Boys basketball roundup: Alexandria shuts down Willmar; B-E and WCA fall to top competition

Alexandria earned a 34-point victory on Friday thanks to a stout defensive effort and improved to 12-2 on the season.

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Willmar senior forward Khalid Muhumed tries for an and-1 layup after being followed by Alexandria sophomore forward Chase Thompson during a Central Lakes Conference matchup on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, at Willmar High School.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

Ahead of the Breakdown’s Winter Lakes Classic on Saturday, the Alexandria boys basketball team traveled to Willmar and walked away with a 67-33 victory on Friday.

Alexandria’s defense was consistent throughout the night as it held Willmar (6-12, 1-8 Central Lakes Conference) to 17 points and 16 in the second half.

Grayson Grove led the Alexandria offense on Friday with 22 points for Alexandria, while Chase Thompson had 12 points, and Bralyn Steffensmeier had 11 points. Dawson Roderick finished with nine points, Mason Witt had six points, Jaxon Schoenrock had three, and Jacob Balcome had two.

Alexandria (12-2, 8-1 CLC) is the fifth-ranked team in Class AAA (Minnesota Basketball News poll) and faces the seventh-ranked Orono Spartans (11-5) at the Winter Lakes Classic in Alexandria at 8 p.m.

Battle Lake top B-E boys

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B-E's Carter White (left) tries to drive the ball past WCA's Sam Hanson (right) during the first half of a game on Jan. 16, 2023. WCA won the game 77-44. White had 10 points in B-E's 74-52 loss to Battle Lake on Feb. 3, 2023.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The Brandon-Evansville Chargers ran into a red-hot Battle Lake Battlers on Friday, who earned a 74-52 win over the Chargers on Friday.


“We played really hard, and I thought we were disciplined throughout the game,” B-E head coach Trent Hintermeister said. “I love this team and how much we continue to improve. It doesn't show in the win/loss category, but we can see it every day in practice. We played the right way and respected the game, and I will take a team that does that every day.”

Battle Lake is now 15-3 (13-2 Section 6A), while B-E is now (4-12, 2-8 Section 6A).

Carter and Dezmond White had 10 points in the game, while Micah Fuller had nine points for B-E. Brady Perleberg had eight points, while Tanner Riedel had seven, Kian Gackle and Nathan Anderson had three points, and Riley Perleberg had two points.

The Chargers play at Rothsay (1-14, 1-12 Section 6A) on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

WCA falls in section battle

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WCA's Jake Strunk makes a steal during the first half of the team's 77-44 win on Jan. 16, 2023, over B-E. WCA held B-E scoreless for the first seven minutes of the game. Strunk had four assists in WCA's 68-56 loss to Morris Area/Chokio Alberta on Feb. 3, 2023.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

An efficient shooting night for the Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta Tigers led it to a 68-56 win over the West Central Area Knights on Friday. The Tigers (13-6, 6-2 Section 3AA) connected on 26 of their 47 shots.

"Morris has been playing really good basketball, winning seven of their last eight games over some really good teams, and they played probably their best game of the year,” WCA head coach Kraig Hunter said. “Their big guys inside played really well, and they had some guys off the bench hit some big shots as well. They have length and size that gave us trouble. We got off to a poor start falling behind 13-4, and even though we got within seven points a couple of times, we just had a hard time coming back from that start. When we had good defensive possessions, their offensive rebounding made it tough to cut into the lead."

Friday’s game came 24 hours after WCA played on the road against Staples-Motley (a 65-38 win).

“We looked like we had really tired legs playing a road game in Staples that didn't start until 8:30,” Hunter said. “Our guys played with a lot of effort and gave it everything they had."


Friday’s loss was the Knights first in Section 3AA play. The Knights are 13-5 this season and 4-1 in Section 3AA games.

Bryce Kjesbo led the WCA offense on Friday with 12 points, while Mitch Dewey and Cole Anderson had 11 each. Ben Bye had eight points while Nas Dotts had seven points, Cash Nelson had three, and both Jacob Strunk and Sam Hanson had two.

Kjesbo and Strunk led the Knights in rebounds with five, while Anderson had a team-high four assists, and Dotts had a team-high four steals.

Other area boys basketball scores from Friday, Feb. 3

Hancock (7-8) 55, Ashby (5-10) 54
Underwood (9-8) 63, Parkers Prairie (6-8) 58
Sauk Centre (12-4) 74, Minnewaska (1-18) 55

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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