WILLMAR — Litchfield native and University of Minnesota outfielder Eddie Estrada is one of five Stingers from the 2016 team who will be back with the team this summer. Estrada will be joined on the 2017 roster by Quincy McAfee of Pepperdine University, Luke Becker of the University of Kentucky, Jake Rothwell of Daytona State College and Corey Binger of the University of Nebraska-Omaha. The five are the first official player signings for the 2017 season, the organization's eighth in the Northwoods League.
Girls basketball is hitting the postseason after Lac qui Parle Valley defeated Tracy-Milroy-Balaton for the Camden Conference Championship on Monday. The Eagles are the area headliners in a difficult Section 3A. They enter as the No. 2 seed in the Section 3A-North behind top-seeded Canby. Curt and Jake also talk about Section 3AA with New London-Spicer leading the charge.
ALEXANDRIA - The Willmar girls basketball team entered Tuesday night's game on a seven-game winning streak and with a chance to prove its mettle against Alexandria, one of the top teams in the state. Willmar won the battle of the Cardinals, proving themselves to the area as serious contenders in what head coach Dustin Carlson called a "program-defining win" with a 40-33 upset of fourth-ranked Alexandria.
KERKHOVEN - ACGC's Gabe Eisenbacher surpassed 1,000 career points, finishing with 29 points and 13 rebounds in the Falcons' 79-67 victory over the KMS on Tuesday. The Falcons' Erik Belgum had 16 points and six rebounds and Jaren Kaddatz also scored 16 points and had five boards and four assists. Payton Kinzler finished with 14 points. Josh Peterson led the Saints with 25 points and Weston Gjerde had 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals. Ethan Hauge scored 10 points. ACGC 79, KMS 67 ACGC (13-9) 35 32 — 67
WILLMAR — Noah Slagter scored a game-high 34 points and he also had six rebounds, two assists and three steals, but he couldn't get Willmar over the top in a 79-70 Central Lakes Conference loss to Alexandria on Tuesday. Alexandria's Spencer Hockert almost matched Slagter, finishing with 32 points. Teammate Robert Anderson had 14 points and four steals and Justin Balcome had 10 points and eight rebounds. Alexandria has won eight of nine and take a 16-5 record into Thursday's game at Detroit Lakes.
MORRIS — The Morris/Chokio-Alberta team kept its roll going in the penultimate game of the regular season with a 69-49 win at home against West Central. Ashley Solvie scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Tigers, who won their sixth consecutive game. Correy Hickman added 22 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals. Malory Anderson had seven points and six boards and Nicole Solvie had six points and five steals. Riley Decker finished with four rebounds, four assists and four steals.
MADISON — It required an overtime thriller, but the Lac qui Parle Valley girls basketball team won the Camden Conference championship game on Monday night, taking down Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, 52-50, in overtime. Kelsea Lund scored 17 points for the Eagles, who led by 10 points before the Panthers stormed back to force overtime.
NEW ULM - The Willmar WarHawks suffered a second-straight loss as New Ulm scored three third-period goals in a 5-2 victory in an NA3HL game on Sunday at the New Ulm Civic Center. The WarHawks, who won a big game on Friday against North Iowa, lost to the Bulls 6-2 on Saturday night. The WarHawks are off until a Saturday game against Granite Falls at the Armadillo Sports Deck Arena. After a scoreless first period on Sunday, New Ulm's Alex Nagel sandwiched second-period goals around an unassisted power play goal by the WarHawks' Braden Shea.
SARTELL — The Willmar wrestling team won a fourth-straight section championship with a 40-28 victory over St. Cloud Tech in the Section 8AAA title match on Saturday at Sartell High School. The Cardinals improved to 17-2 with three section wins Saturday. Seeds and the random draws have not been decided but Willmar will wrestle the the Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament at 9 a.m., March 2, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Section 8AAA individual tournament is Friday and Saturday in Alexandria.
The Willmar wrestling team is headed to State after coming away with the Section 8AAA championship on Saturday. The top-seeded Cardinals defeated third-seeded St. Cloud Tech, 40-28, in the final round, to secure their berth at the team State tournament on March 2 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Willmar took down Moorhead, 48-24, in the semifinals after rolling to a 53-15 win over Rocori in its first match of the day.