By: Mae Skold & Audrey Smith
February 3rd, an hour and a half northwest of the Twin Cities, two Wisconsin high schools faced off in a championship basketball game. Granstburg entered the Siren territory at 7pm out for blood with a plan involving nothing but victory. The varsity game was tight for the duration of the first half with both the opposing student sections on their toes. What had these fans so invested in, you may ask? Well let’s get into the riveting details of the game.
Within the first half of the game star player Ethan Rudd scored 4, 3-point shots, giving the Siren Dragons a lead. Ethan is the star of the team while being led by his own father, Jon Ruud, who has been coaching since the 90’s. The two of them are a dynamic duo and make the Siren Dragons the team that they are today.
Ethan’s points racking up for Siren made the student section hyped in anticipation of a possible win. By the time it was half time, the Siren Dragons had 27 points total as compared to Grantsburg with 19. This gave Siren hope of a win for the night.
Another player who really shone bright was Derek Skold, leading shooting guard on the court. With 14 shot blocks alone in this game he is the most successfully ranked player in his position in Burnett County. Derek and Ethan have actually both been going through with their Division I basketball journeys traveling around the Midwest touring schools. Their skill, height, academics, and more are all impressive traits to the various scouts that have been guiding them on their Division I journeys.
As the game continued throughout the first half, leading varsity players on the Grantsburg team began to lead their team to victory against their rivals. The score swapped, with Grantsburg in the lead, however this wouldn’t last long.
Number 43 on the Grantsburg basketball team, Darius Galindo, suffered an injury. This was a stressful moment for not only the Grantsburg community, but the Siren community as well. Many Sireners know Darius well, and this severe moment in the game left every individual in the Siren Dragons bleachers on edge.
With Varsity starter Darius out for the rest of the game, Siren began to catch up in the score very swiftly. Darius Galindo is considered a weapon and necessity for the Grantsburg team.
So, will the Grantsburg team make it to the final round? This information is unsure however, against Siren the team was still able to play well.
In the second half following the Siren lead and devastating injury, another Grantsburg player stepped into the light. Frankie Macdonald took it upon himself to fill Darius’s shoes and he managed to get Grantsburg up by 10 points using his speed and amazing rebound skills. This unexpected comeback had both student sections biting their nails in anticipation not knowing when to expect another come back.
Jon Ruud of the Siren dragons decided to call an essential timeout with only a minute remaining. The team took the time to focus on defending Frankie and build a strategy on how to take him down. In the last minute, Frankie ultimately couldn’t be stopped and scored 2 three pointers giving Grantsburg the champion title.
After the game we had a chat with Ethan Ruud of Siren to discuss the loss. He was foggy brained after working so hard, he almost didn’t know what he was saying. After a few minutes of stumbling over his own words he came to the conclusion that he could’ve done better as an individual but the team worked great together.
Though tears were shed, the Siren Dragons were proud to have made it this far.