Six players hit double figures for Cardinals
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals cruised by the New Ulm Eagles 89-45 on Friday.
As anticipated, that sets up the annual holiday collision with New London-Spicer in today's final of the Willmar Bremer Bank Classic.
The schools have met in the four previous finals.
The Cardinals (5-2) led 56-25 by intermission.
The biggest excitement came on three dunks -- two by Taylor Filipek and one by Brian Reeves, a sophomore who came off the bench to score a game-high 22 points.
The sustained roar went up from the crowd when Filipek, a 6-foot-6 junior, did a one-touch jam on a pass from Alec Saunders to culminate a 2-on-1 break.
Senior post Ryan Filipek had a career-high 16 points, plus seven rebounds. Jordan Smith got 14 points, Taylor Filipek added 11 and Isaiah Streed 10. Smith also grabbed eight rebounds and had four assists.
Willmar also beat the Eagles, 78-61, Dec. 16 in New Ulm. The Eagles had more trouble with the Willmar full-court pressure this time and were badly outrebounded, 41-22.
The Eagles (0-4) got eight points each from Justin Brethorst, Taylor Drahota and Zach Quiring.
Willmar and New London-Spicer were both on the way to their respective state tournaments last year when the Wildcats prevailed in the Bremer final, 79-72.
Willmar was credited with a 74-percent shooting night (34-for46) and also cashed 75 percent of its free throws (18-for-24).
Willmar coach Steve Grove sees several interesting match-ups tonight.
"We'll have to be very aware of their center (Aaron Johnson), but we should match up well on the perimeter. They're going to have to watch Smith and Taylor (Filipek). It will be interesting to see who they put on them. It should be a fun game."
Willmar 89, New Ulm 45
New Ulm (0-4) 25 20 -- 45
Willmar (5-2) 56 33 -- 89
NEW ULM - 18-42 FG (4-5 3-pt); 5-11 FT; 22 rebounds; 19 fouls ... Scoring: Jake Zieske 2, Elliot Backer 2, Dave Ahrner 2, Justin Brethorst 8, Dustin Reinhart 4, Brett Gieseke 2, Taylor Drahota 8, Zach Quiring 8, Kevin Clancy 5, Mike Huber 2, Nate Bauer 2 ... 3-point shots: Quiring 2, Clancy 1, Brethorst 1... Rebound leaders: not availalbe
WILLMAR - 34-46 FG (3-7 3-pt); 18-24 FT; 41 rebounds; 12 fouls ... Scoring: Brian Reeves 22, Ryan Filipek 16, Jordan Smith 14, Taylor Filipek 11, Isaiah Streed 10, James Neis 6, Logan Birkland 2, Alec Saunders 1, Jordan Smith 14, Jacob Rambow 3, Sam Esboldt 4 ... 3-point shots: Smith 2, Neis 1 ... Rebound leaders: Smith 8, T. Filipek 7, R. Filipek 7, Birkland 5 ... Assist leaders: Smith 4 ... Steal leaders: Smith 3, T. Filipek 3