Basketball roundup: WCA girls fall to Montevideo, Alex boys cruise over Moorhead

The West Central Area girls fought to the end in their playoff loss to Montevideo, while the Alexandria boys picked up a 17-point victory over Moorhead.

West Central Area's Nora Anderson, left, dribbles by Montevideo's Teagan Epema during a Section 3AA-North semifinal game on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023 at the Big Red Gym in Willmar.
Joe Brown / Forum News Service

After upsetting the No. 3 seed Minnewaska in the first round of the Section 3AA-North playoffs, the sixth-seeded West Central Area girls basketball team found themselves in a neck and neck battle with the No. 2 seed Montevideo in Willmar on Tuesday.

WCA had a 44-39 lead about midway through the first half, but Montevideo flipped the momentum by outscoring WCA 18-5 down the stretch to win 57-49 advance to the Section 3AA-North finals (Section 3AA semifinals).

The Knights finish the 2022-23 season with a 10-14 record. Montevideo improved to 22-3 on the season with the win.

Addison Staples led the Knights in scoring with 13, while Macy Grosz had 12, Mya Foslien had 11, Sydney Ulrich had three and both Jayden Styba and Claire Stark had five.

Avery Koenen paced the Montevideo offense with 26 points on Tuesday and had 14 rebounds, giving her a double-double.


West Central Area - 24 25 - 49

Montevideo - 27 30 - 57

Alex boys earn road win over Moorhead

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Alexandria junior Grayson Grove powers home a dunk for two of his 19 points in Alexandria's 82-50 win over Sartell on Feb. 27, 2023. Grove had 14 points in Alexandria's 62-45 win over Moorhead on Feb. 28, 2023.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The Alexandria boys basketball team improved to 20-4 on the season with a 62-45 win over Moorhead on the road on Tuesday.

Alexandria’s offense was balanced in the win as Grayson Grove led the team in scoring with 14 points, while Bralyn Steffensmeier, Chase Thompson and Dawson Roderick each had 11 points.

Grove had team-high eight rebounds, along with five defections and four steals. Steffensmeier led the team in assists with five.

Alexandria (20-4, 13-2 Central Lakes Conference) rounds out the regular season with a home game against Brainerd (21-4, 15-0 CLC) at 7:15 p.m. on Friday.

ALEXANDRIA PLAYER STATS - Mason Gorghuber - 1 assist; Jacob Balcome - 3 rebounds, 1 deflection; Jaxon Schoenrock - 9 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 deflections, 3 steals; Bralyn Steffensmeier - 11 points, 1 rebound, 6 assists, 5 deflections, 4 steals; Chase Thompson - 11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 deflections, 1 steal; Mason Witt - 4 points, 3 assists, 1 deflection, 1 steal; Talan Witt - 2 points; Dawson Roderick - 11 points, 3 assists, 4 deflections, 1 steal; Grayson Grove - 14 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 deflections, 4 steals, 1 block; Trevin Hoepner - 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 deflections


Osakis boys find a rhythm early in win over Minnewaska

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Osakis' Kyle Mages puts up a right-handed sky hook during a game against Annandale on Dec. 29, 2022. Osakis won the game 43-40. Mages had 18 points in Osakis' 67-46 win over Minnewaska on Feb. 28, 2023.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The Osakis boys basketball team found a groove early in a 67-46 win on the road over Minnewaska on Tuesday.

“We had a great first half shooting the ball and getting them out of their zone,” Osakis head coach Matt Hoelscher said. “Stewart [Jones] did a great job penetrating and finding Mekai [Hoelscher], Isaac [Maddock], and Kyle [Mages] made some threes that opened up the game for us. We found ways to hit guys down low when they had to extend their defense. We did a pretty good job defensively in forcing tough shots and getting some turnovers. In the second half, we got cold and had some lapses on defense, which allowed them to cut the lead. But we had a good stretch with seven minutes left where we were able to go on a run and close the game out.”

Kyle Mages had a team-high 18 points and seven rebounds, while Stewart Jones had a team-high six assists and eight rebounds, along with 13 points.

No. 18 (Class AA MBN poll) Osakis rounds out the regular season with a trip to Pillager (14-11) on Friday at 7:15 p.m.

Tuesday’s game was Minnewaska’s (1-24, 0-12 Section 3AA) last regular season game and are the No. 8 seed in the Section 3AA-North playoffs. Minnewaska faces the top seed in the subsection, Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta (19-6, 9-2 Section 3AA), on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Osakis - 36 31 - 67

Minnewaska - 18 28 - 46

OSAKIS TEAM STATS - FG - 23-47; 3-PT- 8-23; FT - 13-17; Assists - 16; Blocks - 4; Rebounds - 36; Steals - 8; Deflections - 6; Fouls - 11; Turnovers - 15


OSAKIS PLAYER STATS - Stewart Jones - 13 points, 6 assists, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 deflection; Grant Mages - 11 points, 3 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals; Seth Staloch - 4 points, 1 assist, 1 block, 2 rebounds, 1 deflection; Isaac Maddock - 8 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 deflection; Kyle Mages - 18 points, 2 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 deflections; Drew Imdieke - 4 points, 1 assist, 1 block, 2 rebounds, 3 steals; Marcus Wolf - 2 blocks, 2 rebounds; Mekai Hoelscher - 9 points, 1 assist, 6 rebounds, 1 deflection

WCA boys end regular season on a good note

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West Central Area's Ben Bye (center) tries to pass out of a double team set by Hillcrest Lutheran Academy during a game on Feb. 6, 2023. Bye had a double-double, 14 points, and 10 rebounds in WCA's 51-47 loss. Bye made a big difference in WCA's win over Hancock on Feb. 28, 2023.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The West Central Area boys basketball team ended the regular season on a good note by holding the Hancock Owls to a season-low 32 points in a 58-32 win on Tuesday.

"Obviously we were really happy with our defensive energy,” WCA head coach Kraig Hunter said. “We didn't let their offense get in any rhythm and we created a lot of havoc with deflections and steals. The two players that stood out to our coaching staff were Nas Dotts and Ben Bye. They led our defense. Nas was all over the floor again guarding different people, playing great help defense and rebounding from the guard position. He took good care of the ball and set up a few easy baskets with some nice passes on the offensive end as well. The Owls dominant center Chase Evink scored a season-low six points, however he didn't score any of them on Ben Bye when Ben was defending him. Ben continues to also be a dominant rebounder for us grabbing 8 rebounds again."

WCA (18-7, 5-1 Section 3AA) held Hancock (12-12) to 13-of-42 shooting (2-of-16 on three-pointers) on the night. WCA shot 25-of-62 from the field (7-of-28 from the three-point line).

Bryce Kjesbo led all scorers with 15 and had two steals, while Cole Anderson added 12 and Cam Anderson had nine. Jacob Strunk had seven points along with a team-high nine rebounds, while Mitch Dewey had nine points, Bye had five and Sam Hanson had four.

Bye finished with eight rebounds and two steals, while Dotts and Cole Anderson had four rebounds.

Strunk and Dotts both had four assists, while Dotts had two steals. Cam Anderson had three assists, while Kjesbo and Dewey each had two. Cam Anderson led the team in steals with three. Strunk and Dewey both had three steals as well.

WCA forced 28 turnovers in the win.


The Knights are the No. 4 seed in the Section 3AA-North playoffs and host the No. 5 seed New London-Spicer (14-12, 6-3 Section 3AA-North) on Saturday at 7 p.m. The winner of this game plays the winner of the MACA/Minnewaska game at a neutral site on Thursday, March 9 at 6 p.m.

B-E boys fall to KMS on senior night

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B-E's Dezmond White drives the ball to the basket during the first half of the team's 83-61 loss to Border West on Feb. 14, 2023. White had 15 points in the game. White had 15 points in B-E's 69-41 loss to KMS on Feb. 28, 2023.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The Brandon-Evansville boys basketball team hosted a tough Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg team on Tuesday in what was a 69-41 win for KMS (20-5, 5-1 Section 6A).

“We played a great first half,” B-E head coach Trent Hintermeister said. “We were right with them for the first 18 minutes. Unfortunately, we got out-physicalled in the second half and couldn't make the shots we needed to stay with a tall and athletic KMS team.”

The Chargers celebrated their five seniors on Tuesday.

“We celebrated our senior night as Aaron Gillespie, Brady Perleberg, Dezmond White, Kian Gackle, and Nathan Anderson played their last home game,” Hintermeister said. “I am so proud of all of them and everything they've done for our program. They are fantastic kids.”

White led B-E in scoring with 15 points.

B-E SCORING - Dezmond White - 15; Tanner Riedel - 8; Brady Perleberg - 5; Carter White - 3; Stephen Hamilton - 3; Aaron Gillespite - 2; Nathan Anderson - 2; Kian Gackle - 2; Micah Fuller - 1

Other area scores from Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023 -



Browerville-Eagle Valley (20-4) 75, Parkers Prairie (10-12) 47

Ashby (7-15) 57, Benson (6-20) 54

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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