Eric Morken is the sports editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
- Member for
- 1 year 4 months
The Brandon-Evansville girls saw their season come to an end on Saturday against Little Eight Conference foe Underwood. The Rockets' size down low proved to be too much as Carly Masloski and Greta Thormodson combined for 37 points in leading their team to a 67-45 win in the Section 6A South semifinals. That came after the Chargers had worked their way there with a 49-44 win over Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in the quarterfinals last Thursday. "We ran into a better team with more size and experience," Chargers head coach Dick Simpson said.
Alexandria senior Kris Aaseng just missed ending his career with a top three finish in the 500-yard freestyle on Saturday afternoon at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Aaseng saw how close he was with Felipe Barreto of Melrose-Sauk Centre coming down to the final 25 yards and did everything he could to touch the wall in front of him. In the end, Barreto had just a little bit more as he hit the wall in third place with a time of 4:50.23. Aaseng was right behind him with a fourth-place finishing time of 4:50.52. "It's disappointing," Aaseng said.
The West Central Area boys shot 53 percent overall and 41 percent from three and still lost by 36 points last Friday night. That's how good 23-0 Upsala is this year. The Cardinals couldn't be stopped as they went 44-of-66 from the field, including 17-of-30 from the three-point line. "This will sound funny," WCA head coach Kraig Hunter said, "but we really played well in this game. If people haven't seen Upsala play, they are very deep, talented and athletic.
The Brandon-Evansville boys had a rough back-to-back stretch as they had their worst loss of the season to Battle Lake Friday after falling to Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley Thursday. The Battlers (16-5, 10-2 LEC) came into the night having lost to Brandon-Evansville (8-15, 6-6 LEC) on the road earlier this season. They seemed to remember that as they got revenge with a 66-16 win on their home court. "Let's put it where this belongs, that's on me," head coach John Holsten said. "We didn't have our kids ready to play. For whatever reason, we just weren't ready to go. I still love them.
Alexandria's Kris Aaseng knows the kind of uphill climb he has in front of him if he's going to win a 500-freestyle state title on Saturday. The senior enters the Class A prelims today as the second seed in the race, but even that is a bit deceiving. Red Wing's Tanner Alms (4:47.81) has Aaseng (4:48.50) by less than a second in seed times. But not even Aaseng questions who is the man to beat entering the race at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. "Tanner Alms is the state record holder," he said. "Right now, I'd be more than happy with second or third place.
The 10 state-bound members of the Alexandria swim team and head coach Mark Storhaug were looking at video near the end of an hour and a half long practice on Tuesday evening. The Cardinal relay teams were practicing their starts, looking for any way to perfect them heading into the state prelims at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center today. That split second they might be able to shave off of their start time could be the difference between advancing to tomorrow's finals and having to watch. "It's crucial," Storhaug said.
There was no letdown as the Alexandria girls' basketball team went into the Section 8AAA opener as heavy favorites against Little Falls on Tuesday night. The Cardinals never let the Flyers believe they had a chance, building a 20-2 lead almost eight minutes into the game. They never looked back on their way to a 64-21 win, setting up a game against a 25-2 Thief River Falls team in the section semifinals Saturday. "We just knew that we had to get after them and play our game, run the ball," senior center Kalli Bowser said after scoring 10 points against Little Falls.
Alexandria's Briquelle Bowden and Hannah Wendel knew the Class A state gymnastics meet wasn't the time to hold anything back. This was a chance to prove themselves against the state's best. For Bowden, the lone senior on the Alexandria team, this was her career. That's why both went out and performed like they had nothing to lose on their way to capturing a couple state titles at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion this past Saturday. Bowden earned her individual title on the beam and took second in the all-around.
Tears ran down the face of Alexandria senior captain Shanee Herd as she and head coach Andy Shriver slowly made their way back to a somber locker room at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis last Thursday. That's how quickly emotions can change when an entire season, and for some girls, a career, comes down to one game. Herd and the rest of her teammates were euphoric about an hour earlier after building a 2-0 lead over Mound-Westonka. But the White Hawks would rally for three unanswered goals to eventually win 3-2 in overtime.
The Alexandria boys' hockey team got its shot at top-seeded Little Falls and played the Flyers as well as it has all season before coming up just short in a 3-2 game on Saturday. The Cardinals and Little Falls had played twice this season with the Flyers taking both games by a combined score of 9-1. The rematch in the Section 6A semifinals would prove to be a lot closer. The Flyers needed to hold off a late charge by the Cardinals in a 3-2 game in the third. Kevin Finley had scored his first varsity goal earlier in the period off an assist from Christian Canavati.