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Alexandria girls' basketball: Cardinals take consolation title

Jess Syvrud (23) had to move Park Center's McKenna DuBois aside on her way to the basket during last Friday's opening round game of the Alexandria holiday tournament. The Cardinal girls dropped their opener, but won the consolation championship on Saturday over Robbinsdale Armstrong. (Lori Mork, Echo Press)1 / 2
Karly Betterman (21) was fouled by a Park Center player on her way to the basket Friday night in the opening round of the Alexandria girls' holiday tournament. (Lori Mork, Echo Press)2 / 2

The Cardinal girls were not able to repeat as champions of their own holiday tournament last week, but did claim the consolation championship.

Opening round

Park Center 64, Alexandria 42

A pre-season top five pick in the Class 3A polls, the Park Center Pirates were first on the agenda for the Cardinal girls and they proved as good as their billing, breaking open a close game with Alexandria for a 64-42 win behind the efforts of DI recruit Cayla McMorris.

"The Cardinals came out flying with confidence, and battled the Pirates tooth and nail for three-quarters of the game," said head coach Wendy Kohler. "With the score 40-41 with seven minutes left in the game, the Cards hit a big drought as we failed to answer as the Pirates went on a 21-0 run to end the game.

"This was a huge disappointment, yet identified some real glaring areas needing improvement if we expect to continue to improve to strive for our goals of being contenders for CLC and section titles."

Three Cardinals hit double figures in the game as Amanda Christianson had 12, Kalli Bowser 11 and Karly Betterman had 10.

Jess Syvrud dropped in five, with Sarah Bruzek and Emily Thul each scoring two.

Christianson and Bowser had two rebounds apiece with Thul grabbing five.

Moorhead defeated Robbinsdale Armstrong 65-62 in overtime to advance to the title game.



Alexandria 64,


Armstrong 50

The Cardinals rebounded from the opening round loss to defeat Robbinsdale Armstrong 64-50 to claim the consolation championship the following night.

"The Cards demonstrated character and confidence in each other as we came out and jumped all over the Falcons and never looked back," said Kohler. "Defensive energy, teamwork and Top 20 attitudes were in full force and it propelled us to a solid victory."

Christianson was again one of the driving forces behind the victory, pouring in 26 points, and adding six assists, five rebounds and four steals.

"Bowser turned in her best night in the paint for the Cards as she flexed her muscle with 12 points, six boards, three steals and a blocked shot," said the coach.

Sarah Bruzek had eight points and two assists, while Amanda Gould had eight points, seven rebounds and a steal.

Dani Strater dropped in four points, Betterman three, Thul two and Syvrud had two points, five rebounds and four assists.

In the championship game, Park Center defeated Moorhead 82-50 behind 23 points from McMorris.

Alexandria will be at St. Cloud Tech tonight, Friday, and will travel to Moorhead on Tuesday.