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Boys Basketball: Unger's 3 saves Willmar in OT

Tribune Staff Report

SAUK RAPIDS -- With no margin for error, Jimmy Unger's catch-and-shoot 3-pointer beat the buzzer by a micro-second and the Willmar Cardinals survived a huge upset bid by Sauk Rapids 60-58 in a Central Lakes Conference game Monday.

The Cardinals called a time out when they got the ball with 22 seconds left and down 58-57.

A play was set up to get the ball to post Austin Rambow, who had already scored 22 points, but the Storm anticipated the attack and denied the pass. With time ticking down, option 2 kicked in -- set a couple of picks and get the ball to Unger.

Mo Mohamud, who had hit a three for a 57-56 lead in OT, passed to Unger near the top of the key. He took a couple of dribbles off a screen by Dean Stier and tossed up the game-winner.

The heart-stopping finish kept the Cardinals in a first-place tie with Rocori, which spilled St. Cloud Apollo 51-43 last night.

Willmar, which had lost two straight, plays host to Brainerd on Friday.

The Cardinals had beaten the Storm by 18 on Dec. 22 but stumbled this meeting under the weight of 20 turnovers, mistakes amplified by Sauk Rapids shooting just under 50 percent from the floor.

Willmar (8-3, 11-6) hadn't lost to the Storm since dropping both games in 2002-03, a winning streak now at 17 games, until now none really close.

Unger ended up with 14 points and Mohamud 8. Rebounds were in Willmar's favor, 30-24, with Unger and Rambow combining for 19..

Zach Haffner, a 6-3 guard, led the Strom with 16 points.

Willmar 60, Sauk Rapids 58

Willmar (8-3, 11-6) 25 29 6 -- 58

Sauk Rapids (4-8, 7-14) 23 31 4 -- 60

WILLMAR - 19-45 FG (6-18 3-pt); 14-20 FT; 30 rebounds; 15 fouls ... Scoring: Dean Stier 5, Brandon Zuideman 2, Mo Mohamud 8, Jeremy Olson 3, Joe Leuze 2, Jimmy Unger 14, Austin Rambow 22, Alex Grove 4 ... 3-point shots: Unger 3, Mohamud 1, Stier 1, Rambow 1... Rebound leaders: Unger 10, Rambow 9 ... Assist leaders: Grove 4 ... Steal leaders: Stier 4

SAUK RAPIDS - 27-55 FG (3-8 3-pt); 1-5 FT; 24 rebounds; 17 fouls ... Scoring: Mike Canfield 3, Luke Flock 2, Tyler Schlabsz 6, Markel Campbell 8, Owen Anderson 10, Felipe Villalaz 9, Zach Haffner 16, Josh Ullman 4 ... 3-point shots: Canfield 1, Anderson 2

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