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 Underwood girls basketball team created a race for the Little Eight Conference last Thursday night as the Rockets pulled into a tie in the loss column with Parkers Prairie. The Rockets (18-6) lost to the Panthers (18-5) 44-39 on Jan. 12 but avenged that with a 43-41 win on Thursday. That moved them to 11-1 in league play, while Parkers Prairie sits at 10-1. Underwood led by one at the break and got 10 points from senior center Taylor Leitch in the second half. Leitch had a game-high 13 overall, while junior guard Brenna Tinjum added 12.
The Brandon-Evansville girls basketball team snapped a three-game losing streak last Thursday by beating Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 75-48. The Chargers (15-7) fell behind 13-7 early but went on a 23-4 run to go into the break up 30-17. "Kind of a slow start, but then we kind of got rolling," B-E head coach Dick Simpson said. "A lot of kids scored, and we hit 10 threes. That helps." Twelve Chargers scored in all as Carrigan Okerlund and Shyanna Behrens each led the way with 16. That's a season high for Behrens.
The Brandon-Evansville boys basketball team was on a four-game winning streak after taking care of Underwood 56-40 last Friday night. The Chargers (14-8, 8-4 Little Eight Conference) won the game at the free throw line, knocking down 23-of-33 shots. The Rockets (4-18, 2-9 LEC) were just 9-of-15 from the stripe. Underwood scored the first nine points of the game, but the Chargers went on a 19-0 run from there to help take control of the game. "We were active that stretch defensively and rebounded pretty well," B-E head coach John Holsten said.
The Alexandria girls hockey team will get a prime time slot for its Class A state tournament opener, but it will come against the state’s top seed. The Cardinals (14-12-1) weren’t seeded among the top five when the bracket was announced on Saturday morning. They will take on a top-seeded Blake School that is 24-2-1 at 6 p.m. at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Wednesday.
BLIZZARD HOCKEY Breezy Point at Alexandria, 7:10 p.m. GYMNASTICS Alexandria at section meet in Perham, 8 a.m. WRESTLING Alexandria at 8-3A team meet in Sartell, 11 a.m.
A game that featured peaks and valleys on the emotional rollercoaster for the Alexandria girls basketball team ultimately ended in an 81-69 win over Brainerd that clinched an outright Central Lakes Conference title on Friday night.
The Alexandria Aces performances basketball team is a young group this year, but they are coming into their own as the team gets set to perform at some big-time venues across the college and possibly the professional basketball landscape. The Aces, in their 28th season, performed in front of a home crowd in Alexandria on Feb. 11 as those at AAHS got see many newcomers to the program. Eleven of the 15 team members are first-year Aces, which caused longtime coach Larry Novotny to lighten the performance load a little bit for this particular group as they continue to progress.
This is a look at special honors current area athletes have received and how some area athletes are doing at their respective colleges or in their athletic careers. Email email@example.com with any more detailed information on the athletes listed or the names of other athletes that you would like to see included in future publications. • Alexandria native Gideon Burnham helped the University of Northwestern-St. Paul football team to an historic season as the Eagles made their first ever NCAA playoff appearance this past fall.
The Alexandria boys basketball team ran its record to 15-5 and 8-4 in the Central Lakes Conference with a 57-44 win over Rocori on Thursday. The Spartans (12-9, 6-6 CLC) had won four straight, but couldn't get going offensively against the Cardinals. "Rocori has a nice team," Alexandria head coach Forrest Witt said. "They controlled the tempo in the first half, which was slow and methodical. In the second half, we were effective in speeding up the game with our defense. Offensively, we were also much more active with our ball movement and player movement in the second half."
The Osakis boys basketball team celebrated Senior Night by dominating another Prairie Conference game in a 77-47 win over St. John's Prep on Thursday. The Silverstreaks (16-4, 8-1 Prairie) controlled the second half, outscoring the Johnnies 47-27 after leading by just nine at the break. Osakis shot 58 percent (30-51), including 12-of-23 from three.