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Alexandria freshman Kendall Kohler goes up for a shot against a Sauk Centre defender on Saturday night. Kohler finished with five points and three steals to help the Cardinals knock off the Mainstreeters. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

Cards hold off Sauk Centre

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sports Alexandria,Minnesota 56308 http://www.echopress.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/field/image/axGBK_9990_Kohler.JPG?itok=m9QpwOVA
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Cards hold off Sauk Centre
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

Heading into a home game against one of the state’s top ranked Class 2A teams, the Alexandria girls’ basketball team knew it needed to bring a solid effort to come out with a win Saturday.

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The Cardinals did just that in a 60-44 nonconference victory over Sauk Centre. Hot shooting helped the Cardinals as they shot 45 percent from the field and 53 percent on three-pointers.

Amanda Christianson led Alexandria offensively with 20 points, and Karly Betterman also had a strong game in scoring 15. Amanda Weir led the Mainstreeters’ scoring with 12 points.

The Cardinals only led by one point at halftime, but the defense responded to some halftime adjustments and kept the Mainstreeters to just three baskets and 14 points in the second half. One reason why Alexandria held a strong advantage in the half was creating points off turnovers.

“We always try to get the other team to turn over the ball, so it was good that we got a lot of those,” Betterman said.

The Cardinals also benefited offensively from some open looks in the second half. Alexandria head coach Wendy Kohler said the girls made some adjustments that allowed them to move the ball freely and wear the Sauk Centre defense down.

“Against good defense, you need to run a good offense,” Kohler said. “We were just sloppy with the ball...in the first half, and I thought our kids really did a great job of settling in offensively in the second half.”

The Cardinals knew the game would not be easy after Sauk Centre beat them on the road last season 35-29. Alexandria successfully returned the favor Saturday, bringing its season record to 10-3 overall.

With just one loss against section opponents, Alexandria has hopes of continuing to improve and making a run in the section tournament. The only section loss came against top ranked Fergus Falls on January 17, and the two teams will play a rematch in Alexandria on February 24.

We’re just getting better every day,” Christianson said. “I think we can go far this year and make a run.”

The loss dropped Sauk Centre to 10-2 overall.

Alexandria 72, Sartell 29

The Cardinals had no problem picking up a conference victory on the road over Sartell 72-29 on Thursday night.

Alexandria put things on cruise control in the first half as the Cardinals scored 45 points to take a 45-13 lead into the break. They finished the night shooting 60 percent from the field and 53 percent from three point range.

“We played beautiful team basketball moving the ball to the open players and knocking down our shots that we created for each other,” head coach Wendy Kohler said. 

Amanda Christianson had a game-high 16 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists. Brooke Heggie had a big game with 14 points, seven rebounds and seven blocked shots. Kendall Kohler added 11 points and Macy Hatlestad finished with 10.

GAME RESULTS SAUK CENTRE 30 14 – 44

ALEXANDRIA 31 29 – 60

ALEXANDRIA – Amanda Christianson – 20 points, 3 assists, 6 rebounds; Karly Betterman – 15 points, 4 steals; Sarah Bruzek – 6 points, 4 assists, 3 steals; Brooke Heggie – 6 points, 8 rebounds, 6 blocks; Kendall Kohler – 5 points, 3 steals; Macy Hatlestad – 2 points, 3 assists, 4 steals; Cheyenne Hendrickson – 2 points; Emily Thul – 2 points; Amanda Gould – 2 points

Sauk Centre – Madison Greenwaldt – 7 points; Madison Moritz – 6 points; Alea Gerhartz – 9 points; Amanda Weir – 12 points; Kelsey Peschel – 3 points; Julie Bushard – 6 points; Rebecca Weir – 1 point

ALEXANDRIA 45 27 – 72

SARTELL 13 16 – 29

ALEXANDRIA – Amanda Christianson – 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals; Brooke Heggie – 14 points, 7 rebounds, 7 blocks; Kendall Kohler – 11 points, 4 assists; Macy Hatlestad – 10 points, 4 assists, 3 steals; Karly Betterman – 6 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals; Emily Thul – 3 points; Amanda Gould – 3 points; Sam Frederick – 3 points; Cheyenne Hendrickson – 3 points; Sarah Bruzek – 2 points; Jaylen Olson-Rodel – 1 point

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Blaze Fugina
Blaze Fugina is the sports editor at the Pierce County Herald. Before working at the Herald, Blaze was a sports reporter at the Alexandria Echo Press for one year and 10 months. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.
(715) 273-4334
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