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 West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville wrestling team won the Park Region Conference Tournament on Saturday in relatively dominant fashion with 215 points. Royalton-Upsala was second at 151.5 and Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale-Parkers Prairie was third at 143.5. Osakis had three wrestlers compete in their individual weight class title matches but was last as a team in ninth place with 79 points.
The Alexandria girls hockey team will head into the Section 6A playoffs off of three straight losses despite sticking with Class AA's Wayzata at the Runestone Community Center on Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals (12-12-1) fell in a 2-1 game after the Trojans (9-15) scored in the first and third periods to secure the win. Maddie McCollins had the game-winner 2:06 into the third as she broke a 1-1 tie.
The Alexandria Blizzard are all alone in second place in the West Division with the help of another win on Saturday night. Alexandria is now four points up on third-place Breezy Point with 48 points. The Blizzard added two points against Willmar on Saturday after a 3-1 win at the Willmar Civic Center in the only game of the weekend for Alexandria.
Gunnar Sterne didn’t have to sweat out the last championship race of the Winter Spectacular in Alexandria on Saturday afternoon. The 23-year-old from West Chicago, IL left no doubt about who was winning the Champ 440 20-lap final at the Viking Speedway. With the grandstands about three-quarters of the way full, Sterne put on a show by jumping out front on the green flag and never trailing as he won the race and a $2,017 payday in the process.
BOYS BASKETBALL Brandon-Evansville 65, Rothsay 37 Minnewaska 65, Benson 55 GIRLS BASKETBALL Alexandria 43, Sartell-St. Stephen 31 Osakis 83, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 31 Wheaton-Herman-Norcross 60, West Central Area 25 Minnewaska 88, Montevideo 72
Brandon-Evansville’s Dick Simpson joined an elite category after the Chargers moved to 14-4 with a 60-36 win at Lake Park-Audubon.
The Parkers Prairie boys basketball team wasn't going to let a losing streak develop. Three days after dropping just their second game of the season in a 77-75 thriller against Battle Lake (14-3), the Panthers (14-2) ran past Ashby (4-13) in a 75-49 game on Friday night. Parkers Prairie led 42-23 at the break and never looked back.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has asked the public to take part in forming a statewide deer management plan, and hunters in Alexandria cooperated on Thursday night.
Jeffrey Stoxen of Rhinelander, Wisconsin was in Montana testing snowmobiles as part of his job as an engineer with Yamaha on Thursday. He flew back home that night. Then he made the six-hour drive to Alexandria to take part in the 2017 Winter Spectacular snowmobile races at the Viking Speedway. It’s an event he says he didn't want to miss.
The Brandon-Evansville girls basketball team improved to 13-4 on the season with a win over Hillcrest Lutheran Academy on Thursday night. In the process, the Chargers moved their head coach one victory away from reaching another career milestone - win number 600. Dick Simpson is now 599-312 in his 38th year as a head coach. He'll try to become the fifth coach in Minnesota high school girls basketball history to reach 600 wins in their career when the Chargers travel to Lake Park-Audubon on Friday night.