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.
- Member for
- 5 years 4 months
The Osakis boys basketball team had cut its deficit to 29-22 after a Daniel Savageau three about two and a half minutes into the second half on Monday night.
Alexandria native Scott Ellison has seen quite the transformation in his 29 years working in the athletic department at the University of Minnesota.
The Osakis boys basketball is one of the four teams left standing in the Section 8, Class AA field. The Silverstreaks (22-6) used their defense to fend off seventh-seeded Warroad (13-14) in the quarterfinals at Concordia-Moorhead on Saturday. It was a 16-16 game at the half, but Osakis got going more in the second half to lead to a 50-39 win.
The final buzzer had just sounded on the Class A state championship game on Saturday afternoon, and Alexandria players dropped to their knees as Orono celebrated its first-ever title with a 2-1 victory.
For eight years, Hermantown withstood every other team’s best shot as opponents tried to knock the Hawks from their annual ritual of playing in the Class A state championship game. It never happened. Those eight straight trips to a championship game are a state record. The Hawks, back-to-back state champions, had not even lost to a Class A team since 2015.
Osakis boys basketball coach Matt Hoelscher was a little worried going into Thursday night’s Section 8AA-South opener against sixth-seeded Barnesville. Hoelscher wanted three days of practice to prepare for a team the Silverstreaks hadn’t seen yet this season. A snow day that cancelled school on Monday shortened that down to two, and those two weren’t the greatest practices, according to the coach. “I was not real confident going in,” Hoelscher said.
There are two ways a team can handle taking on a program that in many ways has become the face of Class A boys hockey over the past decade. Embrace the opportunity or shrink in the moment. Alexandria sounds like a team that is ready to embrace its shot at facing top-seeded Hermantown on Friday at 1 p.m. when the two teams meet in the state semifinals at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Alexandria’s Jack Westlund won’t forget this last week anytime soon. It was his game-winner in the Section 6A championship that sent the Cardinals to the state tournament with a double-overtime win against fourth-ranked St. Cloud Cathedral.
A Section 6A-South girls basketball tournament that looked wide open before the playoffs ever started proved to be just that.
The American National Bank Bantam A boys hockey team from Alexandria fell a little short of making the state tournament out of the North Region this past weekend. Alexandria went 1-2 at the regional tournament. They beat Fergus Falls 3-0 in the second game, getting goals from Grant Rebrovich, Cole Walters and Peyton Doty. Jacob Partington and Doty added assists in the win.