By PATRICK SLACK
Boys Basketball: Pierz 68, Braham 67 (OT)
Pierz battled back from a 13-point second half deficit to force extra play, then clipped Braham 68-67 in Thursday’s opening round of the St. Cloud Cathedral tournament.
Four players scored at least a dozen points for Pierz, led by senior Mitch Bednar, who posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Seniors T.J. Hoheisel and Cullin Carter each scored 13 points and combined for 17 rebounds, while senior Ben Boser tallied 12 points and dished out three assists.
Senior Jess Kasper finished with five points and six rebounds, with senior Josh Templin (4), junior Matt Athman (3) and senior Jon Fuhrman (2) also scoring.
Pierz will play top-ranked Melrose Area in the semifinals Friday at 5:30 p.m.
Boys Basketball: Staples Motley 62, Royalton 47
Royalton fell 62-47 to Staples Motley in Thursday’s opening round of the Pillager holiday tournament.
The Royals will take on Pillager in the third-place game Friday at 2 p.m.
Girls Basketball: Pierz 62, Crosby-Ironton 41
Pierz eased past Crosby-Ironton 62-41 in Thursday’s opening round of its home holiday tournament.
The Pioneers will play Sauk Centre in the championship game Friday at 8 p.m.
Girls Basketball: Upsala 68, Foley 55
After trailing by a point with less than a minute to go in the first half, Upsala took control, scoring the final four points in the first half before quickly opening up a double-digit lead in the second en route to a 68-55 win over Foley in Thursday’s opening round of its home holiday tournament.
Senior Tracy Herzog scored 19 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to pace the Cardinals, while helping limit Foley’s 6’5’’ center Tara Dusharm to three second-half points.
Senior Aimee Pelzer finished with 17 points, seven assists, six rebounds and six steals while senior Alissa Zehrer added 12 points and nine rebounds.
Senior Sadie Welinski and sophomore Brooke Westrich each contributed seven points, with junior Kaelin Smieja and sophomores Sara Herzog and Kristin Wuebkers picking up two apiece.
Upsala takes on Henning in the championship game Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Girls Basketball: Holdingford 51, St. John’s Prep 27
Holdingford cruised past St. John’s Prep 51-27 for its first win of the season in Thursday’s opening round of the black bracket at the Upsala holiday tournament.
The Huskers will play Maple Lake in the finals Friday at 4 p.m.
Boys Hockey: Little Falls 5, Hutchinson 3
Little Falls topped Hutchinson 5-3 in Thursday’s opening game of the Flyers’ holiday tournament.
Junior Mark Anez tallied two goals for the Flyers, with seniors Ben Newman and Austin Bjorge and junior Jack Schulte each scoring once.
Senior Luke Majerle recorded a pair of assists.