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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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.
BOYS BASKETBALL Brandon-Evansville vs. Underwood, 7:15 p.m. WCA at WHN, 7:30 p.m. Parkers Prairie at Henning, 7:30 p.m. Minnewaska at Sauk Centre, 7:30 p.m. Ashby at Rothsay, 7:15 p.m. BLIZZARD HOCKEY Alexandria at Breezy Point, 7:30 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL
BOYS BASKETBALL Alexandria vs. Rocori, 7:30 p.m. Osakis vs. St. John’s Prep, 7:30 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL Brandon-Evansville vs. CGB, 7:30 p.m. Parkers Prairie vs. Underwood, 7:15 p.m. Minnewaska vs. Benson, 7:30 p.m. Ashby vs. Battle Lake, 7:15 p.m.
The Alexandria boys hockey team got the second seed in the Section 6A playoffs when the brackets were announced on Wednesday. The Cardinals (15-7-3) will open up against seventh-seeded Wadena-Deer Creek (11-13-1) on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Runestone Community Center. The winner of that will face the winner of third-seeded Sartell-St. Stephen (16-6-3) and sixth-seeded River Lakes (7-15-1) at the MAC in St. Cloud on Feb. 25. The section title game is set for 7 p.m. on March 2 back at the MAC.
Alexandria senior guard Jaran Roste needed three points to collect the 1,000th point of his career, and he got it on Tuesday night. Roste hit a three in the first five minutes of the game to reach the mark. He had seven in all to help the Cardinals to a road win at Sauk Rapids-Rice in a 69-57 game. In reaching the milestone, Roste became the fifth area player to score their 1,000-point this season. Osakis' Alecia Kaelke and Zach Weir and Alexandria's Macy Hatlestad and Kendall Kohler also accomplished the feat earlier this winter.
The Minnewaska wrestling team lost its Section 5A Tournament opener on Tuesday in a 54-30 match against Benson. The Lakers got a pin from Jackson Stadsvold at 106 pounds in 3:06 to take an early lead. The Braves countered with a pin of their own from Hunter Mondor at 113 before Mason Blair pinned his man in 3:49 at 120 to give the Lakers the lead back. Benson took over from there. The Braves used four forfeits and a pin from Dylan Stewart in 1:25 at 138 pounds to take complete control of the match in the middle weights.