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Girls Basketball: Willmar's hot shooting stymies STMA, 70-64

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sports Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

ST. CLOUD -- Hannah Smith poured in 27 points and Willmar survived a three-point barrage in the second half to beat St. Michael-Albertville 70-64 in the Central Lakes-Mississippi 8 girls basketball challenge Saturday.

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Willmar shot well from the field, making 61 percent (22 of 36), including 5 of 6 from beyond the arc.

STMA pressed the Cardinals' ball handlers defensively and started launching three-point shots, making seven in the second half. Carly Rothstein made six 3-pointers in the game and led STMA with 32 points.

The Cardinals (2-0) used their size advantage with six-footers Alex Lippert and Jena Thompson in the paint to take a 38-24 halftime lead. Lippert had 10 of her 12 points in the first half and also had 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double.

Thompson also finished with a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Willmar expanded its lead on the 2009 Class AAA champions to 19 points early in the second half, then the Knights changed their tactics on both sides of the ball.

"They adjusted their defense in the second half and they adjusted their offense," said Willmar coach Brad Atchison.

The Knights, who have moved up to Class AAAA, cut the lead to two points, but Willmar was able to secure the victory from the free-throw line, where the Cardinals made 21 of 27 overall.

Willmar 70, STMA 64

STMA 24 40 -- 64

Willmar 38 32 -- 70

ST. MICHAEL-ALBERTVILLE - 22-62 FG (10-32 3-pt); 10-23 FT; 23 rebounds; 26 fouls ... Scoring: Carly Rothstein 32, Natalie VanWhye 11, Jessie VanWhye 9, Holly Kotila 4, Carlyn Anderson 2, Christine Thorn 4, Rachel Valley 2 ... 3-point shots: Rothstein 6, N.VanWhye 3, J.VanWhye 1 ... Rebound leaders: J.VanWhye 7 ... Assist leaders: none ... Steal leaders: none

WILLMAR - 22-36 FG (5-6 3-pt); 21-27 FT; 38 rebounds; 26 fouls ... Scoring: Hannah Smith 27, Jena Thompson 15, Alex Lippert 12, Mariel Aamot 9, Jen Knake 5, Kayli Gimse 2 ... 3-point shots: Smith 3, Aamot 2 ... Rebound leaders: Thompson 12, Lippert 10, Knake 8 ... Assist leaders: Thompson 5, Gimse 4 ... Steal leaders: Smith 2, Knake 2

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