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 1 month
The Brandon-Evansville girls basketball team entered the holiday break above the .500 mark and seeing some good things after an up and down start to the season. The Chargers last played on Dec. 22 when Ortonville slipped by them in a 51-45 final. Brandon-Evansville has struggled shooting the ball at times this winter, and that showed up against the Trojans (7-1) after hitting just 29 percent from the field (14-47). Ortonville took advantage of that behind 20 points from Madysen Stegner and 15 from Jaiden Conroy.
The Alexandria girls basketball team hosted its annual home holiday tournament knowing there would be some good tests awaiting. Both Coon Rapids (5-4), the Cardinals' opening opponent, and Owatonna (5-4) are Class AAAA schools. And both proved to have a little more than Alexandria as the Cardinals (6-3) fell 64-50 in the third-place game at Alexandria Area High School on Thursday.
Tanner Bitzan hustled down a loose ball after a steal near midcourt against Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley on Dec. 19. It was the second half of a blowout win against the Wolverines, but Bitzan was still locked in defensively. That is how he loves to play. Bitzan, a sophomore forward, did a little bit of everything in that game - 13 points, four rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block. A pretty typical line for him.
BOYS BASKETBALL WCA vs. Warroad at Pelican Rapids Tournament, 2:30 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL Alexandria Tournament at AAHS, 5 p.m. consolation game, 6:30 p.m. championship game WCA vs. Battle Lake at Pelican Rapids Tournament, 11 a.m. BOYS HOCKEY Alexandria at Virginia-Mt. Iron-Buhl in Virginia, 7:30 p.m. GIRLS HOCKEY
Every close encounter with a big buck is met with a series of emotions. There is the initial thrill of just seeing them. The shaking that ensues before we try to talk ourselves into calming down to take advantage of an opportunity if it comes our way. We can do everything right, but an animal that is so in tune with its surroundings and how to survive still has to slip up. For me, that means coming within 30 yards for a shot with my bow. That's a narrow window that they often don't enter. That's when the disappointment slips in.
GIRLS BASKETBALL Alexandria Tournament at AAHS, Owatonna vs. Buffalo, 6 p.m. Alexandria vs. Coon Rapids, 7:30 p.m. Minnewaska at Southwest MN State, 4 p.m. BOYS HOCKEY Alexandria at Greenway-Nash-Kee in Coleraine, 7:30 p.m. GIRLS HOCKEY Alexandria at Braemar Ice Arena, TBD
The Osakis girls basketball team got its second win of the season and did so in dominant fashion by beating Moose Lake-Willow River on Dec. 22. It was the second game of the Eden Valley-Watkins Holiday Tournament for the Silverstreaks (2-7). After falling to Mayer Lutheran 66-46 in the opener, Osakis bounced back with a 74-52 win over the Rebels (1-7). That is the highest point total of the season for the Silverstreaks as seven different players scored.
The Brandon-Evansville boys basketball team is searching for some more offense as the Chargers went into the Christmas break with a 47-32 loss to a good Ortonville team on Dec. 22. The Trojans' only loss came to undefeated Hancock (5-0) on Dec. 21, and Ortonville (6-1) bounced back from that by holding Brandon-Evansville (4-3) to a season-low 32 points.
The Minnewaska boys basketball team snapped a two-game losing streak on Dec. 22 and did not leave any doubt about it after taking care of Benson in a 70-22 game. The Braves (0-5) are still looking for their first win this season and had no answer for a now 6-2 Lakers team. Minnewaska shot 58 percent (24-41), including 20-of-29 from inside the three-point line. Senior guard Matt Gruber led three players in double figures with 17 points for the Lakers, while Garrett Jensen added 14 points and Jackson Johnsrud chipped in 11. Nine different players scored in all for Minnewaska.
Class A's fifth-ranked West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville wrestling brought some momentum into the Christmas break on Dec. 22 by sweeping two matches at the Morris Area Triangular. The Knights (4-1) had to work for it in both their matches but got the job done in a 46-28 win against Morris Area-Chokio-Alberta and a 39-32 win over Minnewaska. Minnewaska never let WCA-A-B-E jump too far ahead, but the Lakers could not quite match up with the Knights' depth.