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.
- Member for
- 1 year 8 months
The Alexandria boys' basketball team showed what it can do when shots are falling through one half last Friday night. The Cardinals overcame a slow start to take a 25-21 lead into the break over a 3-1 New Prague team. Junior guard Brandon Bistodeau hit two threes during that stretch and Chase Kohler added another as Alexandria got good looks out of its half-court offense. Those same looks didn't fall after halftime. The Cardinals were held to 22 points through the final 18 minutes, and New Prague used an 8-0 run out of the locker room to take a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
The Alexandria boys' hockey team played its most dominant game of the early season in a 12-0 win over Willmar at the Runestone Community Center last Thursday. The last time these two teams met, Willmar stunned Alexandria by coming back for a 4-3 win in the opening round of the Section 6A playoffs. There would be no such drama on this night as the home Cardinals scored four goals in the first period and added five in the second to move to 2-0-1 in conference play. "It was a dominating performance right from the drop of the puck," head coach Scott Woods said.
Osakis girls' basketball coach Pat Kalpin watched his team struggle through a 7-19 season three years ago and felt what this group needed more than anything was pretty simple: patience. That's what he preached to them as they took their lumps as underclassmen playing at the varsity level. That's what kept them in the gym despite a two-year stretch where the Silverstreaks went 19-35. Now six games into a perfect start to the season, that same group of athletes is starting to see the fruits of their labor. "They've grown a lot," Kalpin said. "Look at them. Two years ago, we were 12-16.
The Brandon-Evansville boys' basketball team made it two straight wins after persevering in a 54-48 game against Underwood last Thursday night. The Chargers led by nine at the break and built that lead to double digits in the second half. That's when the Rockets went to a press that rattled Brandon-Evansville into a flurry of turnovers that allowed Underwood back in the game. The Rockets were able to take a one-point lead before the Chargers' Blake Satterlie hit a shot that gave his team the lead back.
The Brandon-Evansville girls' basketball team got its first win of the season in a 47-34 game against Ashby last Friday night. The Chargers shot just 14-of-43 but won the game at the free throw line, where they went 14-of-16. They also outrebounded the Arrows 43-25 on a night when Emma Friedrich and Megan Kokett each grabbed 10 boards. "We made free throws, especially down the stretch," head coach Dick Simpson said. "We played good half-court defense, rebounded well and shot free throws well. Those were the keys.
Alexandria's Kris Aaseng made it look easy in the Cardinal swim team's season opener on Tuesday night. The senior distance swimmer already owns the school record and is an all-state performer in the 500 freestyle. He looked poised to reach those kind of heights again this winter as he blew past the field on his way to two of Alexandria's four wins in a 108-75 loss to Brainerd. Aaseng left no doubt in the 500 freestyle as he finished more than 11 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Peder Smith of Brainerd.
The Cardinal boys' basketball team was left lamenting a few missed opportunities that could have turned the tide in a back-and-forth game that ended with Fergus Falls heading home with a 52-51 win on Tuesday night. The Otters trailed 36-32 in the second half before a nine-point run gave them a five-point lead that they never relinquished.
The Osakis boys' basketball team couldn't dig itself out of an early hole despite a strong second half last Thursday night. The Silverstreaks put up 41 points after halftime but Swanville's 33-17 lead at the break held up in a 68-58 game. "We jumped out to an early lead," head coach Matt Hoelscher said. "But then Swanville put on some full court pressure and we struggled with it.
The Brandon-Evansville boys' basketball team got its first win of the season after running into a buzz saw in the defending Class A state champions in Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa last Friday night. The Chargers bounced back from a 70-26 loss with a 55-37 win over Parkers Prairie on Tuesday. They shot a season-high 45 percent (22-of-49) and got contributions from up and down its lineup. "I think this gives them some relief," head coach John Holsten said of getting that first win. "We were able to be patient offensively and really work hard to get good shots.
The Brandon-Evansville girls saw their losing streak reach five games to start the season after losses to Underwood and Barnesville in the last week. Barnesville stretched out a 31-18 lead at the break to win 64-37 on Tuesday night. That came after Underwood came to Brandon and handed the Chargers a 70-42 loss in Little Eight Conference action. The Trojans were able to snap a two-game losing streak by outrebounding Brandon-Evansville 39-24. That, coupled with 24 turnovers by the Chargers, created a lot of offensive opportunities.