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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One game after giving up 11 threes in a loss to Osakis, the Brandon-Evansville boys basketball team got back to doing what it has done almost all season defensively. The Chargers (7-5, 2-2 Little Eight Conference) knocked off Ashby 47-30, holding the Arrows (2-8, 1-4 LEC) to their lowest point total of the season.
Osakis' Daniel Savageau dished the ball off to a teammate midway through the first half on Saturday and ran off a screen. He worked his way to the left corner before getting the ball back. Brandon-Evansville was a step late getting out to him. A quick flick of the wrist gave the sophomore guard his second of three triples in the first half. It's a sight opponents have become all too familiar with.
Alexandria's Jim Dresch was ice fishing with his good friend, Roger Van Surksum, a couple years ago when Van Surksum latched into a nice crappie. He worked the fish up to the hole before his chair went flying. Crappies are known for their paper-thin mouths, and this one did not quite make it out of the hole. Van Surksum, 70, shot to his knees in an attempt to grab it in the water before it could get away. No luck. "I looked at Roger and said, 'That one sounded like it hurt,' " Dresch said.
On paper, Tuesday’s match-up between the Alexandria and Brainerd girls basketball teams should have been a tight contest. Both teams have winning records and have played well against some of the top teams in the Central Lakes Conference. The Warriors lost to 13-0 Willmar by just one point on Jan. 11, but they could not get much of anything going against another stingy defensive effort by Alexandria in a 56-45 win for the Cardinals.
The Minnewaska boys basketball team got one of its biggest wins of the season on Monday night as the Lakers knocked off West Central Conference co-leader BOLD, 57-48. The Warriors (12-3, 5-1 WCC) came in unbeaten in the WCC and average almost 76 points per game. The Lakers (9-4, 4-2 WCC) held them to 36 percent shooting (18-50) and to their lowest point total of the season. That led Minnewaska to the win despite it shooting 40 percent iself (19-47), including just 3-of-17 from three.
BOYS BASKETBALL Brandon-Evansville at Ashby, 7:15 p.m. Osakis at Bertha-Hewitt, 7:30 p.m. WCA at Ortonville, 7:15 p.m. Minnewaska vs. Breckenridge, 7:15 p.m. Parkers Prairie vs. Underwood, 7:15 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL Alexandria vs. Brainerd, 7:15 p.m.
The West Central Area girls basketball team pushed its winning streak to six games on Friday night and did so with an overtime win at Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley. The Knights (11-3) won 70-66 after the Wolverines (6-3) rallied in the second half to force the extra session. West Central Area led 55-45 with five minutes to play when CGB finished regulation on a 12-2 run. The Knights upped their defensive pressure in OT as three steals led to layups. They finished things off by knocking down their free throws down the stretch.
The Alexandria Blizzard hockey team dropped its only game of the weekend on Saturday night as Willmar came to town and left with a 4-3 shootout victory. Keegan Bauman, Riley Dixon, Jacob Berkowitz and Brandon Holt all scored for the Warhawks in the shootout, while Alexandria got goals from Brenden Payne, Peter Johnson and Austyn Renn. Alexandria outshot Willmar 47-22 but never held a lead. The Warhawks led 2-1 after one when Dixon and Jordan Cooper scored around a goal by Renn for Alexandria.
The Osakis wrestling team hosted its home dual tournament on Friday night and could not get a win but came away with some positive finishes. "Nate Kulzer, Gage Zieske, Colton Waldvogel, and Jaren Baker all went 3-0 on Friday night," head coach Joey Andreasen said. "Nate and Jaren both wrestled some of their best matches of the year and are hitting their stride at the midpoint of the season. As a team, we were not able to win a dual, but we are seeing progress every time we go out with our younger wrestlers."
Osakis boys basketball coach Matt Hoelscher has said at times this season that his team can fall in love with the three-point shot a little too much sometimes. On Saturday, that three-point shot loved them back. Osakis shot 64-percent from three (11-of-17) and 61 percent overall (26-42). That added up to an easy 74-46 win over Brandon-Evansville.