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Prep athletics roundup: Willmar girls face Rocori on Thursday

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Big games are upcoming for several area teams today and Friday.

The Willmar girls basketball team takes a 6-3 Central Lakes Conference record and a 9-7 overall mark against Rocori (5-4 CLC, 8-7 overall) today at 7:30 p.m. at Willmar High School.

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The Cardinals are among three teams tied for second behind undefeated Fergus Falls 9-0, 14-0).

Puck doubleheader

The Willmar boys and girls hockey teams play a doubleheader today in town against Alexandria. The Willmar boys team (1-7-1 CLC, 10-8-1) takes on the other Cardinals team (6-3-1 CLC, 8-9-1) at 5:15 p.m. at the Civic Center, and the Willmar girls (2-7-1 CLC, 12-8-1) play a talented Alexandria squad (7-1-2 CLC, 12-6-1) at 7:15 p.m. at the Civic Center.

In other Cardinals athletics, the gymnastics team is home against St. Cloud Tech tonight and the Willmar swimming and diving team also takes on Tech tonight at the high school pool.

Wrestling heavyweights

The Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg wrestling team is among the area’s top teams once again this season, and the 9-1 Saints will get a major test when they play host to Minneota (13-2) at 7 p.m. in Kerkhoven.

Boys hoops

battles Friday

The Willmar boys team take a three-game winning streak — and a two-game Central Lakes Conference streak — against St. Cloud Apollo Friday in St. Cloud. The Cardinals (4-4 CLC, 8-7 overall) played the Eagles (5-2 CLC, 8-7) tough in the second game of the season before losing 61-57 in Willmar.

The Litchfield boys face a tough Wright County Conference game against Waconia on Friday. The Dragons are 3-1 in the WCC and 9-3 overall while Waconia enters with a 4-1 conference mark and an 11-4 overall record.

And a couple of West Central North Conference contenders play Friday when Morris/Chokio-Alberta travels to play at Sauk Centre. The Tigers are 8-0 in the WCN and 12-2 overal while the Mainstreeters are 5-1 in the league and 8-4 overall. Melrose (5-0 WCN, 12-1 overall) sent the ‘Streeters to their first league loss, 85-62, on Tuesday.

Melrose and Morris/CA will play twice within a week when they face off on Feb. 8 and Feb. 14.

Girls hoops

matchups Friday

A titanic Camden Conference tilt is set for Friday when Minneota travels to Dawson-Boyd for a 7:30 p.m. game. Minneota is 9-0 in the conference’s South Division while the Blackjacks are 7-1 in the North race. The Vikings are 15-2 overall and the Blackjacks are 14-1.

The Litchfield girls look to get back in the Wright County Conference race when they play host to Waconia on Friday. The Dragons are 2-4 in the league and 9-5 overall while Waconia comes in with a 7-0 conference record and a 12-5 overall mark.

The Sauk Centre and Morris/CA girls play a big WCN game on Friday. Sauk Centre is 5-0 in the conference and 13-1 overall, and the Tigers have lost two straight but are 8-1 in the conference and 10-6 overall.

This week’s polls

The 15-0 BBE boys basketball team ascended to the top of this week’s Class A poll. Maranatha Christian, which held the top spot all season, fell to No. 2 after a 81-78 home loss to Duluth East on Saturday.

The Dawson-Boyd boys team, at 12-2, are the No. 10-ranked team in Class A.

The New London-Spicer girls team, with an 11-3 record, are ranked No. 9 in Class AA.

The Willmar girls hockey team received votes in the Class A poll this week.

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