Sports roundup from Thursday, March 6
Section 8AAA championship
Alexandria 69, Fergus Falls 50
The Alexandria boys’ basketball team played what head coach Forrest Witt felt was their best game of the season on Thursday night and the reward is a trip to the Class AAA state tournament.
The Cardinals never left much doubt in this one on their way to a 69-50 win over Fergus Falls in the 8AAA title game at Minnesota State University-Moorhead. John Vogeler had 30 points, including 19 in the first half. Fellow senior guard Brandon Bistodeau added 15 points as the Cardinals secured their first trip to the state tournament since 2002.
“It’s crazy,” Bistodeau said. “It’s just a dream come true. We’ve been dreaming about it all the time through basketball. All 14 years or however long we’ve been playing. I can’t even explain my emotions right now.”
Alexandria trailed 3-0 after the Otters’ first possession but didn’t take long to get going. Vogeler was in a zone that started by getting a couple quick three-point plays early on. He took the ball to the basket and took on the contact from the defense as he put it up and in before making the free throw both times.
He added a fade-away jumper from the right sideline before stepping out beyond the arc. Vogeler hit three triples in the first half and Bistodeau hit another as the Cardinals went 13-of-25 from the field to grab a 34-20 lead at the break. They ended up shooting 49 percent for the game (24-of-49).
“The coaches really emphasize with me, get to the rim. Don't settle for threes right away," Vogeler said. "Get myself going from inside out so those outside shots start coming easier. That's obviously what happened. Those and-ones really helped a lot thanks to the players who got me in that position. Brandon and David [Krivanek] and all my other teammates who pushed the ball looking for me, setting screens for me. It was just a great team win.”
Click here for more reaction from this game.
6AA North Quarterfinals
Osakis 59, Pillager 20
The Osakis girls used a big second half to roll through seventh-seeded Pillager on Thursday night and set up a match up with Sauk Centre in the 6AA North semifinals on Saturday.
The Silverstreaks led by just five at the break but outscored Pillager 41-7 after the half. Annalise Savageau had 24 points, three rebounds and three steals. Brittney Sadlemyer added 10 points, six rebounds and four steals.
“It was kind of a tale of two halves for us,” head coach Pat Kalpin said. “We played as hard as we could both halves. The difference was that we made our shots the second half. I believe we were 29 percent from the field the first half and ended the game 46 percent, so our second half was really good on both ends of the court.”
The Silverstreaks ended the game on a 27-0 run. Savageau was a big part of that as she hit six second-half threes. Madi Forsell added eight assists on the night and Brooke Sorenson led the defense with four steals.
“Mackenzie Staloch hit some big shots in the second half as well,” Kalpin added. “Alexa Hoffarth and Johanna Boogaard gave great minutes off the bench for the team. We are extremely happy with the win and excited to be playing Saturday night at St. John's University."
Osakis will tip off that game at 6 p.m. against third-seeded Sauk Centre.
Battle Lake 49, Brandon-Evansville 34
Emily Friedrich scored 27 points, but the Brandon-Evansville girls' basketball team could not get its outside shooting going in a 49-34 loss to Battle Lake in a Section 6A tournament game Thursday in Evansville.
Friedrich was handed the task of playing inside against a taller Battle Lake team, and she responded by leading the Chargers' offense.
"Our team did a good job of passing it to me and it just went it," she said.
But the outside shooting of the Chargers was the story of the game as the rest of the lineup only scored seven points. Senior guard Megan Kokett said Battle Lake played a different zone on Thursday then the Chargers saw in the two regular season games they won.
Click here for more on this game.
WCA 56, Underwood 38
The West Central Area girls grabbed a 39-19 lead by the break and coasted to a 56-38 win over Underwood in the 6A South quarterfinals on Thursday night.
Holly Van Kempen had 24 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Christina Kruize added nine points and six rebounds.
“The girls were focused and ready to play,” head coach Beth Hill said. “They executed the game plan and all stepped it up. This was a team victory and a great first step in playoffs. We enjoy this for now but get back to work tomorrow. Our next focus is on Saturday. This is such a fun time and exciting to see where we can go.”
The Knights will now take on fifth-seeded Battle Lake at 6 p.m. in Morris on Saturday.
Ashby 60, Henning 54
The biggest upset around the area came from the 10th-seeded Ashby girls as they knocked of second-seeded Henning 60-54 on Thursday.
“We played hard for 36 minutes on both ends of the court,” Ashby head coach Troy Mickelson said. “On offense, we got good looks and hit open shots. On the defensive end, we were able to get some key stops both early in the game and as the game was coming to a close. I am proud of how our girls are continuing to come together as a team and play as one unit.”
Cassandra Jordan and Madison VanSanten each had 14 points for the Arrows to lead the way. Amber Sundal added 11 points, while Kerstyn Schroeder and Sarah Anderson had seven and five points, respectively.
The Arrows will now get sixth-seeded Wheaton-Herman-Norcross on Saturday at 7:45 p.m. in Morris after the Warriors upset third-seeded Ortonville 57-46 on Thursday.
Minnewaska 55, Morris Area 36
Fifth-seeded Minnewaska beat fourth-seeded Morris Area 55-36 on Thursday night in the Section 6AA South opener.
The Lakers will now play top-seeded New London-Spicer on Saturday at 1 p.m. at St. John’s University.
Bertha-Hewitt 37, Parkers Prairie 33
The Parkers Prairie girls saw their season come to an end on Thursday night in a 37-33 loss to Bertha-Hewitt in the 5A North quarterfinals.
The Panthers finished the season 16-8.