Two-time defending Section 7AAA boys basketball champion Hermantown received a much-needed boost of confidence in a resounding 97-67 victory at nonconference Princeton last Tuesday night, when senior power forward Abe Soumis put his teammates on his shoulders and exploded for a game-high 41 points and 20 rebounds. Soumis, who continues to play like a man among boys, is the No. 2-ranked local college prospect Up North behind Cherry guard and Gophers recruit Isaac Asuma. Duluth Denfeld junior point guard Marnarias Ferguson is ranked third, and No. 4 6-foot-6 Hunters senior power forward KJ Pulliam is close to making his season debut coming off a lower body injury suffered late in the football season.
The Hawks (2-4) have won two of their last three and will be a heavy favorite at Hibbing (0-4) on Tuesday. Hermantown will return home to face North Branch (4-1) at 6 p.m. Thursday.
“We got some guys clicking and finding each other that had miscues early on in the season,” said Hawks coach Andy Fenske. “It’s been nice having a few practices to get into a groove once again rather than a game every other day.”
Outside of Soumis continuing to dominate offensively and on the glass (27.7 ppg and 16.5 rpg), several other Hawks are starting to earn their wings.
“Nathan Hill, who is scoring at a clip of a little more than 13 points per game, has stepped up and shouldered a lion's share of the load on both ends of the floor,” said Fenske. “Seniors Brayden Lundeen (9.2 ppg, 1.5 spg) and Peyton Menzel (10.5 ppg, 6 rpg, 5.3 apg) are also clicking great at the moment. Rounding out our top players as of late are Lance Janson (9.5 ppg), Alex Schott (lockdown defender, usually tasked with stopping the No. 1 offensive opponent) and Blake Sundland. We've had opportunities to get some other freshmen and sophomores in the games which has been great for building for the future as well.”
Hermantown will face Delano and Monticello in Delano Holiday Tournament games Dec. 28-29.
“Delano will be another top-10 opponent,” said Fenske. “That will be another great test to see how far we've come in the last few weeks.”
Today's High School Events
Moose Lake-Willow River at Cherry
Mountain Iron-Buhl at Esko
Moose Lake-Willow River at Barnum
Chisholm at Ely
Carlton-Wrenshall at McGregor
One Roof Community Housing of Duluth will receive over $50 million from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency in support of their work providing affordable Community Land Trust homes, building and renovating affordable apartments, and providing home buyers down payment assistance. One Roof conducted a strategic planning process last year when it engaged many stakeholders from the communities and agencies it works with. “The very clear mandate we received was that our work was very important to lower income individuals and families and that we should do more," One Roof Executive Director Jeff Corey said.
This spring the Minnesota Legislature approved historically large amounts of funding for affordable housing which gave One Roof the opportunity to compete for much larger awards than would previously have been possible in the Minnesota Housing Super Request for Proposals, which were due in July.
“We are extremely grateful that so many of our proposals were funded at such high levels, allowing us the opportunity to fulfill the goals in our strategic plan,” said Corey.
. For the second time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact for the Nemadji Trail Energy Center project, which will aid reliability during the clean energy transition and bring family-supporting jobs to Superior.