Basketball roundup: WCA boys top Minnewaska, girls beat Sauk Centre

The West Central Area basketball programs earned wins over the weekend while to Osakis girls lost Foley and the Brandon-Evansville boys had a tough battle with Henning.

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West Central Area guard Cole Anderson puts up a shot against the defense of Brandon-Evansville's Titus Fuller, 4, and Tyler Bitzan, right, on Jan. 11, 2022. Anderson had 19 points in WCA's win over Minnewaska on Jan. 6, 2023.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press
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After its 66-58 loss to Sauk Centre on Thursday, Jan. 5, the West Central Area boys basketball team bounced back with a 77-49 win over the Minnewaska Lakers on Friday, Jan. 6.

The Knights made 31 out of their 55 shots from the field and made 10 out of their 15 free throws. The Lakers (1-8) made 21-51 of their shots and made one of their five free throws.

WCA’s offense was balanced as it had four players reach double figures. Cole Anderson had 19 points, while Jacob Strunk had 17, Bryce Kjesbo had 16 and Mitch Dewey had 10. Rounding out the scoring for WCA, Ben Bye scored six points, while Sam Hanson had four, Damon Sanstead and Brett Amundson each had two, and Nas Dotts had one point.


Kjesbo led the Knights (7-2) in rebounds with seven, while Strunk had five and Sanstead had four. Anderson had a team-high seven assists. Dewey and Dotts tied for a team-high four steals.

Hunter Kloos led the Lakers in scoring with 17 while Tenzin Dahl added 12. Alex Panitzke and Brady Andreas finished with five points, while PJ Johnson and Levi Johnson finished with three and, Ryland Martin and Zach Palmer had two points.

WCA hits the road to face Benson at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10. Following its game on Friday, Minnewaska hosted Pipestone Area on Saturday, Jan. 7, and lost 72-48.

Minnewaska plays at Melrose at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday.


WCA girls outlast Fergus Falls

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West Central Area sophomore Macy Grosz drives to the hoop in the first half of a game on Nov. 29, 2022. Grosz had a team-high 18 points in the team's 70-43 loss to New London-Spicer.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The West Central Area girls team improved to 4-6 on the season with a win on the road over Fergus Falls (5-4), 58-51 on Saturday.

“This was a great game all around for my team. We came to play and it showed from the beginning of the game,” WCA head coach Becca Holland said. “These girls stepped up and brought the energy, knowing what they had to do to win this game. We had a 10-point lead the majority of the game. Fergus took a run at us in the second half and we knew we had to slow them down and play our game. I am very proud of the fight and energy they brought to this game.”

Macy Grosz led WCA in scoring with 21 points and she also had eight assists while Claire Stark had 17 points and nine rebounds. Addison Staples had a team-high 12 rebounds along with seven points.

WCA hosts Staples-Motley (2-5) on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.


WCA PLAYER STATS - Sydney Ulrich - 6 points, 2 rebounds, 2 deflections; Macy Grosz - 21 points, 1 rebound, 8 assists, 2 steals; Addison Staples - 7 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 deflections; Claire Stark - 17 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 deflection, 1 block; Mya Foslien - 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 5 deflections, 1 steal; Maya Krusemark - 1 point, 1 steal; Jayden Styba - 4 points, 7 rebounds, 5 deflections, 3 blocks

B-E pushes top 10 Henning team

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Brandon-Evansville guard Riley Perleberg looks for a passing opportunity into the paint at West Central Area on Jan. 11, 2022. Perleberg had six points in B-E's 74-63 loss to Henning on Jan. 7, 2023.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

The Brandon-Evansville boys basketball team gave Henning, who is the No. 7 ranked team in the Class A QRF rankings on, a good test on Saturday but Henning held on to win 74-63 and improved to 9-0.

“Henning has a ton of talent and they play fast,” B-E head coach Trent Hintermeister said. “We came out and played well for the first five minutes and then got careless with the basketball. We had way too many unforced turnovers throughout this game. I'm proud of how our guys never gave up and played hard for 36 minutes. We look forward to getting back on the court next week.”

B-E (2-4) was led on offense by Micah Fuller who had 20 points, while Dezmond White had 19. Brady Perleberg had eight points, while Riley Perleberg and Tanner Riedel had six. Lucas Fuller had two points, while Aaron Gillespie and Kian Gackle had one.

B-E is on the road to play Verndale at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Osakis girls fall to Foley

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Osakis freshman Taylor Dirkes shoots a jumper in a playoff game against Rush City on March 3, 2022. Dirkes finished with 2 points in a 58-42 Osakis win. Dirkes had 11 points in Osakis' 56-38 loss to Foley on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

A fast start guided the Foley girls basketball team to a 56-38 win on Friday over Osakis.

“This was a tough game for us, Foley has a really nice team with great size,” Osakis head coach Pat Kalpin said. “That being said, the girls worked really hard all night. Foley hit shots early on us to build a comfortable halftime lead. In the second half, the girls played great on the defensive end, holding them to 16 points. Offensively, we struggled to gain any type of rhythm or flow throughout the game. We need to continue to take good shots and take care of the ball. I'm confident that the shots will start falling for us; the girls just need to keep working hard and stay focused. This team has the right mindset and work ethic to keep improving as the season goes on. It will be fun to see this team hit their stride; we just need to stay patient and work on the little things to get better."

Foley (3-4) led 40-19 at halftime. Ella Duevel led Foley in scoring with 15 points.

Taylor Dirkes led Osakis (2-4) in scoring with 11 points, while Madeline Anderson collected 12 rebounds.

Osakis hosts LPGE (1-7) on Monday at 7:15 p.m.

Osakis - 19 19 - 38

Foley - 40 16 - 56

OSAKIS TEAM STATS - FG - 17/53; 3-PT - 2/18; FT - 2/7; Rebounds - 36; Assists - 12; Deflections - 15; Steals - 7; Blocks - 2; Turnovers - 24; Fouls - 12

OSAKIS PLAYER STATS - Hailey Walker - 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 deflection, 1 block; Madeline Anderson - 7 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 deflection, 1 block; Greta Faber - 3 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist; Taylor Dirkes - 11 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 deflections, 1 steal; Kaelyn Walker - 1 rebound, 1 deflection; Kiana Kendall - 1 deflection; Carlee Muenzhuber - 6 points, 2 rebounds, 3 deflections, 3 steals; Kiley Kranz - 7 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 deflections, 3 steals; Harley Tulio - 1 deflection; Maggie Dirkes - 2 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 deflection

Alexandria (7-1) 82, St. Cloud Apollo (1-7) 46

Henning (9-1) 68, Brandon-Evansville (1-7) 28
Parkers Prairie (5-4) 65, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy (7-3), 50
Ashby (1-8) 39, Benson (0-4) 35

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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