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Freshmen help guide Alexandria at Delano, while B-E fends off Hillcrest

Alexandria freshmen Hadley Thul and Allie Haabala both finished in double figures during Tuesday's season opener as the Cardinals left Delano with a 58-46 win.

HaabalaAllie21.jpg
Allie Haabala

The Alexandria girls basketball team left a positive first impression with a young roster during its season opener on Tuesday night.

The Cardinals went to Delano, a program that finished 5-15 a year ago out of Section 6-3A, and left with a 58-46 win over the Tigers. Alexandria will rely on multiple talented freshmen this winter, and four of them in Hadley Thul, Allie Haabala, Chloe Scholl and MaCee Linow saw extended minutes in the season opener.

Thul is coming off a fall volleyball season where she moved seamlessly into a primary role as a hitter for Alexandria, and she played with no fear in the start against Delano. Thul had a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds. Haabala added 14 after also showcasing herself as a varsity athlete in the fall as a main contributor to the state-tournament-qualifying girls soccer team.

The Cardinals host their home opener on Thursday night as Sauk Rapids-Rice comes to town in a Section 8-3A matchup at 7:15. Alexandria then battles a good Hill-Murray program on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Hopkins High School in the Tip-Off Classic before returning home on Dec. 7 for a big early-season conference and section game against Willmar at 7:15 p.m.

ALEXANDRIA 34 24 - 58

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DELANO 24 22 - 46

ALEXANDRIA SCORING - Ella Steussy - 3; Elle Heydt - 6; Tessa McGrane - 7; Hadley Thul - 21; MaCee Linow - 5; Allie Haabala - 14; Lilly Thul - 2

DELANO SCORING - Cora Beeler - 5; Kelly Peterson - 11; Taylor Tool - 10; Lily Balsiger - 1; Abbie Pietila - 8; Norah Danielson - 9; Ella Beeler - 2

Chargers withstand Hillcrest in opener

Brandon-Evansville withstood a rally from Hillcrest Lutheran Academy on Tuesday to win a 65-51 game in the season opener.

“It was a close ball game pretty much the entire way until Hillcrest went on a big run midway through the second half to get out to about an 8-point lead,” B-E head coach Zach Traphagen said. “I thought for a stretch there that the Hillcrest girls were getting to every loose ball and really out hustling us to get second, third and fourth chances. Once we started playing with a little more urgency, we went on a big run of our own to retake the lead and hold on in the end.”

The Chargers shot 38% from the field (24-62). Most of that came from being aggressive going to the rim as B-E shot just four threes, with guard Sydney Schaefer hitting 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. She finished with 15 points, while Kylee Dingwall had a team-high 17. Olivia Otto had 13 points and 8 rebounds and Kiley Lund made it four B-E players in double figures with 10 points.

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“We made some big free throws down the stretch and made just enough plays,” Traphagen said. “Proud of the resilience that was shown by our girls tonight and we need to use this performance to continue to build confidence into our next game at Bertha-Hewitt on Friday.”

BRANDON-EVANSVILLE 65, HILLCREST LUTHERAN 61

B-E - Grace Otto - 2 points, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 rebound; Sophie Koep - 1 rebound; Olivia Otto - 13 points, 2 assists, 8 rebounds, 2 steals; Sydney Schaefer - 15 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound; Kaytlyn Pattrin - 5 points, 2 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 steal; EmmaLee Brethorst - 4 points; Haddy Baune - 2 points, 1 block; Kylee Dingwall - 17 points, 3 rebounds; Kiley Lund - 10 points; Skylar Bitzan - 1 assist

Knights fall in opening Section 3AA test

West Central Area faced the defending Section 3AA champions in the season opener on Tuesday as New London-Spicer won a 54-39 final.

These two programs are section opponents now after WCA moved to the Class AA level after winning the Section 6A tournament a year ago. New London-Spicer was 22-1 last winter and held opponents to just 41.4 points per game.

The Wildcats used their defense to lead them to the win on Tuesday as NL-S held senior guard Lexi Bright to 9 points and 5 steals. Mya Foslien had a team-high 11 points for WCA, and Claire Stark added 11 rebounds, with Elizabeth Rustan having a team-high 6 assists.

Scores from Tuesday, Nov. 30

(Stats not yet available)

Parkers Prairie (1-0) 50, Bertha-Hewitt (0-1) 37

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Lac qui Parle Valley (1-0) 59, Minnewaska (0-1) 55 (F/OT)

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
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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