the game to lead the Vikings to the win. Their record now sits at 6-3 for the season.

Boys basketball

The North Branch boys team also participated in the Granite City Classic, using the tournament to increase its winning streak to six games. The Vikings held on for a hard-fought 70-69 win over Delano in the first game before picking up a more comfortable 83-57 win over Southwest Christian.

After jumping out to a 36-30 halftime lead over the Tigers, the Vikings withstood a second-half rally by Delano to get the one-point win. Trevor Johnson was the leading scoring for North Branch, picking up 26 points. Travis Schoeberl added 11 points and Logan Murphy scored 10.

In the win against the Stars, the Vikings raced out to a 44-14 halftime lead, with the two teams scoring matching 43 points in the second half. In a game where “everyone played” according to head coach Todd Dufault, Adam Rehm led the team with 15 points, closely followed by Schoeberl’s 14.

The Vikings now tout an 8-1 record for the season.

The Bluejackets weren’t as fortunate in their tournament action, losing all three games of the Twin Cities Orthopedics Holiday Classic. C-I fell to Minneapolis Southwest 83-64, Duluth East 63-45 and St. Paul Johnson 69-58.

Kobe Karels was the leading scorer for C-I in the first and third games, scoring 16 against Minneapolis SW and 21 against St. Paul Johnson. John Troolin also had 16 points in the SW game. Braden Jones had 15 points in the loss to Duluth East.

Boys hockey

The Bluejacket boys skaters upped their winning streak to seven games with a pair of victories during a two-game tour of northern Minnesota. C-I topped Greenway 4-1 and Hibbing 5-2.

In the game versus Greenway, the Jackets scored twice in the second and third periods, with four different players finding the back of the net. Scoring for C-I were Finn Overby, Jake Brown, Will O’Donovan and Seth Terhell.

Against the northern BlueJackets, C-I broke a 2-2 tie after two periods with three third-period goals. Once again, the team’s scoring was balanced, with five players earning goals with O’Donovan and Terhell being the only skaters to score in both games. The other goals came from Jaxon Jones, Wyatt Lindell and Kaden Schibilla.

C-I now has a 7-2 record on the season.

After dropping its first game of the Schann’s Cup, the Northern Edge boys hockey team won the other two games, beating Marshall 7-2 and Princeton 6-3.

Alex Langevin earned the hat trick in the game against Marshall. Loghan Croal and Trever Ripley each had two goals to lead the way against Princeton.


The Bluejackets crossed the state line for their holiday tournament, competing in the Eau Claire Old Abe Duals. C-I finished with a 4-1 record in the tournament, good enough for third place. 

The Jackets came away with a 69-12 win over Whitehall, a 70-12 win over Eau Claire Memorial, a 51-28 win over Maple Grove, and a 45-33 win over Rocori. Their lone loss was a rare shutout against #1-ranked in Class AA Simley by a final of 65-0.

The Jackets will host Princeton on Friday night and will renew their Bluejacket Individual Invite on Saturday.

Girls hockey

Northern Tier had a rough Schwann’s Cup tournament, going 0-3. After a close 1-0 loss to Delano, the Stars fell to Mounds View 7-0 and Western Wisconsin 6-2. Natalie Cheney and Alexa Oliver scored the only two goals in the tournament for the Stars.

The team did get back into the win column with an 8-0 shutout over Pinceton/Big Lake/Becker. Seven different skaters scored goals in the game, with only Natalie Cheney finding the back of the net twice.

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