Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
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The Alexandria boys basketball team dropped its second straight game on Tuesday night as the Cardinals fell 68-59 against a Brainerd team that shot 50 percent from the field. The Warriors' Brandon Burggraff led that charge as he finished with 22 points. Joey Sauer added 21 points and Chris Karels chipped in 12.
The Brandon-Evansville boys basketball team gave Hancock one of its closest games of the season on Tuesday night before falling 73-66 to a talented Owls squad. Hancock is 20-2 now with its losses coming to Class A's Dawson-Boyd (18-5) and Class AA's Morris Area-Chokio-Alberta (10-13). The Chargers (13-9) had a three-point lead over the Owls at the half at 38-35, but Hancock responded with 36 points after halftime to secure the win.
The Alexandria girls basketball team had its 15-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday night, which in turn means the Cardinals will host a winner-takes-all game for the Central Lakes Conference title on Thursday night. Alexandria went to Brainerd (16-9, 9-5 CLC) where the Warriors avenged a 56-45 loss to the Cardinals from Jan. 16 by beating them 58-48 on Tuesday. Brainerd led by just one at the break but outscored Alexandria 29-20 after halftime to secure the win.
Alexandria's Hailee Bailey knew there was going to be a lot of nerves going into her first start in goal in a section championship game. That would be the case for almost anyone, regardless of age. Experience leads to comfort and often success. As an eighth-grader, Bailey certainly did not have that big-game experience, so she was going to do everything she could to try to overcome that with preparation.
The Alexandria girls hockey team was seeded among the top five teams in the Class A state tournament this year. The Cardinals (20-7) were seeded fourth on Saturday and will play fifth-seeded St. Paul United (19-9) at 8 p.m. at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Wednesday. The winner of that game will face the winner of top-seeded Warroad (22-3-2) and unseeded New Ulm (23-4-1) at 1 p.m. on Friday. The Class A state championship is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Xcel Energy Center.
BLIZZARD HOCKEY Alexandria at Willmar, 2 p.m.
BLIZZARD HOCKEY Alexandria at New Ulm, 7:10 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL Minnewaska vs. Litchfield, 2:30 p.m. Parkers Prairie vs. Upsala, 2:30 p.m. GYMNASTICS Alexandria at section meet in Perham WRESTLING
The Minnewaska boys basketball team is one of the top programs in the West Central Conference this season.
The Alexandria girls basketball team got a home win that will look good on its resume down the stretch as the Cardinals welcomed in Moorhead on Thursday and handed the Spuds a 63-51 loss. The QRF through Minnesota-scores.net, which seeds Alexandria's Section 8, Class AAA field, factors playing bigger schools into its ranking formula. Class AAA teams that get wins against AAAA teams get a boost, and the Cardinals did just that against a 14-9 Spuds team that includes future Nebraska Cornhusker guard Sam Haiby.
BOYS BASKETBALL Brandon-Evansville vs. Ashby, 7:15 p.m. Osakis vs. Staples Motley, 7:30 p.m. WCA at Park Christian, 7:30 p.m. Minnewaska vs. Melrose, 7:30 p.m. Parkers Prairie at Underwood, 7:15 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL Alexandria at Sauk Rapids-Rice, 7:15 p.m.