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 West Central Area girls basketball team is 4-2 after splitting games against New London-Spicer and Ashby in the last week. The Knights knocked off the Arrows (1-3) 61-29 on Tuesday after falling to the Wildcats (4-1) 72-50 on Saturday. Morgan Woodle led WCA against Ashby with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Ella Van Kempen added 10 points and eight rebounds, while Brianna Kreft had a team-high 13 rebounds to go with seven points.
The Brandon-Evansville boys basketball team dropped its first game of the season on Tuesday night as Hillcrest Lutheran Academy defended its home court in a 50-43 Little Eight Conference contest. The Comets (2-0, 1-0 LEC) did much of their damage in the first half as they built up a 32-16 lead by the break. The Chargers (2-1, 0-1 LEC) outscored them 27-18 after halftime, but it wasn't enough.
The Alexandria girls hockey team played in its third straight overtime game on Tuesday night. The Cardinals found a way to win the prior two by 3-2 scores. Against River Lakes, they came up on the wrong end of that same score as the Stars (4-5, 2-2 Central Lakes Conference) got the game winner off the stick of Brianna Deming 2 minutes, 37 seconds into overtime. The loss snaps what was a six-game winning streak for Alexandria.
The Osakis girls basketball team went out of conference to face a now 2-2 Litchfield team that shot 50 percent on Tuesday night to knock off the Silverstreaks 67-51. Osakis (1-4) could not quite keep up after shooting 35.6 percent (16-of-45) and 4-of-17 from the three-point line. "We ran into a pretty good Litchfield team," Osakis head coach Pat Kalpin said. "They were able to build a good halftime lead in which they shot the ball really well in the half. I thought we settled down and executed offensively and defensively much better the second half."
Many skiers across Minnesota are searching for snow right now, and they found it at Andes Tower Hills on Tuesday. The Alexandria Nordic ski team hosted an impromptu meet after its originally scheduled meet in Detroit Lakes was cancelled due to lack of snow. Snow has been made out at Andes, which allowed teams from Brainerd, Moorhead, Fergus Falls and Willmar to join the Cardinals on the shortened course.
Alexandria boys hockey coach Ian Resch admits that there were some things the Cardinals had gotten away with through an unbeaten start to the season. There was a lost lead that led to a tie against Little Falls in the opener. Then a game against a 1-4 River Lakes team where Alexandria needed overtime to win 3-2. The Cardinals were still 3-0-1 heading into a matchup with defending section champion St. Cloud Cathedral, but the Crusaders (5-1) exposed some of the inexperience on this Cardinals team in a 7-1 win on Alexandria's home ice on Tuesday.
BOYS BASKETBALL Brandon-Evansville at Hillcrest Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Parkers Prairie vs. Rothsay, 7:15 p.m. Ashby at Battle Lake, 7:15 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL Alexandria vs. Fergus Falls, 7:15 p.m. Osakis vs. Litchfield, 7:30 p.m. WCA at Ashby, 7:30 p.m.
Alexandria's Michael Empting was part of a lot of football festivities this past weekend that culminated with the Mr. Football Awards banquet on Sunday night in St. Louis Park. Empting was one of 11 finalists for the statewide award that recognizes Minnesota's best high school football player. It is sponsored by the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Football Coaches Association as Eden Prairie's Antonio Montero became the 14th player to win the honor when he took home the Mr. Football Award on Sunday.
The Brandon-Evansville girls basketball team wasn't at full strength on Monday night and could not get its offense going in a 39-32 loss at Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley. The Chargers (3-3) shot 23 percent (11-of-46) and 2-of-17 from three. They still led 16-11 at the break but were outscored by 12 points after halftime.
The Brandon-Evansville girls basketball team held Rothsay to single-digit points in both halves on Friday night as the Chargers knocked off the Tigers 47-17. Brandon-Evansville (3-2, 2-0 Little Eight Conference) led just 18-9 at the break but turned things on after halftime by outscoring Rothsay (0-5, 0-2 LEC) by 21 points.