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Willmar’s Kalley Fosso, right, drives the baseline in the first half shadowed by Katy Johnson of Brainerd Tuesday in Willmar. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

Girls Basketball: Cardinals throttle Brainerd

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WILLMAR — Except for a few lapses, the Willmar Cardinals girls team was dominant in a Central Lakes Conference game against Brainerd, downing the Warriors 57-44 on Tuesday at the WHS gym.

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Kalley Fosso had 14 points and 7 rebounds to lead the Cardinals, and McKenzie Hastad pulled down 11 rebounds.

“We played well in spurts,” said Cardinals head coach Dustin Carlson. We controlled the game from opening tip, but then we’d let them get back in it.”

Willmar led by 11 at halftime, then held the Warriors scoreless for the first eight minutes of the second half to push the lead past 20 points.

But Brainerd rallied and whittled the lead to 10 before the Cardinals regrouped against a Warriors team that entered the game averaging just 32 points per game.

“We got up by 25, 26 points,” Carlson said, “and all of sudden we start turning the ball over and we’re only up 10 points and we’ve got to put the starters back in.”

The Cardinals improved to 1-1 in the CLC and 3-2 overall. They are off until playing Albany in the Wild-Card Classic on Dec. 27 in Willmar.

Willmar 57, Brainerd 44

Brainerd (0-2 0-5)             21 23 — 44

Willmar (1-1 3-2)               32 25 — 57

BRAINERD – 16-61 FG (1-14 3-pt); 11-17 FT; 29 rebounds; 19 fouls … Scoring: Jenna Degen 9, Katelyn Johnson 5, Maria West 9, Kylee Heurung 10, Abby Clanton 2, Amy Southard 5, Mikinzie Boerder 4 … 3-point shots: 21 1 … Rebound leaders: NA … Assist leaders: NA … Steal leaders: NA

WILLMAR – 19-55 FG (3-13 3-pt); 16-29 FT; 39 rebounds; 16 fouls … Scoring: Courtney Magnuson 5, Megan Rudnick 7, Jordan Martins 6, McKenzie Hastad 4, Leah Ruter 12, Kalley Fosso 14, Sami Doering 2 … 3-point shots: Magnuson 1, Martins 1, Fosso 1 … Rebound leaders: Hastad 11, Fosso 7 … Assist leaders: Magnuson 4 … Steal leaders: Martins 2, Fosso 2

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