The Lakeland girls’ hockey team is led in points by Kate Vizanko (8), pictured shooting the puck against Medford. The Thunderbirds and Vizanko are competing in the Culver’s Cup tournament this weekend.
The Lakeland girls’ hockey team is led in points by Kate Vizanko (8), pictured shooting the puck against Medford. The Thunderbirds and Vizanko are competing in the Culver’s Cup tournament this weekend.
Both the Lakeland girls and boys basketball and hockey teams and will be in action over the holidays playing in tournaments. 

The girls basketball team hosts a tournament that began yesterday and resumes today at the LUHS fieldhouse.

The boys basketball team traveled to Aquinas High School in La Crosse for the Eagles’ holiday tournament.

And both boys and girls hockey teams traveled to Madison to compete in the Culver’s Cup.

Here is a preview of the respective tournaments.

Girls Basketball hosts holiday classic

The Lakeland girls basketball team hosts round two of their holiday tournament at the LUHS fieldhouse tonight.

Play began last night, and coverage from those games will be in Monday’s paper.

The field includes teams from Unity High School, Portage and Merrill.

Unity High School, which Lakeland played last night, comes from the Lakeland West Conference where they are tied for second with Grantsburg at 3-1.  

Heading into last night’s game, the Eagles were 5-3 overall after defeating Frederic on Dec. 20, 60-34.

The Merrill Bluejays hail from the Wisconsin Valley Conference where they are 1-3. They were 6-3 overall coming into last night’s action, and their last game was a 50-28 victory over Mosinee.

The Bluejays are led by sophomore Courtney Krueger, who averages 10.3 points per game.

Merrill played Portage last night, who comes from the Badger North Conference.

The Warriors are 2-4 in the Badger North, tied for fifth place, and were 4-5 overall heading into last nights game. They came into the tournament on the heels of a 54-51 close victory over Poynette on Dec. 20.

Portage is led by two players who average double digits in scoring. Senior MacKenzie Roth scores 14.8 per game, while junior McKena Yelk averages 14.4 points per contest.

The hosting Lakeland Thunderbirds are 2-1 in the Great Northern Conference, tied for third with Medford and Antigo.  

They entered the tournament on a three-game winning streak, beating Tomahawk, Northland Pines, and Wausau East after falling to Rhinelander on Dec. 7.

The Thunderbirds, 6-3 overall coming into the tournament, are led by junior Abby Parris and senior Melissa Bruckner who average 19.3 and 12.3 points per game respectively.

The consolation game for the Lakeland holiday tournament is at 5 p.m. tonight, with the championship being played at 6:45 p.m.

Boys basketball heads to La Crosse

The Lakeland boys basketball team traveled to La Crosse Aquinas High School for a holiday tournament, which began yesterday and continues today. Coverage from that action will be in Monday’s paper.

The host Aquinas Blugolds hail from the Mississippi Valley conference where they are 0-1 and in fifth place.

The Blugolds began the tournament with a 2-6 overall record and are led by seniors Brandon Merfeld, who scores 15.2 points per game, and Jacob Savodelli who averages 12.9 per contest. 

Last night Aquinas played the Adams/Friendship Green Devils.  

The Devils play in the South Central Conference where they currently sit at 0-2 and in fifth place.  

They are led by two double digit scorers in seniors Ray Scott and Braedyn Quinnell. Scott averages 10.7 a game while Quinnell averages 10.3.

Adams/Friendship entered the tournament with a 2-6 overall record after a 62-37 loss to Mauston on Dec. 21.

Rounding out the field is St. Croix Central, who was Lakeland’s opponent last night.

The Panthers play in the Middle Border conference where they are currently 0-2 and in seventh place.

They entered the tournament with a 1-2 overall record after a 59-51 defeat by New Richmond on 

Dec. 14.

The Panthers are led by senior Peyton Nogal who scores 17 points per game.  

Lakeland arrived at Aquinas with a 5-2 overall record and they are currently 3-0 in the Great Northern Conference, tied with Mosinee for the lead.

The Lakeland Thunderbirds are coming off a non-conference loss to Wausau East but they have won three conference games in a row, beating Rhinelander, Tomahawk, and Northland Pines.

Lakeland is led in scoring by junior Michael Ouimette who averages 24.5 points per game.

Lakeland head coach Rich Fortier said the tournament is going to be a good challenge for his team, because they will be forced to play in an unfamiliar setting against unfamiliar teams.

“It’s us against the world,” Fortier said of playing far from home over the holidays. “A handful of parents and the coaches and that’s it.”

The respective winners and losers from each of Thursday’s games will play each other today. 

T-Bird hockey teams head to Culver’s Cup

In the opening round of the Culver’s Cup, the Lakeland boys hockey team played Baldwin-Woodville who hail from the Middle Border conference. They entered the Culver’s Cup 9-2 overall and 4-0 in conference.

The Blackhawks are led by senior Jake Carlson who has seven goals and 14 assists on the season.

The Lakeland Thunderbirds entered the tournament 2-7 overall and 0-5 in the Great Northern Conference.  

They are led by sophomore Max Toijala who has five goals and five assists so far this season.

The winner between the Thunderbirds and Blackhawks will take on the winner of Thursday’s Madison West vs. West Salem game at 3 p.m. today at Madison Ice arena. The losers of the respective games will play at 12:30 p.m. today, also at Madison Ice arena.

The boys field also includes teams from Madison West, West Salem, Madison Memorial, Ashland, Monona Grove, and Oshkosh.

The Lakeland girls opened up the tournament against the St. Croix Valley Fusion.

The Fusion come from the Big Rivers conference where they are 1-0.  

They entered the tournament at 5-3 overall and are led by junior Abbie DeLong who has seven goals and five assists on the year. 

Lakeland is coming off their best game of the season, a 7-3 win over the Northern Edge. 

The Thunderbirds are 2-5 overall and 2-2 in the Great Northern Conference.

They are led by sophomore Kate Vizanko who has four goals and eight assists on the season.

The winner of the game between Lakeland and St. Croix Valley will play the winner of Thursday’s game between Onalaska and Wisconsin Valley Union at 7:15 p.m. tonight at Hartmeyer Ice Arena.

The losing teams will face off at 5 p.m., also at Hartmeyer.

In addition to Lakeland and St. Croix Valley, the girls field includes Northland Pines, the Metro Lynx, the Brookfield Glacier, Oshkosh, Superior, and Wisconsin Valley Union.

Jacob Friede may be reached at or