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 Osakis girls basketball team is trending in the right direction after the third win in its last four games on Tuesday night. Osakis knocked off an 8-5 Swanville team by a 50-40 final as the Silverstreaks (4-8) held the Bulldogs to just 27.3 percent shooting (12-44).
The Osakis boys basketball team overcame a slow start on Tuesday night to knock off Bertha-Hewitt after a big second half. The Bears (4-7) led by one at the break after limiting the Silverstreaks (8-5) to 22 points. Osakis took over after that and put up 43 points to secure the 65-57 win. "It was a very physical, scrappy game tonight, but we survived and came out with a win," Osakis head coach Matt Hoelscher said. "Bertha played with a lot of energy, and we had issues guarding the post and keeping them off the offensive glass."
The Brandon-Evansville girls basketball team has run into a tough stretch on its schedule and lost its third straight game as a result on Tuesday night. After falling to a now 11-2 Parkers Prairie team on Jan. 11 and 9-5 Hawley team on Jan. 13, the Chargers (6-8) ran into state-ranked Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (9-2) and fell in a 64-40 final. The Warriors were coming off a loss to Parkers Prairie and had no intentions of losing their second straight. Wheaton used a balanced effort as nine different players scored, led by 16 from senior center Briona Edwards.
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.