Along with our HLWW Lakers making it to the state girls basketball tournament this week, I was pleased to see Redwood Valley also qualify.
My first newspaper job was in Redwood Falls where I was assigned to be a regional reporter and cover girls sports. I was thrilled as both the volleyball and girls basketball teams made it to the state tournament that year, each going all the way to the championship game and placing second.
In those days, there were only two classes, no three-pointers, we took pictures on black-and-white film, and had no Internet to research opponents or tweet scores.
The Cardinals that year were a talented group that could viciously press and run-and-gun. If it were possible to arrange such a game, I think they could compete well against today’s top teams.
Many of the games that year were 30, 40, or 50-point blowouts, but neighboring Morton, which had a terrific all-around player in Mary Beth Bidinger came within 4, 4, and 7 points of the Cards in the three times they met that season.
Redwood fell in the state championship game to a New York Mills team led by none other than Janet Karvonen, in what was the second year of a three-peat for NYM. Mills had its own share of blowout wins that season such as 121-21 over Parkers Prairie and 87-9 over Pine River.
This year, HLWW and Redwood are in opposite sides of the state bracket so they would need to follow similar paths to meet each other. I’m cheering to see them both in the finals.
From way back when, here’s the state tourney program of the Redwood Falls team in 1978, or click here for a larger pdf: