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Boys basketball: Willmar’s 55-point 2nd half decks Hutchinson

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WILLMAR — The Willmar Cardinals came from seven points down to start the game’s second half where they outscored the Hutchinson Tigers 55-42 to grab an 87-81 non-conference victory on Saturday evening.

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This was a shooter’s game. Adam Nibaur,  Willmar’s tallest player at 6-foot-6, ladered a 3-pointer to give the Cards their first lead at 47-45. The lead exchanged hands until Nibaur and 6-foot-5 Austin Grove sank back to back deuces for a 61-57 lead that the Tigers got down to one several times.

Nibaur sank 9 of 13 shot on the way to a team-high 22 points, leading five Cards in twin figures: Johnson and Tyler Stegeman 17 each, Joel Carter 17 (9 rebounds, 8 assists) and Grove 12. Stegeman made 6 thefts.

Willmar made 26-39 free throws (66 percent).

“It was a tale of two halves,” Willmar head coach Steve Grove said. “Our full court pressure was the turning point in the game. With our defensive pressure we got steals which we converted into easy layups.”

Hutch, a Section 2AAA rival, made 11 of 26 triples. Rley Steenhook’s 23 points led the Tigers (0-2). Sam Pasco supplied 15 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists.

Willmar (0-1, 2-2) returns to CLC play on Tuesday at St. Cloud Apollo and then Friday at Rocori in Cold Spring.  

Willmar 87,

Hutchinson 81

Hutchinson (0-2)            39  42 — 81

Willmar (2-2)      32  55 — 87

HUTCHINSON – 26-55 FG (11-26 3-pt); 17-22 FT; 33 rebounds; 28 fouls … Scoring: Riley Steenhoek 23, Sam Pasco 15, Adam Elliot 16, Riley Goracke 15, Anthony Cooley 3, Sam Ellefson 1, An dy Bentz 4, Jace Klinkner 1, Trent Reinke 2 … 3-point shots: Steenhoek 3, Pasco, Elliot, Roarcke 5, Cooley  … Rebound leaders: Pasco 11 … Assist leaders: Pasco 5

WILLMAR – 28-62 FG (5-25 3-pt); 26-39 FT; 34x rebounds; 23 fouls … Scoring: Tyler Stegeman 17, Joel Carter 16, Dylan Schueler 2, Brady Damhof 1, Kyler Johnson 17, Adam Nibaur 22, Austin Grove 12 … 3-point shots: Johnson 3, Nibaur, Carter … Rebound leaders: Carter 9, Schueler 7, Nibaur 5, Grove 6, Stegeman 4 … Assist leaders: Carter 8, Stegeman 3 … Steal leaders: Stegman 6, Carter 4

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