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Duluth Marshall 8th-grade phenom Chloe Johnson has been named Howie Hanson Prep Player of the Year. Howie /

Girls Basketball – Chloe Johnson, Duluth Marshall 8th-grade guard-forward-center. Scored 43 points in a Section 7AA opening-round game against Mesabi East on Saturday, and is widely recognized as the U.S.’s top prospect in the Class of 2028. Skillset and upside is off-the-charts. A must-watch generational global talent.

Boys Basketball – Brooks Johnson, Duluth Marshall junior guard-forward. A 6-foot-6 scoring and rebounding machine and a thunderous dunker, Johnson is entertaining several mid-level Division I offers and would be a major get for the Bulldogs.

Girls Hockey – Ilsa Lindaman, Duluth Marshall senior forward. The St. Thomas commit scored an amazing 57 goals and 86 points for the Section 7A runner-up Hilltoppers (22-4-1). One of northeastern Minnesota’s all-time best offensive players.

Boys Hockey – River Freeman, Hermantown junior forward. Classic power forward with elite speed, mitts and finishing skills. Tough in dirty areas and inspires teammates with a workmanlike approach in practice and games. Elite, quiet leader.


Larissa Hubbartt, RN, and Sierra Dyer, RN, Minnesota Nurses Association chairs at St. Luke’s Duluth on St. Luke's new affiliation with Wisconsin-based Aspirus Health – “We are hopeful about this affiliation between St. Luke’s and Aspirus. Their commitment to preserving local decision-making reflects a shared dedication to community-centered care, and to the mission of St. Luke’s nurses to put the Patient Above All Else. Thus far, this new partner has held true to these commitments to our community members and the nurses that care for them. As MNA co-chairs, we look forward to representing the nurses in our bargaining unit as we navigate and build upon this new affiliation, and we hope to see operational decisions continue to be made locally.”


Top-seeded Hermantown will play host to eighth-seed Hibbing in a Section 7AAA boys basketball quarterfinal Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Hermantown Middle School Gym.

The two-time defending 7AAA champion Hawks defeated the Bluejackets twice during the regular season, 78-56 in Hibbing and 90-73 at the Lake Superior Classic in Cloquet.

Hermantown (19-7) is led by senior power forward Abe Soumis, the school's career leader in points, rebounding and assists.

Hermantown boys basketball coach Andy Fenske on the two-time defending Section 7AAA champion Hawks – "As we look ahead to playoffs starting up next week, I like where we're sitting as a team. We're playing some of our best basketball right now, not just on the offensive side, but our defensive execution has been taking huge leaps forward for us. We'll know Saturday who our first opponent is going to be as well as the potential path we have going forward. Our boys have worked hard to be at the top of the section right now, but we know that all it takes is one off night and anyone can beat anyone in our section. I wouldn't be shocked to see a handful of 'upsets' in the first round. Any of the other seven coaches will tell you that it's only an upset by seeding, this is the most competitive our section has been, top to bottom, in many years. We're going to rely strongly on our upperclassmen who have been a part of our previous playoff runs to get us through the tough times ahead. March Madness is coming and it's truly the most wonderful time of the year." 


Quarterfinals, Wednesday

(8) Hibbing at (1) Hermantown, 7 p.m.

(5) Rock Ridge at (4) Denfeld, 7 p.m.

(7) Grand Rapids at (2) Chisago Lakes, 7 p.m.

(6) Cloquet at (3) North Branch, 7 p.m.

Semifinals, Friday

At highest seeds, 7 p.m.

Championship, March 14

At Duluth East, 7 p.m.


Max Plante had two assists as the U.S. National U-18 hockey team defeated the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers 8-4 on Sunday at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich. Plante, a Bulldogs recruit who is expected to join the team next season along with his older brother Zam (Fargo Force of the USHL), has 10 goals and 42 points in 35 games, including five points (one goal) in the last five games.


That was former Detroit Tigers pitcher Jerry Ujdur of Hermantown, a 10-game winner one season, refereeing a Section 7AA high school girls basketball game in Duluth last Saturday afternoon. He also starred for the Gophers.

Prep Player to Watch: Duluth Marshall baseball's senior shortstop-pitcher Carter Boos.