The Alexandria boys basketball team put a bow on one of the best seasons in program history on May 7 by handing out its team awards to honor the athletes responsible for a runner-up finish in state at the Class 3A level.
At 22-2 overall and 15-1 in the Central Lakes Conference, the Cardinals won the CLC title for the first time since 2001-02 when Alexandria and Little Falls both went 9-5 in league play. Senior Colton Roderick and juniors Erik Hedstrom and Kristen Hoskins were all named All-CLC players this winter. Kobe Jenson and Myles Sansted (7.2 PPG) were two huge pieces off the bench for this team, and they earned honorable-mention All-CLC status for excelling in that role.
Roderick earned the Cardinals’ team MVP Award. Roderick passed the 1,000-point milestone for his career in a win over Bemidji on Feb. 12. He finished the season averaging a team-best 16.5 points-per game to go with 4.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.9 steals.
Roderick, who will play for Bemidji State University starting this next school year, shot 41.2% from three, 75.7% from the free-throw line and 51.5% overall on nearly 12 shots per game.
Jenson, who joined this team after moving from Oregon before his senior year, earned Alexandria’s Most Improved Player Award. He shot 45% overall on his way to averaging 6.2 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.
Jenson had a big hand in two of the most exciting games of the season when he hit the game-winning three at Bemidji in overtime on Feb. 23 and finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks in the 66-64 win over Richfield in the state tournament semifinals on April 8.
Junior guard Wyatt Odland rounded out the team-award winners by earning the Defensive MVP honor. Odland scored 4.3 points per game but made his biggest impact as a starter for Alexandria on the defensive end. He took nearly a charge per game (0.8) to lead the Cardinals in that category.
Odland is part of a solid nucleus that is expected back next year. Odland, Carter Steffensmeier (3.9 PPG, 5.3 RPG), Hoskins (12.4 PPG, 3.6 APG, 2.5 RPG, 1.4 SPG) and Hedstrom (14.4 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.5 ASG, 1.3 SPG) are all starters who should return to help make this another talented program next winter.