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Brainerd shuts down Cards

Senior guard Brandon Bistodeau goes up for a shot against the defense of Brainerd’s Grant Reuer and Hunter Casper (32) during Alexandria’s game against the Warriors last Friday night. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

Heading into a home game against Brainerd with a 3-1 record against Central Lakes Conference opponents this season, the Alexandria boys’ basketball team figured to have an opportunity to pick up another win on Friday.

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But Brainerd had other plans.

The Warriors rolled to a 63-47 victory, holding the Cardinals to its lowest team offensive numbers this season in the process. Head coach Forrest Witt felt Alexandria was out-hustled on the defensive side of the ball as the Warriors shot 56 percent from the field.

“I think Brainerd just outworked us and got after it, and exposed some of the weaknesses that we’re trying to work through,” Witt said.

The Cardinals were unable to get much going on offense as they shot only 31 percent from the field and were held to 19 points in the first half. The 47 points were a season low as Alexandria struggled to get things going against Brainerd’s 1-2-2 zone.

“We weren’t getting the stops that we needed and offensively we haven’t shot the ball real well,” Witt said. “We’ve struggled against good half-court defense.”

John Vogeler led the Cardinals’ offense with 11 points, David Krivanek scored eight and Joe Gorghuber finished with seven. Nick Schwen led the Warriors’ scoring with 23 points and Isaiah Smith finished with 12.

The loss dropped the Cardinals to 3-2 in CLC play this year. Witt said the rest of the games on the schedule are winnable, and the Cardinals’ success will come down to its ability to focus on the game plan.

“I think, right now, our practice habits are not great,” Witt said. “Some of that falls on me, and some of that falls on the players. We just have to approach it as we have a chip on our shoulder, and we are playing to prove something every single night.”

The Cardinals’ next opportunity to get back into the win column was yesterday, Tuesday, against Sauk Rapids-Rice. They also host St. Cloud Tech at home on Friday.

GAME STATISTICS Alexandria 19 28 – 47

Brainerd 27 36 – 63

ALEXANDRIA – Bistodeau – 2 points; Vogeler – 11 points; Gorghuber – 7 points; Krivanek – 8 points; Kohler – 3 points; Setterstrom – 3 points; Owen – 4 points; Oberg – 3 points; Kuhn – 2 points; Johnson – 2 points; Corson – 2 points

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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