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Alex girls basketball: Heggie reaches 1,000 career points as Cards run past Fergus (w/video)

Alexandria's Brooke Heggie was 14 points away from 1,000 for her career coming into Tuesday night's game against Fergus Falls. That's exactly what she ended up with in a 63-39 win for the Cardinals.

Heggie
Alexandria's senior center Brooke Heggie (black headband) smiles as she is congratulated by her teammates during a break in the action to recognize her for scoring her 1,000th career point on Tuesday night. (Eric Morken/Echo Press)

Alexandria’s Brooke Heggie was 14 points away from 1,000 for her career coming into Tuesday night’s game against Fergus Falls. That’s exactly what she ended up with in a 63-39 win for the Cardinals.

Heggie reached the milestone from the free throw line with about eight minutes left in the game. She knew she was close coming into the night, but didn’t know the importance of that free throw until her teammates gave it away with some wry smiles toward the bench after she made the first.

“I heard the horn and then I heard them buzz it again and again,” Heggie said. “Then I heard [head coach] Wendy [Kohler] say to them, ‘Announce it, announce it.’ Then it kind of popped in my head…It means a lot. Everything that I’ve done has paid off. I couldn’t have done it without this team and without these coaches.”

The senior center was one of three Alexandria players in double figures as the Cardinals snapped a nine-game losing streak against this Fergus Falls program. Sophomore guards Macy Hatlestad and Kendall Kohler had 20 and 12, respectively.

It’s a much different team for Fergus Falls this season after the loss of Bailey Strand, Anna Monke and Brianna Rasmusson to graduation. The Otters (0-6) went from being ranked number one in the Class AAA polls for much of the last couple seasons to a rebuilding mode with a new group of girls trying to establish themselves on varsity.  

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“They’ve been playing for Fergus and they’ve been starting for so long,” Hatlestad said of that trio. “They left such a good legacy. It’s definitely weird not playing against them and talking about them in practice, but Fergus is still a very skilled team. They can drive and they can shoot.”

Hatlestad showed off her ability to do both of those things on Tuesday night. Her game-high 20 points came as she knifed her way to the basket for some easy buckets, while also hitting two threes. Hatlestad has finished in double figures in all four games this season on her way to averaging 17.5 points per game.

“With graduating so many seniors last year, I knew I kind of had to step up my game and take on the more point guard, leadership role on the team,” Hatlestad said. “I’m really comfortable in how I’ve been playing and getting everyone set where they need to be.”

Fergus Falls kept it within striking distance throughout the first half. The Otters trailed 33-22 by the break, but the second half was all Alexandria as the Cardinals built a 50-29 lead with 11 minutes left and never looked back.

“I can tell our defense is way better,” Heggie said of the steps this team has taken since an opening loss to Detroit Lakes on December 5. “We’re talking way more. We’re communicating a lot more. We just gave it all we got.”

The win was the third straight for the Cardinals as they improved to 2-0 in the Central Lakes Conference. Up next is a contest with a Sartell team that was 3-0 and 1-0 in the CLC heading into a game with Brainerd on Tuesday night. The Cardinals will host the Sabres on Friday in what could be a good early-season test in the conference for a team that feels good about the way it’s playing right now.

“Every day we’re working hard in practice and getting better,” Hatlestad said. “We’re really starting to get a feel for each other, and we’re working hard on defense. I think that’s where it’s all starting. We’re getting boards and we’re running the floor. I think everything is really working together nicely.”

GAME SUMMARY

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ALEXANDRIA        33 30 – 63

FERGUS FALLS     22 17 – 39

ALEXANDRIA SCORING – Hatlestad – 20; Heggie – 14; Kohler – 12; Kelby Olson-Rodel – 4; Kiyana Miller – 3; Anna Lee – 2; Carly Dropik – 2; Kayla Feldhake – 2; Cheyenne Hendrickson – 4

FERGUS FALLS SCORING – Katelyn Strand – 8; Ashley Reinertson – 6; Kathryn Sawtell – 12; Jordan Spangler – 2; Rachel Johnson – 8; Claire Kotschevar – 3

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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