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 Brandon-Evansville girls basketball team was in the midst of its first losing streak of the season after falling in Hancock in a 43-38 game last Friday. The Chargers struggled shooting the ball for the second straight contest after hitting on just 15-of-54 shots. The Owls were not much better at 15-of-49, but an 11-of-15 game at the free throw line proved to be enough to separate the two teams. Kennedy Lund led B-E with nine points and eight rebounds, while Lizzy Friedrich had two points but a team-high 10 boards. Hancock's Kassandra Algarate led all scorers with 21.
The West Central Area boys basketball team built a 25-16 lead by the break and held on in the second half for a 57-48 win over Swanville. Senior forward Ben Anderson had a big game with 26 points and eight rebounds for WCA. Senior guard Rylee Peterson added 12 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists, while senior guard Nathan Wrolson chipped in 10 points, two rebounds, three assists and two steals.
The Rothsay and Ashby boys basketball teams were both searching for their first wins on Friday night, and it's the Tigers who came away with it in a 50-39 game. The Arrows scored just 11 points in the first half and found themselves down 10 at the break. They couldn't overcome that as Rothsay held them off to move to 1-9 and drop Ashby to 0-13.
The Alexandria boys hockey team couldn't get anything going offensively in a 2-1 loss at Sartell-St. Stephen on Friday night as the Cardinals fell to 4-8-1 and 3-3-1 in the Central Lakes Conference. The Sabres (10-5, 5-4 CLC) outshot Alexandria 40-10 and used a couple second-period goals to secure the win. Colin Johnson got the Sabres going with a goal at 2:40 in the second before Jordan Roller scored at 9:40. That proved to be the game winner after Jack Powell scored the Cardinals' only goal at 15:47 in the third off assists from Ben Doherty and Mack Strong.
The Alexandria Blizzard settled for a split last week after falling in a 4-1 game to Granite City after beating Twin City a couple nights earlier. The Blizzard outshot Granite City 22-14, but the Lumberjacks cashed in on their chances with four first-period goals. Lucas Carroll, Andrej Jamnicky, Braden Altena and Tanner Skaja all scored around a Jacob Odegard goal for the Blizzard.
The Alexandria Nordic ski teams traveled north for the Mesabi East Invitational in Biwabik on Saturday and competed against a huge field of 950 skiers with 62 teams represented on the boys' side and 61 for the girls. The Cardinal boys took 40th as a team with 260 points. Wayzata won the meet with 623 points, while Minneapolis Southwest was second (603) and Duluth East rounded out the top three.
The Alexandria wrestling team competed at the Bluejacket Invite hosted by Cambridge-Isanti on Saturday as the Cardinals came back with a fifth-place team finish after scoring 136 points. Anoka won the meet with 226 points. Cambridge-Isanti was second (185) and Little Falls rounded out the top three (158.5). Adam Kremer got Alexandria started with a third-place finish at 106 pounds. He won his final match in a 6-4 decision, while Ben Johnson followed by taking third at 113 pounds after winning by fall in the third-place match in 1:28.
The Alexandria gymnastics team pushed Class A's 22nd ranked Fergus Falls last Thursday night, but the Otters held on for a 131.575-129.7 win. It was a step in the right direction for the Cardinals as they finished with a team-high in points and added four points to their score from the previous meet. "Adding in skills from Christmas break is paying off," head coach Jessica Anderson said.
BOYS BASKETBALL Brandon-Evansville vs. WCA, 7:30 p.m. Ashby vs. Browerville in Clarissa, 7:30 p.m. Parkers Prairie at BBE, 7:15 p.m. Minnewaska vs. St. John’s Prep, 7:30 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL Brandon-Evansville...
The Osakis boys basketball team (4-7, 2-4 Prairie) stuck with St. John's Prep (6-5, 3-3 Prairie) all night but fell just short in a 51-50 Prairie Conference contest last Friday. "We battled hard against a good team in a tough gym to play in, but untimely fouling and a few miscues on offense and defensive rebounds did us in tonight," Osakis head coach Matt Hoelscher said. "We got great play from Zach [Weir] and John [Boogaard]. Joe Garcia had some big rebounds and played good defense on [Gabriel] Johnson. Josh Peterka also had great minutes for us."