Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
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John Holsten has coached basketball for more than four decades, and seen almost everything the game has to offer during that span. It's not that uncommon for two siblings to end up on the same team together at the varsity level, but Holsten does not recall one of his teams having a year like this season where three brothers have been able to share the court like the Norby brothers are doing for Ashby.
HOCKEY Alexandria Blizzard at Rochester, 7:05 p.m. Alexandria at Mankato West, 5:15 p.m. BOYS BASKETBALL Alexandria vs. St. Cloud Tech, 7:15 p.m. Brandon-Evansville at Parkers Prairie, 7:15 p.m. Osakis at St. John’s Prep, 7 p.m. WCA vs. Ortonville, 7:30 p.m.
The Parkers Prairie girls basketball team continues to dismantle teams on its way to a 13-0 record, this time taking down Rothsay in a 65-30 game on Thursday after beating Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 49-33 on Jan. 14. Sophomore forward Faith Alberts was impressive again, posting 33 points and eight rebounds against Rothsay and 22 points and 12 rebounds against LPGE. Senior guard Veronica Schwartz had 14 points and 17 rebounds against LPGE.
The West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville wrestling team made easy work of its two opponents at its home triangular in Barrett on Thursday. The Knights (8-3) beat Wadena-Deer Creek (1-9) in a 74-6 final and added a 62-18 win over Breckenridge (2-8). Pins and forfeits came from up and down the lineup in both matches to allow WCA-A-B-E to rack up huge points.
The Alexandria girls hockey team is back to .500 after winning its fourth straight game on Thursday night. The Cardinals (11-11) found themselves in a tight matchup with River Lakes (7-12-1) but used four goals in the third period to secure a 7-4 win. The score had been tied 3-3 after two periods before Hanley Block, Alexis Heckert, Mayson Toft and Kaci Trosvig scored four unanswered for Alexandria.
The Osakis girls basketball team had chances to snap a six-game losing streak on Thursday night but fell short in a 43-37 loss at Upsala. The Cardinals (8-7) shot just 26.3 percent from the field and just 5-of-26 from three. But that was three more makes from the arc than Osakis, which shot 30.2 percent overall.
The Alexandria boys hockey team dominated another Central Lakes Conference opponent on Thursday night as the Cardinals beat Sauk Rapids-Rice 9-2. In two games against the Storm (5-9-2) this season, Alexandria won both by a combined score of 19-2. The Cardinals outshot Sauk Rapids 64-26 in this one as they scored two in the first, three in the second and four times in the third period.
The Alexandria girls basketball team came into the week top-ranked in Class AAA and 12-0, but the Cardinals have now dropped a couple games in a row after falling in a 54-47 contest at Brainerd on Thursday. Alexandria was on the road for both games after going to Willmar (11-2) on Tuesday and then facing the Warriors (7-9) two nights later. Brainerd shot 45.9 percent and held Alexandria to 32 percent shooting, including 1-of-16 from three. That negated a huge 42-22 rebounding advantage for the Cardinals.
BOYS BASKETBALL Minnewaska vs. Sauk Centre, 7 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL Alexandria at Brainerd, 7:15 p.m. Brandon-Evansville vs. Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, 7:15 p.m. Osakis at Upsala, 7 p.m. Parkers Prairie at Rothsay, 7:15 p.m. Ashby at Battle Lake, 7:15 p.m.
The West Central Area girls basketball team continues to rebound from a 2-3 start to the season. The Knights have won eight of nine games after breezing past Ashby in an 87-59 game on Jan. 15. The win moved WCA to 10-4 overall and to 7-2 against Section 6A teams.