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B-E runs into dominant Battlers

The Brandon-Evansville boys fell victim to an undefeated Battle Lake team by a final score of 66-34 on Tuesday night. The Battlers shot 26-of-51 from the field after getting a lot of good looks around the basket. They forced 21 turnovers and gave...

The Brandon-Evansville boys fell victim to an undefeated Battle Lake team by a final score of 66-34 on Tuesday night.

The Battlers shot 26-of-51 from the field after getting a lot of good looks around the basket. They forced 21 turnovers and gave the ball up just eight times themselves. That’s par for the course for a Battlers team that is now 6-0 and ranked sixth in the Class A polls.
“We’d turn it over and they’d turn it into points,” Brandon-Evansville head coach John Holsten said. “Their defense is very sound. They’re always in position, they anticipate well and they’re extremely quick. You don’t have a lot of margin for error when you play them.”
Patrick VanErp had 18 points for the Battlers, while junior point guard Tony Ukkelberg had a game-high 31.
“He was in complete charge of their offense,” Holsten said of Ukkelberg. “He’s really the catalyst of their defense, too.”
Taylor Bitzan led the Chargers’ offense from the point guard spot, too. The freshman had a team-high 11 points to go along with three rebounds, two steals and four assists. Skyler Quinn added 10 points and four rebounds.
“Taylor is getting better,” Holsten said of Bitzan. “He’s starting to be more aggressive, playing with much more confidence. That’s what you’d expect out of a kid with a year of varsity experience now. I’m happy

for him. He’s work hard and he deserves it.”
The loss drops the Chargers to 3-2 overall and to 0-2 in the Little Eight Conference. The Battlers are 4-0 in the LEC and 5-0 against Section 6A opponents.
The Battlers have their sights set on a section title after being upset against Park Christian in the 6A title game a year ago for the Battlers’ only loss during a 27-1 season.
“I would think they’re the favorite,” Holsten said of Battle Lake’s place in the section. “I saw nothing [Tuesday night] that would change my mind.”

GAME SUMMARY

BATTLE LAKE 40 26 – 66
BRANDON-EVANSVILLE 15 19 – 34
TOTALS – B-E – FG – 14-33; Free throws – 5-7; Rebounds – 18; Turnovers – 21; Steals – 5; Battle Lake – FG – 26-51; Rebounds – 31; Turnovers – 8; Steals – 12
B-E – James Strese – 2 points, 1 rebound; McKenon Plaster – 2 rebounds; Bitzan – 11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 4 assists; Howard Wu – 4 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal; Brandon Christianson – 1 point, 2 rebounds, 1 steal; Tyler Olson – 2 rebounds; James Huisman – 6 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists; Quinn – 10 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist; Will Schroeder – 1 rebound, 1 steal

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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