The Alexandria Blizzard likes where it's at heading into round one of the West Division playoffs this weekend. The Blizzard finished second in the division with a 32-12-3 record (wins-losses-overtime and shootout losses) and will host the New Ulm Steel at 7:10 Friday night at the Runestone Community Center to open a best-of-three series.
The Vikingland Curling Club held the 11th annual Authentic Runestone Bonspiel on March 3-4. The spiel was divided into four divisions, with the Moore Rink team of Logan Moore, Jason Rauk, Dan and Aaron Rooney, Jay Wacek and Brad Dumm taking first place in the A-Division. In the B-Division, Chris Moore, Charlie Bohl, Kelsey Landsteiner and Erick Dietz took the top spot, while the SJU Prep team of Kyle Richards, John Landsteiner, Josh Mikus and Josh Oestreich were first in the C-Division.
It's extra cold in the Runestone Community Center this weekend, as the Alexandria Blizzard is hosting the La Crosse Freeze for its last series before the start of playoffs. The Freeze (23-20-2) outscored the Blizzard (31-12-3) 4-0 in the last 25 minutes of the series opener Friday night, but Alexandria had already built a 6-0 lead prior and won the game 6-4. Emil Lindfors and Riley Meyer each buried two goals for the Blizzard, while Brenden Payne and Caleb Anderson each added one. Riley Meyer picked up four assists on the night.
The Brandon-Evansville boys basketball team couldn't pull off the upset Thursday night as the fifth seed playing fourth-seeded Hancock on the road, as the Chargers dropped the Section 6A South quarterfinal matchup 71-58. "Hancock is a nice team," B-E head coach John Holsten said. "They do a lot of things that good teams do. They play good defense, they move the ball. They know who's supposed to take the shots, and they work really well together. It's not a one-man team, it's a team." Noah Kannegiesser led the way for the Owls with 31 points, while Tyler Reese added added 18.
About 180 archers, ranging in age from elementary school to high school, competed last Saturday in the Alexandria archery team's second annual tournament. The tournament was held at Alexandria Area High School, and teams that competed included Melrose, Sauk Centre, Osakis, Brandon-Evansville and Alexandria. Scoring for the tournament was split up into three divisions: high school (grades 9-12), middle school (6-8) and elementary school (4-5).
The Alexandria Blizzard pulled out two wins in three games this weekend, shutting out the Rochester Ice Hawks on Friday, taking a shootout, 6-5 loss to Willmar on Saturday and beating Granite City 4-3 in overtime Sunday. The Blizzard is now 30-12-3 on the year and sits comfortably in second place in the West Division behind Granite City with two games left in the regular season. Caleb Anderson was the hero Sunday night against the Lumberjacks. He scored the game-winning overtime goal 3:26 into the extra period to win the game 4-3.
The Minnewaska Area boys basketball season came to an end Saturday night when it fell to Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City in the first round of the Section 3A North Subsection Tournament by a score of 86-79. The Lakers went into the game as the No. 5 seed facing the fourth-seeded Falcons in Grove City. ACGC earned a 37-27 lead at the half and held on despite being outscored 52-49 in the final 18 minutes. Minnewaska Area junior Matt Gruber led the Lakers with 27 points, Garrett Jensen added 25 and Dennis VanDyke tallied 14 points and nine rebounds.
The Ashby boys basketball season came to a close Monday night, finishing with a 4-20 record after a Section 6A South Subsection play-in loss to Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley in Graceville. The eighth-seeded Wolverines (8-18) opened the game with a 20-3 run, and Ashby wasn't able to get back in it. "We started with low energy tonight and got down 20-3 to start the game," Arrows head coach Jeremy Knick said. "We never really recovered from that. Our second half was better, but we couldn't get enough stops."
The West Central Area boys basketball team earned the seventh seed heading into the Section 6A South Subsection Tournament and beat the No. 10-seeded Wheaton-Herman-Norcross 66-44 Monday night in a play-in game. The Knights will head to Battle Lake on Thursday to take on the second-seeded Battlers at 7 p.m. On Monday night, junior Logan Paulson led the Knights with 15 points and seven rebounds. Senior Jake Combs added 14 points, and junior Brady Sabolik put up 13.
Knight seniors Jake Nohre and Keaton Long wrestled all the way to the championship bout during day two of the Class-A State Wrestling Tournament on Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center, but they both fell short and took second place. Nohre only had one matchup on Saturday, as his semifinal matchup was forfeited to him. He matched up against top-seeded Michael Suda of Pipestone in the championship match and lost it by a 17-4 major decision. He finished off his standout wrestling career with the Knights as a two-time runner-up at state after taking fifth a year ago.