By Hub City Times staffMARSHFIELD – After finishing second in the state in Division 5 last season, the Columbus Dons boys basketball team has opened another season. The Dons went 1-1 Nov. 29-30 at the 35th annual Cranberry Classic at Assumption High School in Wisconsin Rapids.After winning the tournament last year, and three out of the last four, Columbus opened up the 2019-20 season with a 70-68 loss to the Port Edwards Blackhawks on Nov. 29.The Dons led by as many as 10 in the first half, and had a six-point lead at halftime. But Port Edwards stayed close, and used a 39-31 second half to come from behind and win the game.Tom Nystrom, known now for his clutch five three-pointers in last season’s sectional final to beat Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran, and his buzzer-beating three-pointer in a last-second win over Bangor in the Division 5 state semifinal at the Kohl Center a week later, opened up this season with a three-point basket to give the Dons the early lead. He finished the game with seven–two shy of the single-game record of nine set by Jason Hertel in the 1991-92 season.Nystrom ended the game with 23 points. Wyatt Drexler added 18 points on six three-pointers, including five in the first half.The Dons were just 17-for-32 from the free throw line, including 8-of-19 in the second half.Columbus came back the following night and knocked off Assumption 58-41. Drexler scored 28 points in the win, and hit another five three-pointers. The Dons held the Royals to just 12 second-half points.Columbus Head Coach Joe Konieczny says he likes playing at the Classic, “We love coming to this tournament. I’ve been really pleased with our experience. It’s a great way to get two quality non-conference games before we enter conference play.”After opening conference play Dec. 3 against Colby, the Dons play at Spencer on Dec. 6. Columbus plays another non-conference game with Auburndale on Dec. 9 at Columbus High School.
Suresh Raina.Marriage begins a new chapter in a person’s life, but such is the life of present day Indian cricketers that they hardly get any time for their personal lives and families. When they are not on national duty, they are on club duty – playing in the Indian Premier League.So even though it has been a while since Suresh Raina got married to his childhood friend Priyanka Chaudhary, on April 3, he is yet to go on a honeymoon as the batsman has been busy plying his trade for Chennai Super Kings in the eighth edition of the IPL.But thankfully for Raina, his wife isn’t complaining as she understands the demands of marrying an India cricketer. In fact, Raina feels lucky to have a considerate partner who is happy to see him go out on the field and express himself.”Marriage hasn’t changed anything and there is no added pressure on me now that my wife is watching me play. The simple reason is that she loves to see me express myself on the field as she knows that I enjoy that a lot and that makes her happy as well. I am blessed indeed to have her as my partner,” he told Mail Today.Suresh Raina and childhood friend Priyanka Chaudhary got married on April 3 this year, just before the IPL began.Coming back to the cricketing side of things, there is no denying the fact that Raina is not only an integral part of CSK, but also one of the best T20 players in the world. He has not missed a single T20 game that Chennai have played and his record stands at an impressive 3,671 runs from 130 games – the most in the history of the cash-rich league.But going by Raina’s standards, this season hasn’t panned out the way the last seven have. He has managed 346 runs from 15 games with just two half-centuries. While he has got starts, he hasn’t managed to capitalise on them and score big like in the past. But Raina isn’t complaining and is happy to be middling the ball in the final phase of the tournament.advertisement”I don’t like to think too hard. I have been middling the ball well. It was just a matter of time before I scored runs. Right now I am really looking forward to finishing the season on a high,” he revealed.Talking of CSK and not mentioning Ashish Nehra is almost impossible this season. Not only has Nehra been impressive with the ball, picking 19 wickets from 14 games, but what has impressed people more is that the oft-injured pacer has managed to stay injury-free even in this highly demanding tournament, where players are expected to play late into the night and then travel the very next morning on various occasions. Raina says Nehra’s spirit has been infectious. “You should look at him at training. He has given it his all. He inspires you to go that extra mile. Nehra has definitely been a revelation this season. And he deserves the wickets and the accolades. He has really worked for it and I am very happy for him,” he said.