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 11th annual Runestone Spiel hosted by the Vikingland Curling Club is set for this Friday and Saturday at the Runestone Community with a former Olympian taking part in the event. Duluth's John Landsteiner, who competed for team USA during the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, is fresh off winning a national title in curling with four USA teammates in John Shuster, Tyler George, Matt Hamilton and Joe Polo at the 2017 USA Curling National Championships in Everett, Wash. on Feb. 18.
The Brandon-Evansville boys basketball team couldn't find its shooting touch on Tuesday night as the Chargers had a five-game winning streak snapped by Bertha-Hewitt in a 47-41 game. The Bears (7-16) got a game-high 18 points from junior forward Luke Follmer as he led his team to the win. "He was able to get to the basket a little too easily and was 4-for-4 from the free-throw line when we needed to foul," B-E head coach John Holsten said.
The Osakis boys basketball team came into the season believing it could compete for a Prairie Conference title. On Tuesday, the Silverstreaks made it happen. Osakis clinched a share of that league championship with Browerville-Eagle Valley after rolling past Upsala 66-47. Both the Tigers (22-4) and the Silverstreaks (20-5) finished with 11-1 Prairie Conference records after beating each other on their home courts.
BOYS BASKETBALL Alexandria at Rocori, 7:30 p.m. Brandon-Evansville at Bertha-Hewitt, 7:30 p.m. WCA vs. Park Christian, 7:30 p.m. Ashby vs. Henning, 7 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL Alexandria vs. Little Falls, Section 8-3A quarterfinals, 7 p.m.
BOYS BASKETBALL Osakis vs. Parkers Prairie, 7:30 p.m. Minnewaska at YME, 7:15 p.m.
The Battle Lake boys basketball team wrapped up a Little Eight Conference outright title on Friday night after taking care of Ashby in a 65-44 win. The Battlers (18-5, 9-3) led 42-14 at the break and coasted to the win from there. "I don't know what else to say other than we weren't ready for the first half," Ashby head coach Jeremy Knick said. "I was really happy with our second-half effort. We had a lot more energy and did some good things on offense."
The Brandon-Evansville boys basketball team won its fifth straight game on Friday night by edging West Central Area 50-46 in Barrett. The Knights (10-12) are trending the opposite direction after losing their sixth straight.
The Alexandria Blizzard wrapped up a weekend sweep of Breezy Point on Saturday by beating the North Stars 5-2 after taking a 6-3 game on Friday. The two teams are battling for second place in the West Division, and Alexandria (28-12-0-2) is now seven points up on both Breezy Point (24-18-3-0) and New Ulm (24-16-0-3). The Blizzard dominated the middle period on Saturday, scoring three goals to break what was a 2-2 tie after one period. Caleb Anderson, Steven Gustafson and Logan Norman all scored in the second period after Dawson Ellingson and Norman scored in the first.
The Alexandria swimming and diving team was geared up for a big day at the Section 5A meet in Bemidji and it played out that way during Saturday's finals. The Cardinals finished second as a team in the 10-program field with 353 points. Only Class A power Sartell-St. Stephen was better with 531 points as the Sabres ran away with another title. The finish means Alexandria will be well represented at the state meet March 2-4 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
The Alexandria wrestling team will send two on to the individual state tournament this week after seniors Ben Bogart and Quintin-Kluver Longfellow punched their tickets through the Section 8-3A individual meet that was held in Alexandria. Bogart has a chance to add to his fourth-place finish from a year ago at 126 pounds after securing his spot through the 132-pound bracket this year. Bogart won his quarterfinals match on Saturday by fall in 5:14 and took a 6-0 decision in the semifinals.