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 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.
Dominant. There really is no other way to describe the Alexandria girls hockey team’s hold on its section over more than a decade now. The Cardinals have made it to 15 straight section championship games. They have won 13 of those, including six straight in the Section 6, Class A Tournament after beating River Lakes 3-0 on Thursday on Alexandria’s home ice at the Runestone Community Center.
The Alexandria girls Nordic ski team finished 15 out of 16 teams on Thursday as the Cardinals got their first taste of the state meet since 2001. Alexandria totalled 175 points. Stillwater won the girls team championship with 414 points. Forest Lake was second at 407 and Robinsdale Armstrong rounded out the top three with 372. Junior Mara McCollor of Wayzata won the individual championship in 31:48.3 (15:32 freestyle, 16:16.3 classic).
GIRLS HOCKEY Alexandria vs. River Lakes, Section 6A championship, at RCC, 7 p.m. BOYS BASKETBALL Alexandria at Moorhead, 7:30 p.m. Osakis at ACGC, 7:30 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL Alexandria vs. Moorhead, 7:30 p.m. Brandon-Evansville vs. Parkers Prairie, 7:15 p.m.
The Alexandria boys basketball team has followed up a three-point loss to Fergus Falls on Feb. 9 with two straight wins after rolling over Sartell-St. Stephen 65-41 on Tuesday night. The Cardinals (13-7, 8-5 Central Lakes Conference) shot 55 percent (26-47) against the Sabres (3-17, 0-12), including 23-of-37 from inside the arc.
The Alexandria boys hockey team got the third seed in Section 6, Class A when the tournament field was announced on Wednesday. The Cardinals (14-10-1) open up the playoffs against sixth-seeded Fergus Falls (11-11-3) on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Runestone Community Center in Alexandria. The Cardinals beat the Otters 2-1 in overtime on Dec. 19 and 6-3 on Feb. 1.
Osakis wrestling saw the team portion of its season come to an end on Tuesday night in the opening round of the Section 5, Class A tournament. The Silverstreaks were seeded eighth but could not keep up with ninth-seeded BOLD in a 52-30 win for the Warriors. Osakis got its final win of the day from Colton Waldvogel at 170 pounds when he pinned Jaden Huebsch in 48 seconds. The Warriors responded with four straight wins, three by pin and one for forfeit, to finish off the win.
The Minnewaska wrestling team lived to see another day in the Section 5, Class A tournament by knocking off fifth-seeded Paynesville Area on Tuesday. The Lakers, seeded fourth, won five of the last six matches to erase a deficit and secure a 42-31 win. All five of those wins down the stretch came by fall as Ryan VanLuik, Grant Hendren, Tyson Meyer, Tyler VanLuik and Jakob Swalla pinned their man.
The Minnewaska boys basketball team breezed past Benson on Tuesday night to set up a big clash with Melrose on Friday. The Lakers (16-5, 9-2 West Central Conference) have won seven straight games after taking care of the Braves (0-22, 0-10 WCC), 58-36. Eleven different Minnewaska players scored, led by senior guard Matt Gruber with 15. Fellow senior guard Jackson Johnsrud added 14.