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 sun faded from the sky on Sunday evening with hunting season officially going with it for many people. Some will shift their focus to hunting predators such as coyotes and fox through the winter, but those in search of deer and pheasants are now looking ahead to next fall. Bow season officially ended on New Year's Eve, and by all accounts it was a good deer season for many. Harvest numbers were up almost everywhere in the state, according to numbers released during and after firearms season by the Department of Natural Resources.
Winter anglers often spend their time pursuing walleyes, panfish and northern pike. Though not as commonly sought, largemouth bass can and do produce some good winter fishing action as well. Travis Peterson of Bemidji is an avid multi-species and multi-seasons angler who has had some impressive days on the ice chasing largemouth bass. "It's important to first target a lake that has a healthy population of largemouth," Peterson said when asked about locating winter bass. "That might seem obvious, but it seems that to catch them in the winter you have to be on a numbers lake."
A battle of two undefeated teams in the area came down to defense on Tuesday night as the Osakis girls improved to 9-0 after winning on the road at Brandon-Evansville...
A dominant season for Class A's fourth-ranked West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville wrestling team continued on Tuesday night as the Knights breezed past Ortonville in a 64-11 dual. The Knights won all but two of the matches as Ortonville got a pin from Tyler Cambell (5:03) at 113 pounds and a technical fall in 4:37 (17-2) from Elijah Cloos at 182. The Knights got things going with a pin in 1:26 from Jordan Lohse at 106 pounds. That was the start of a trend as WCA-A-B-E rattled off five straight six-point victories from 120 to 145 pounds.
The Osakis wrestling team ran into a buzz saw on the road as Ottertail Central ran away with a 54-16 win in a dual on Tuesday night in Battle Lake. Osakis led after the 106-pound match when Nathan Kulzer won a 6-0 decision. That's where the momentum ended as the Bulldogs took a forfeit win at 113 and a pin by Nate Hart in 58 seconds at 120 to take a lead they never gave back.
Brainerd's Kobe Ahonen shot 82 percent from the field to finish with 32 points and lead the Brainerd Warriors to a 70-55 win over the Alexandria boys basketball team in Brainerd on Tuesday night. It's the seventh straight win for the Warriors as they used 16 assists and just six turnovers to secure the victory. Jaran Roste led Alexandria with 14 points as the Cardinals shot 21-of-43 (48.8 percent) from the field. Alec Wensman added 11 points, but Michael Russell and Chris Pederson both had 15 points to go along with Ahonen's game-high 32.
The Ashby boys basketball team ran into a good Hillcrest program on Tuesday and fell in a 66-44 game. The Arrows were within 10 at the half at 32-22, but the Comets never let them get any closer after the break. "I was really happy with the way our team approached tonight's game," Ashby head coach Jeremy Knick said. "We had a little rocky start, but after an early timeout we came out with the right attitude and defensive effort. We had some great outside looks all night, but they just didn't fall."
The Osakis boys basketball team held off Royalton in a 54-43 win during the first game back from the holiday break. The Silverstreaks shot 48 percent from the field (23-of-47), including a 22-of-36 night from inside the arc. They added 12 assists and just nine turnovers in the win.
The West Central Area boys basketball team proved again that it could play with a top-five ranked team in Class A but couldn't quite overcome fourth-ranked Browerville-Eagle Valley on Tuesday night. The Knights (7-3) and Tigers were tied at 21 apiece at the half, but B-EV put up 35 second-half points on the way to a 56-51 win. Bryce Irsfeld led the way for the Tigers with 21 points, while Brandon Emery and Ryan Warwick each had 12.
BOYS BASKETBALL Brainerd 70, Alexandria 55 Brainerd’s Kobe Ahonen shot 82-percent from the field to finish with 32 points and lead the Brainerd Warriors to a 70-55 win over the...