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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Puck luck can make or break tight games in hockey and the Alexandria girls just didn’t have it on Wednesday night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Hancock's junior guard Noah Kannegiesser tormented the West Central Area boys basketball team on Tuesday night with 45 points en route to an 80-56 win for the Owls. That's becoming par for the course for Kannegiesser, who is coming off a 49-point performance against Ortonville and a 43-point game against Dawson-Boyd last week.
The Alexandria girls basketball team dropped its first game in Central Lakes Conference play on Tuesday night after shooting just 22 percent from the field. Willmar (17-8, 12-3 CLC) wasn't much better offensively but had enough to come away with the 40-33 win on Alexandria's senior night. The visiting Cardinals led by 11 at the break. Alexandria fought it back down to three late in the game but had to foul in the end.
The West Central Area girls basketball team has lost a few close games this year with a relatively young lineup, but on Tuesday they found a way to win one. Brandon-Evansville was the victim on the Chargers’ home court after a late rally came up short. The Knights (6-17) led for much of the game until a Kennedy Lund free throw tied things at 61 apiece with less than two minutes left. The Knights responded with a 9-4 run to end a 70-65 win over a 16-8 Chargers team that came in well in front of them in the Section 6A QRF rankings.
Contributed Elliot Blanchette of Evansville showed off his ice fishing abilities by catching this northern pike on Lake Freeborn with a sucker minnow earlier this winter.
Adam Murkowski has been the big game program leader with the Minnesota DNR for a little more than a year, and there is no easing into things when it comes to managing whitetails. Murkowski started his position as the point person for managing Minnesota's deer, elk and moose populations on Jan. 11, 2016. He came into the job amidst dissatisfaction among many hunters about the state of the deer herd.
The Alexandria girls hockey team feels it had an argument to secure a top five seed at the Class A state tournament that starts Wednesday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Cardinals have a 14-12-1 record, but two of those wins came against teams that are seeded among the top five at state in fourth-seeded Mound Westonka and third-seeded Warroad.
The West Central Area boys basketball team dropped its fourth straight game as Morris Area-Chokio-Alberta shot 50 percent in a 71-50 win on Monday night. The Tigers (13-10) hit 27-of-54 shots, including 8-of-18 threes. They also held a 35-24 advantage on the glass. Sophomore guard Camden Arndt led the way with 26 points on 9-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-3 from three. Senior guard Lukas Manska also added 17 for the Tigers.
BOYS BASKETBALL Parkers Prairie vs. BBE, 7:30 p.m. Alexandria at Willmar, 7:30 p.m. Osakis at Swanville, 7:30 p.m. WCA at Hancock, 7:30 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL Alexandria vs. Willmar, 7:30 p.m. Osakis vs. Parkers Prairie 7:30 p.m.
The governing body for competitive cycling in the United States has opened an independent investigation into claims made earlier this year by Alexandria native and six-time American cycling national champion Missy Erickson that she was sexualy abused. That's according to an article posted on Feb. 17 at bicycling.com written by Caitlin Giddings. Giddings wrote that USA Cycling wouldn't discuss details of the case while it was ongoing.