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Boys basketball roundup: Alexandria makes another statement in 8-3A with win at Sauk Rapids

The Minnewaska boys also snapped a long losing streak with a win over Benson on Monday night.

Carter Steffensmeier basketball
Alexandria senior guard Carter Steffensmeier shoots a jump shot in a game against Sartell on Jan. 18, 2022. Steffensmeier had an efficient night on 8-of-10 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line in scoring a team-high 21 points to lead the Cardinals (12-4) to a win at Sauk Rapids-Rice (10-7) on Monday night.<br/>
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

Other good programs in Section 8-3A will have a final chance in a little over a month to prove they can beat the Alexandria boys basketball team, but the Cardinals have shown through a now 8-0 record against section foes that they are the team to beat.

Alexandria (12-4) went on the road on Monday night to face a Sauk Rapids-Rice team that had won nine of its last 11 games. The Storm (10-7) were two overtime losses away from riding an 11-game winning streak, but the Cardinals beat them by double digits for a second time this season.

Alexandria won 65-49 on Monday after taking a 58-38 game the first time these two teams played on Dec. 9.

“Our energy was excellent and we shared the ball offensively,” Alexandria head coach Forrest Witt said. “Our half-court defense has been very good, and it was a major factor against a quality Sauk Rapids-Rice team.”

Alexandria has held the Storm to their two lowest point totals of the season.

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Senior guard Carter Steffensmeier continued his big season as he finished with a team-high 21 points on another efficient night. Steffensmeier shot 8-of-10 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line.

Myles Sansted and Erik Hedstrom each had 13 points, and Grayson Grove finished with 12 points, and a team-high 11 rebounds.

The Cardinals host another Section 8-3A game on Friday night when Willmar (3-13) comes to town for a 7:15 p.m. tip. Alexandria then hosts Marshall (12-6, Section 2-3A) on Saturday night at 8:30 as part of the Breakdown Winter Lakes Classic event that hosts a full slate of boys and girls games at Alexandria Area High School on Saturday.

ALEXANDRIA 65, SAUK RAPIDS-RICE 49

ALEXANDRIA - Zach Gundberg - 2 points, 1 assist, 1 deflection; Peter Sansted - 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 deflection; Myles Sansted - 13 points, 2 assists, 6 deflections; Kristen Hoskins - 1 point, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 deflection, 3 steals; Erik Hedstrom - 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 deflections, 1 block; Jaxon Schoenrock - 1 rebound; Wyatt Odland - 4 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist; Carter Steffensmeier - 21 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 deflections, 3 steals, 1 block; Grayson Grove - 12 points, 11 rebounds, 2 deflections, 1 steal

Lakers halt 13-game skid

The Minnewaska Area boys basketball team earned its second win of the season Monday with a 65-49 win over Benson. Monday’s win is its first at home this season after dropping its first seven home games.

Minnewaska (2-14, 1-6 West Central Conference) jumped on Benson (2-15, 0-5 WCC) in the first half and held a 35-19 lead at halftime. Minnewaska didn’t give an inch in the second half, as both teams scored 30 in the half.

Monday’s win snapped a 13-game losing streak for the Lakers and increased the Braves’ losing streak to 12.

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The 65 points is the highest scoring output Minnewaska has had all season and the highest since Feb 26. 2021, in a game at Redwood Valley in which it also scored 65 points.

The 49 points is the fewest Minnewaska has held an opponent to all season and the fewest since its regular-season finale a season ago against Montevideo on March 12, 2022 (Minnewaska’s last home win).

The duo of Ethan Quelle and Damon Uhde helped give the Lakers their first win over a WCC opponent this year. Quelle led the Lakers with 23 points on nine of 14 shooting from the floor, three of seven from the three-point line and two of five from the free throw line.

Uhde finished with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. He also had a team-high six assists on the night.

Hunter Kostelecky nearly had a double-double. He finished with eight points and a team-high 10 rebounds. He finished with five assists as well.

The Lakers had 13 steals, led by Tate Reichmann with four.

Minnewaska hosts fellow section 3AA and conference foe, Montevideo (8-5) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Montevideo beat Minnewaska in the first meeting between these two this season, 72-61 on Dec. 17, 2021.

Benson - 19 30 - 49

Minnewaska Area - 35 30 - 65

MINNEWASKA TOTALS: FG - 22-47; 3PT - 7-18; FT - 14-22

MINNEWASKA: Ethan Quelle, 23 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists, 4 steals; Damon Uhde, 17 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals; PJ Johnson, 10 points, 1 rebound, 3 steals; Hunter Kostelecky, 8 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals; Tate Reichmann, 7 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists, 4 steals

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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