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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People interested in deer will have a chance to discuss goals and values that could define Minnesota's first-ever deer management plan at a public engagement meeting hosted by the DNR in Alexandria on Thursday, Feb. 2, at Broadway Ballroom, 115 30th Ave. E.
GIRLS BASKETBALL WCA vs. Ashby, 7:30 p.m. Parkers Prairie at Hancock, 7:30 p.m. BOYS BASKETBALL B-E at CGB, 7:30 p.m.
The Alexandria boys swimming and diving team finished eighth at the Class A state true team meet in Minneapolis this past Saturday. The Cardinals finished with 1,247.5 points in the 12-team field. St. Thomas Academy won the meet with 2,255 points, while Breck-Blake was second at 2,031.5. Alexandria's top finish came from junior Nic Chromey as he won the 100 breaststroke. He was the only swimmer to come in under a minute as Chromey finished in 59.61 seconds.
The Battle Lake boys basketball team closed its rematch with Brandon-Evansville on a 28-11 run to win 65-53 last Friday night in Little Eight Conference play. The Chargers (7-7) were leading 42-37 before that run, but the Battlers (12-3) grabbed control and senior Eric VanErp knocked down his free throws to put away the game down the stretch. Battle Lake lost to Brandon-Evansville 45-33 on Dec. 13 but has now won 10 of 11 games since that game. "They've improved, absolutely," B-E head coach John Holsten said. "We missed some shots and had a few turnovers."
The Alexandria dance team will head into the section meet on Feb. 4 after winning both the kick and jazz competitions at its four-team home meet last Friday. Just three teams competed in the varsity division as the Cardinals beat out Minnewaska and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in both performances.
BOYS BASKETBALL Alexandria (9-4) 64, Fergus Falls (12-3) 48 Battle Lake (12-3) 65, Brandon-Evansville (7-7) 53 GIRLS BASKETBALL Henning (13-5) 70, Brandon-Evansville (11-4) 39 Hancock (8-4) 51, West Central Area (3-12) 36 Ortonville (9-7) 76, Ashby (1-12) 31
The Sauk Rapids-Rice wrestling team was too much for Alexandria on Friday night as the Storm beat the Cardinals 59-17. The Storm won the first four matches before Ben Bogart got Alexandria on the board with a pin in 36 seconds at 132 pounds. Sauk Rapids-Rice rattled off three straight six-point wins on a forfeit and two pins. Alexandria's Tyler Kleindl won a 15-0 tech fall in 5:59 at 160 pounds, but the Cardinals' only other win came at 220 where Quintin Kluver-Longfellow pinned Gage Donovan in 20 seconds.
The West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville wrestling team was on top of its game again on Friday as the Knights swept two matches at the LPGE-Browerville Duals, beating Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 49-23 and Minneota 55-20. The Knights (19-0) moved up to fourth in the Class A Guillotine rankings on Jan. 27. Pierz, the team the Knights beat 36-24 on Jan. 24 is ranked first in those same polls.
The Alexandria Blizzard dominated its only game of the weekend on Friday night, and it came against a team right behind it in the West Division standings. Breezy Point came to town with a 21-13-2 record but left with a 7-0 shutout as the Blizzard (23-11) moved two points up on the North Stars in the standings. Alexandria's 46 points is good for second place in the division, six behind Granite City in first.
The Minnewaska boys basketball team has lost three straight games in tough fashion after falling three points shy of a now 16-0 Melrose team on Friday night. The Lakers (7-9) battled back from a nine-point deficit at the half to outscore Class AA's third-ranked Dutchmen 27-21 in the second half. It was not quite enough to get over the hump as Melrose won 48-45. Minnewaska's last three losses to New London-Spicer, Morris Area and the Dutchmen have come by a combined six points.