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 Alexandria gymnastics program went to a four-team invite at Park Rapids on Saturday and came home with a first-place finish. The Cardinals took the title from a field of Park Rapids, Long Prairie and Bemidji. Eighth grader Rachel Boyden helped pace the team with a second-place finish in the all around, while sophomore Nicole Brittin was third.
GIRLS HOCKEY Sartell-Sauk Rapids 3, Alexandria 2 The Alexandria girls hockey team fell to 6-6-1 on the season after a 3-2 loss at Sartell-Sauk Rapids on Friday night.
BLIZZARD HOCKEY Willmar at Alexandria, 7:10 p.m. BOYS HOCKEY Alexandria at Rocori, 7:15 p.m DANCE Alexandria AAHS Invite, 9:30 a.m. NORDIC SKI Alexandria at Giants Ridge, Biwabik, 11 a.m. BOYS SWIMMING AND DIVING Alexandria at Minneapolis Southwest, 4 p.m. WRESTLING
The West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville wrestling team is proving its dominance again this season with every win. The Knights (6-0) had no problems with New York Mills on Thursday night on the road. They won their first five matches before NYM's Matt Frost won a 6-1 decision at 138. Jordan Lohse got the Knights going with a pin in 1:55 at 106. Kaleb Getz (113, 7-1), Kade Olson (120, forfeit), Jake Nohre (126, TF, 3:05) and Hunter Hanson (132, forfeit) all followed with wins to give their team a commanding lead.
The Alexandria gymnastics team had three athletes finish in the top five of the all-around scores on Thursday night but couldn't quite catch Willmar in a 137-134.20 loss to its Central Lakes Conference rivals.
The Ashby boys basketball team were edged by Little Eight Conference foe Underwood on Thursday night in a 56-43 final. The two teams went back and forth through the opening stages before the Rockets took a 30-21 lead into the break.
The Parkers Prairie girls basketball team has used its defense to swarm teams all season and the Panthers held Brandon-Evansville to just 27 percent shooting on Thursday night. They needed that as Parkers Prairie shot just 12-of-40 itself in a 47-36 win for the Panthers. "Neither team shot very well," Brandon-Evansville head coach Dick Simpson said. "They made their free throws, and we didn't take very many. It was a pretty good game really. Parkers and Brandon-Evansville is always a good rivalry."
BLIZZARD HOCKEY Alexandria at Willmar, 7:10 p.m. BOYS BASKETBALL Alexandria vs. Sauk Rapids-Rice, 7:30 p.m. Osakis at LPGE, 7:30 p.m. WCA vs. CGB, 7:30 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL Alexandria at Brainerd, 7:30 p.m. Osakis vs. Holdingford, 7:30 p.m. Minnewaska vs. Morris Area, 7:30 p.m.
The Alexandria boys hockey team was trailing in shots but leading 3-1 after two periods on Thursday night in a matchup of two of the top teams in Section 6A. In the third, the shots kept coming for Sartell-St. Stephen, and the goals eventually caught up. The Sabres outshot Alexandria 12-1 in the third and got the two goals they needed from Luke Spanier and Will McCabe to force overtime.
Alexandria native and Jefferson High School graduate Missy Erickson is one of the top sprint cyclists in the United States. She has six national championships, 35 international wins and made a strong run at making the summer Olympics in 2016. Cycling has taken her all over the world, but on Jan. 4, Erickson went public with a story alleging sexual, verbal and emotional abuse she says started at the age of 17.