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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BOYS HOCKEY Alexandria at Greenway-Nash-Kee in Coleraine, 7:30 p.m. GIRLS HOCKEY Alexandria vs. St. Paul United at Warroad Tournament, 5 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL Alexandria vs. Minnesota Transitions Charter at AAHS Tournament, 7:30 p.m. Watertown-Mayer vs. Buffalo at AAHS Tournament, 6 p.m.
A stretch of temperatures well below freezing helped anglers get onto the ice in mid-December. Now a warmer stretch that has followed seems to have triggered the bite that many are looking for on area lakes. "It does seem like it's gotten better with this warmer weather in the last couple days," Shane Gesell of Christopherson Bait in Alexandria said on Dec. 22. "We had that really cold stretch that seemed to shut the fish down for a couple days. Now with the nicer weather, it has picked up again."
Jaran Roste grew up in Alexandria watching the University of Minnesota football team play on Saturdays, hoping he might one day get a chance to play for his home-state team. Many kids don't get the opportunity to live out that dream by the time high school comes around. Roste kept progressing and grew into one of the most sought-after quarterback recruits in the 2017 class for the state of Minnesota. On Dec. 22, he decided to end a near two-year recruiting process by accepting a preferred walk-on opportunity with the Gophers.
The Alexandria boys basketball team didn’t start or end the game like the Cardinals wanted to, but in between they were dominant. That was enough to get a 56-45 win in their home opener against Brainerd.
The Parkers Prairie girls basketball team is 6-0 after a 50-25 win over Rothsay in the Little Eight Conference on Tuesday night. The Panthers got 13 points apiece from Kathryn Burquest and Faith Alberts to lead the way. Lexie Lankow led the Tigers (1-5) with seven points. PARKERS PRAIRIE 26 24 - 50 ROTHSAY 14 11 - 25
The West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville wrestling team continues to pile up wins as the Knights beat Border West 52-21 on Tuesday night. Kaleb Getz got a pin in 56 seconds at 120 pounds, and Drake Swanson added another in 2:38 at 126 pounds. That was after two forfeit wins from Jordan Lohse and Kade Olson as the Knights took a commanding lead right off the bat. Jake Nohre (dec. 8-2), Tyler Onstad (Inj), Alex Butcher (dec. 3-2), John Barber (MD, 13-2), Levi Larkin (fall, 1:00) and Zach Mattson (forfeit) all added wins for the Knights to help them run away with the win.
The West Central Area boys basketball team played with Battle Lake through part of the first half before the Battlers extended their lead to 28-19 by the break. The Knights (1-3) cut their deficit back to seven three times in the second half before Battle Lake closed on a 22-6 run to win a 61-38 Section 6A matchup. It was the first game for the Knights since Dec. 9, with the team also still without leading scorer and rebounder Logan Paulson, who is out with an illness.
The Ashby boys basketball team dropped its second game of the Henning Holiday Tournament to the host Henning team in a 56-39 game. Ashby sophomore Scott Johnson hit a halfcourt shot at the buzzer to make it a 27-23 Henning lead at the break. The Hornets responded with a big second half to drop the Arrows to 1-3 and move to 2-5 themselves.
A five-year run of championships for the North Dakota State University football program came to an end in the NCAA Division I FCS semifinals on Dec. 16 as fourth-seeded James Madison beat the defending champions 27-17 at the Fargodome. The Bison (12-2) trailed 17-7 at the half but rallied with 10 points in the third quarter to tie things at 17 apiece after King Frazier's 16-yard touchdown run. James Madison answered with the final 10 points in the fourth, taking the lead on a 45-yard field goal by Tyler Gray and adding a 25-yard touchdown pass with almost seven minutes left.
The cackle rang out in the cold December air before the rooster ever showed itself above the cattails. Birds like to flush wild this time of year, so opportunities like this need to be capitalized on. I shouldered my Browning Citori and pulled the trigger on the top barrel. A few feathers flew but not enough to fold him. The second shot hit its mark after aiming a little longer this time.