LITTLE FALLS -- The Brainerd Warriors boys' basketball team needs a break. More specifically, the Warriors need a win.
A 58-52 loss to Little Falls on Thursday was the Warriors' sixth straight defeat. Brainerd is 2-9 in the Central Lakes Conference, 4-13 overall, before traveling to Mankato West for a Saturday afternoon game.
"We are playing basketball at this time of year that we need to be playing," Warriors coach Brad Amundson said. "The kids are still hungry. They're not looking at our win-loss record. They're not feeling sorry for themselves. They're coming to practice and getting better.
"The key is come March 9 we're 0-0. If we play our best basketball March 9 that's all you can ask for."
Brainerd opens Section 8, Class 4A tournament play that day.
Feia expected to return Tuesday
Little Falls starting forward Kendall Feia is projected to return Tuesday at Alexandria. He underwent hernia surgery Feb. 11.
"We got some good news today," Flyers coach Kevin Jordan said Thursday night. "The doctor said he could go ahead and start practicing with no limitations. We have a game Saturday (at Bemidji) but we're not going to play him. We don't want to take a chance. We go to Alexandria on Tuesday. We hope to get him in there a little bit."
Jordan said the normal recovery time from hernia surgery is 4-6 weeks. A new surgical procedure will allow Feia to return to practice only one week after his operation.
In Feia's absence the Flyers have lost to ranked teams like St. Cloud Apollo and Staples-Motley, as well as St. Cloud Tech and Duluth Central. Jordan said the Flyers' difficulty in their five games before Thursday was a combination of Feia being out and playing talented opponents.
"It was a matter of getting used to new players out there," Jordan said. "We brought up a sophomore, Tony Golden, who has done a great job. It takes a while to get your chemistry to blend. You have to get your confidence going again.
"I like what I saw tonight. I like what I saw last Friday night. We're starting to get our confidence back."
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