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Boys basketball: Cardinals net first win

COKATO — The Willmar boys basketball team took its first win of the season, beating Dassel-Cokato 61-51 in a non-conference game Tuesday in Cokato.

“Well, it’s a win,” Willmar head coach Steve Grove said. “Joe Leuze had a great all-around game and Austin Rambow came up big again having a strong game at the inside.”

Rambow double-doubled for the Cardinals (1-4) with 14 points and 14 rebounds and Leuze scored a team-high 21 points with 3 steals and four 3-point shots.

DC’s Jake Smith had 22 points and sank six 3-pointers, but the Cardinals adapted.

“Smith was throwing up some bombs,” Grove said. “They got within two points in that second half, but we kept our composure and we were always able to answer them.”

This was a meeting of two 0-4 section foes so someone was going to come out setting a base for a winning streak. While Willmar is coming off a conference championship season, the Chargers are coming off back-to-back 2-23 seasons playing in the rugged Wright County Conference.

The Cardinals play their first conference game 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Fergus Falls.

Willmar 61,

Dassel-Cokato 51

Willmar (1-4)    28 33 — 61

Dassel-Cokato (0-5)    24 27 — 51

WILLMAR – 19-53 FG (5-18 3-pt); 18-23 FT; 34 rebounds; 12 fouls … Scoring: Joe Leuze 21, Joel Carter 3, Jordan Geurtz 3, Sean Zuidema 7, Dylan Schueler 2, Tyler Stegeman 5, Cody Magnuson 2, Austin Rambow 14, Alex Grove 4 … 3-point shots: Leuze 4, Stegeman 1 … Rebound leaders: Rambow 14 … Assist leaders: Rambow 4 … Steal leaders: Leuze 3

DASSEL-COKATO – 20-52 FG (7-18 3-pt); 4-10 FT; 22 rebounds; 18 fouls … Scoring: Zach Martin 3, Dalton Asplin 7, Jake Smith 22, Seth Aho 12, Trent Thinesen 7 … 3-point shots: Smith 6, Thinesen 1 … Rebound leaders: n/a … Assist leaders: n/a … Steal leaders: n/a