FERGUS FALLS—The Willmar girls hockey team's playoff run came to an end Tuesday night as Fergus Falls shutout the Cardinals 6-0 in the Section 6A semifinals. Sophie Rausch was a force to be reckoned with for the Otters. She scored the opening goal but didn't stop there. She earned a point in all six of Fergus Falls' goals and scored four of them herself including a pair in the third period.
LITCHFIELD — Litchfield's boys basketball team battled back to bring Tuesday's Wright County Conference matchup to within one but ultimately fell short in a 50-49 loss to Annandale.
BELGRADE — All four top seeds advanced to the semifinals of the Section 5A wrestling tournament on Tuesday. In Kerkhoven, Top-seed KMS advanced with a 47-21 win over No. 8 Osakis, which defeated Ortonville to move into the quarterfinals. In Belgrade, No. 2 BBE overwhelmed New London-Spicer 61-15 after the seventh-seed Wildcats moved into the quarterfinals with a 45-30 victory over No. 10 Holdingford. No. 6-seed Benson got a shot in the quarters with a 54-30 win over No. 11 Minnewaska but No. 3 Paynesville took down the Braves 57-21 to advance to the semifinals.
WILLMAR — Brainerd rode a healthy first-half lead and strong 3-point shooting to hold off Willmar 71-68 in a Central Lakes Conference game on Tuesday at Willmar High School. Willmar fell to 10-12 overall while the Warriors improved to 8-12. Brainerd, which led by 11 at the break, shot a solid 52 percent (12-of-23) from beyond the 3-point line. Michael Russell and Chris Karels, who combined to hit 9-of-13 3-pointers, scored 26 and 17 points. Micheal Bieganek had eight points and eight rebounds.
BIRD ISLAND — ACGC's offense erupted in a West Central Conference match against the BOLD boys basketball team on Monday night, outscoring the Warriors 85-72. Gabe Eisenbacher led the way for the Falcons with 23 points while teammate Erik Belgum logged a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds. The Falcons led 39-30 at halftime and kept up the pressure in the second half, outscoring the Warriors 46-42 to close out the game. ACGC's Adam Johnson and Payton Kinzler added 13 and 11 points, respectively, to give the Falcons four double-digit scorers.
PRINSBURG — Hancock pulled away over the final stretch of play to turn a tight contest against CMCS into a comfortable 48-38 win to kick off the front end of a girls-and-boys doubleheader against the Bluejays. Hancock led by as many points as five, but never trailed in the second half. A late run led by guard Kassandra Algarate gave the Owls the 10-point win. Going into the half, the Owls held a slim two-point advantage, then proceeded to control the pace of the game over the final 18 minutes.
SAUK RAPIDS — The Willmar swimming and diving team had seven top-10 finishes and placed seventh at the nine-team Central Lakes Conference Championships on Saturday. The Cardinals scored 152 points. Sartell won the meet with 585 points, followed by Brainerd (384.5) and Alexandria (361). The Willmar team of Mateo Marin-Mera, Ethan Kubesh, Jacob Meyer and Garrett Shuldes placed third in the 400 Freestyle Relay.
SAUK RAPIDS - The Willmar gymnastics team pulled out a solid victory on Saturday, edging the defending Class AA state champion St. Cloud Tech in the Central Lakes Conference Championships. The Cardinals scored 146.675 points and Tech was second with 146.225. Tech downed the Cardinals in a Jan. 26 dual meet, meaning the teams tied for the CLC overall title. "It was a big win for us and hopefully will give the team confidence rolling into sections," said Willmar head coach Jodi Mottinger, whose team hosts to Section 6A championships on Saturday at Kennedy School.
WILLMAR — Granite City proved why they are the top team in the West Division Friday night as they breezed past the Willmar WarHawks 8-2. The Lumberjacks netted two first period goals and continued that theme in the second with two more. The WarHawks scored their first of the night with a goal from Jacob Dobberstein midway through the second but trailed 4-1 going into the third period.
GLENCOE - Litchfield's win streak moved to seven in a row with a strong second half comeback and a 64-56 Wright County Conference win over Glencoe-Silver Lake on Friday. Kyndra Beavers had a strong night individually for the Dragons as she neared a triple-double and set the school's all-time record for career assists. She finished the night with nine points, eight assists and 10 rebounds. Macy Huhner led all Dragons with 16 points and teammate Brynne Wahl scored 15. GSL's Maddie Monahan led all scorers with 22 points. Litchfield 64, GSL 56