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Tribune photo by Tom Larson Willmar guard Joe Leuze, left, sails in for a left-handed layup as St. Cloud Apollo’s Isaac Rakke, middle, and Brett Maslonkowski, right, trail the play during the first half of a Central Lakes Conference game Tuesday in Willmar. Apollo won 61-57.

Boys basketball: Eagles win at the line to stop Cards

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WILLMAR — The Willmar Cardinals fell to 0-2 in the young season with their second close loss.

The St. Cloud Apollo Eagles pulled away from Cards at the free throw line to win 61-57 in the Central Lakes opener for both teams.

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The Cardinals, who lost 57-54 at Hutchinson, faltered at the free-throw line where just 12 of 25 fell  through.

Meantime, the Eagles drained 16 of 20 on the foreign hardwood, including 8 of 10 at crunch time.

The game featured over a half-dozen lead changes. The St. Cloud school led 25-24 at half.

Senior forward and third-year starter Brett Maslonkowski scored 24 points for the Eagles.

Luke Stangler got all four of his points at the line in the last two minutes.

Alex Grove and Austin Rambow each scored 15 for the Cardinals. Rambow, who also nailed 12 rebounds, drew double coverage whenever the 6-5 forward got the ball down low.

“We’ve got to find more offense,” commented head coach Steve Grove.

SC Apollo 61, Willmar 57

SC Apollo (1-0, 3-1)    25  36 — 61

Willmar (0-1, 0-2)    24  33 — 57

ST. CLOUD APOLLO – 20-44 FG (5-16 3-pt); 16-20 FT; 19 rebounds; 22 fouls … Scoring: Isaac Rakke 9, Noel Teigen 3, Ethan Carlson 2, Grant Trokey 4, Luke Stangler 45, Brett Maslowkowski 25, Ethan Novacinsky 2, Trevor Tesch 10, Michael Ashwill 3  … 3-point shots: Rakke 2, Teigen 1, Tesch 1, Ashwill 1

WILLMAR – 20-48 FG (5-18 3-pt); 12-25 FT; 28 rebounds; 21 fouls … Scoring: Doug Leuze 9, Joel Carter 0, Jordan Geurtz 3, Sean Zuidema 4, Tyler Stegeman 3, Cody Magnuson 3, Kyler Johnson 5, Austin Rambow 15, Alex Grove 15 … 3-point shots: Leuze, Magnuson 1, Johnson 1, Rambow 1, Grove 1… Rebound leaders: Rambow 12, Zuidema 4 … Assist leaders: Rambow 2 … Steal leaders: Stegeman 3, Leuze 2

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334
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