Alexandria boys one win away from state
The Alexandria boys’ basketball team will play for a spot at the state tournament tomorrow night in the Section 8AAA title game after holding off third-seeded Albany in a 66-58 game on Saturday afternoon.
The Cardinals built a 29-24 lead by the break and put up 37 points after halftime to secure the win. Alexandria had six different players finish with at least five points.
“We had several different players step up for us offensively to give us a spark at critical times throughout the game,” head coach Forrest Witt said. “Two other keys to the game were our plus-eight rebounding advantage and our half-court defense. I thought we did a good job of making Albany take tough shots, and we cleaned up the glass well.”
Junior forward Joe Gorghuber had a big night with 19 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals. David Krivanek added 11 points, and Travis Krueger had one of his best games of the season at an important time, finishing with 15 points and five rebounds.
“Travis was checked in and ready to go,” Witt said. “He gave us a big lift with his perimeter shooting, but equally impressive were his defense and rebounding. I was very pleased with Travis’ contribution as we needed a lift from someone, and he stepped up in a big way.”
John Vogeler added nine points and seven rebounds. Brandon Bistodeau finished with seven points and Chase Kohler had five to round out the scoring for Alexandria.
The Cardinals’ reward will be a third matchup against Fergus Falls this season. The two Central Lakes Conference rivals will tip at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, at Minnesota State University-Moorhead for the Section 8AAA title.
Alexandria took both of these games during the regular season. The Cardinals won 78-64 on December 10 and 61-57 against the Otters on January 24. It will be the third straight section title game for Fergus Falls. It’s Alexandria’s first section championship appearance under Witt.
“I think our guys will handle the situation of a section title game just fine,” Witt said. “To have some nerves is normal and natural, but once that ball is thrown up, it subsides and you play the game. We are led by upperclassmen, so I believe our kids will respond well.”
Witt said it will all start on the defensive end for the Cardinals.
“We need to make sure we challenge [Austin] Rund on every possession as he is the key to their team on the offensive end,” he said. “They have some very good perimeter shooters that we need to contain, and they play very well off of their inside-out action.”
Rund helped the Otters upset top-seeded Sartell-St. Stephen 52-46 in the semifinals on Saturday after finishing with 14 points and eight rebounds. The Otters are 14-12 overall, while Alexandria will enter tomorrow’s game at 14-11.
ALEXANDRIA 29 37 – 66
ALBANY 24 34 – 58
ALEXANDRIA TOTALS – FG – 20-47; Three-point FG – 6-17; FT – 20-27; Assists – 8; Rebounds – 32; Steals – 7; Turnovers – 15
ALEXANDRIA – Bistodeau – 7 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound, 2 steals; Vogeler – 9 points, 2 assists, 7 rebounds; Gorghuber – 19 points, 3 assists, 10 rebounds, 2 steals; Krueger – 15 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal; Krivanek – 11 points, 1 assist, 7 rebounds, 2 steals; Kohler – 5 points, 2 rebounds