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I've covered a 4-overtime boys basketball game at Crosby-Ironton. I've covered a section championship baseball game decided by two grand slams—off or over the scoreboard at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud. I've covered Brainerd Warrior football teams stunning metro powerhouses like Eden Prairie, Wayzata and Cretin-Derham Hall.
Roseau 3, Warriors 2 Four overtimes The key: Roseau's Ella Helgeson scored with 1:20 left in the fourth overtime Overall: BLF finishes 25-3, Ros 19-8-1 BEMIDJI—Four overtimes. That was the only appropriate way to settle a classic Section 8-2A championship battle Friday at Bemidji Community Arena.
Hunter Zupko of Little Falls attained all-state honors and the Brainerd Warrior boys team finished 11th in Thursday's state meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. Zupko finished 23rd with a time of 29:47.7 in the boys meet. He completed the freestyle in 14:19 and the classic in 15:28.7. The top 25 skiers earn all-state recognition. "He was only five seconds out of 10th after the skate," Flyers coach Terry Wasland said. "He had a good skate race in the morning. The classic race didn't go quite as well as we hoped so he was a little disappointed in that respect.
Brainerd/Little Falls coach Jim Ernster would like to add one more chapter to what has been a storybook season for the Warriors. As they prepare to play the Roseau Rams for the Section 8-2A title Friday, Ernster said, "It's neat to be at this juncture. Obviously it will be way more satisfying if we can complete the chapter that this is waiting to have the proper ending for." Class 2A's 13th-ranked Warriors, the top seed in the section, are a confident group entering the contest. They edged the second-seeded Rams 4-3 during the regular season.
With two weeks between the Section 4-3A and Class 3A state meets, Brainerd Warriors coach Cindy Clough had her team perform in a show during the interim to stay sharp and keep its momentum. Clough will see how much the show helped when Brainerd competes in the 3A state jazz meet Friday and the 3A state kick meet Saturday at the Target Center in Minneapolis. "I feel we peaked at a good time, but we are still fine-tuning all aspects of our performance," she said. "Coaches and athletes watch a lot of film at this time of year trying to figure out where to get a few more points. If you look at the points teams were awarded at sections, it would put us in fourth place (at state). The teams ahead of us were Eastview, Wayzata and Lakeville North. We can't put too much stock in that however, other than to feel good about the fact that we are up there.
Alex Stone Sport: Alpine skiing Year: Senior Age: 17 Height: 5-6 Career highlight: Member of 2015 state championship Brainerd girls Alpine ski team Other sports: Golf, tennis Grade-point average: 4.0 Favorite class: Accounting Favorite food: Spaghetti Favorite movie: "Get Smart" Favorite TV show: "One Tree Hill" Hobbies: Golfing, reading, painting Favorite athlete: American World Cup Alpine ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin Next year: Attend Augustana in Sioux Falls, S.D., play golf
In front of a standing-room only crowd, with an electrifying atmosphere, the Brainerd/Little Falls Warriors capitalized on home-ice advantage in the Section 8-2A semifinals. The top-seeded Warriors rode a second-period goal by Cheyenne Abear, a third-period marker by Ella Kalusche and staunch defense to defeat the No. 4 Sartell/Sauk Rapids Storm' N' Sabres 2-0 Tuesday at Essentia Health Sports Center. "'Chey' and Ella were outstanding tonight," Warriors head coach Jim Ernster said. "It just is a credit to the depth we have. Every day our girls are out there pushing each other to get better. Every night someone steps up and rises to the occasion. ... You could go down the roster and there were a lot of good players out there tonight."
An experienced trio of girls will represent the Brainerd Warriors in the state Alpine skiing meet Wednesday, Feb. 15, at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. Alex Stone, Grace McGuire and Payge Fitterer have all been to state at least twice—as individuals or as members of Brainerd's 2015 state championship team. Stone, a senior, heads the contingent as a 5-time state participant. She has been an all-stater (top 15) the last two years, finishing 10th last year and 13th the year before. She finished 43rd as an eighth-grader and 55th as a seventh-grader.
Jake Heikkenen and his Brainerd Warrior teammates continued on their season-long roll Monday at Riverside Elementary. The junior forward snapped in four goals and notched an assist as the unbeaten Warriors defeated Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka 8-2 in a North Conference game. He scored a natural hat trick to open the game and added the contest’s final goal in the third period.
In a rugged 2-week stretch of playing the top four teams in the Central Lakes Conference, the Brainerd Warriors delivered one of their best performances of the season Friday. In a 76-53 dismantling of Class 3A's 10th-ranked Alexandria Cardinals, the Warriors drained 14 of 28 shots in the second half and received at least eight points from eight players. Michael Russell led the way with 23 points, Joey Sauer added 13, Taylor Shelito came off the bench to score 12, Chris Karels added 10 and Brandon Burggraff and Michael Bieganek each supplied eight. "Really, the biggest thing we wanted to bring was a lot of energy today," Burggraff said, "and I think that's what we did, especially with this crowd. It was probably the biggest crowd we've had this year."