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Willmar busts out early, routs Sartell

Willmar's Sam Esboldt, front, drives past Sartell's Derek Gaab in the second half to put up a baseline shot. Both Esboldt and Gaab finished with 16 points. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals pushed their winning streak to three with a 75-56 win over Sartell in Central Lakes Conference boys basketball on Tuesday.

Taylor Filipek, the Cardinals' leading scorer, missed the game with strep throat.

His points were hardly needed as the Cardinals burst to a 16-5 lead on Sam Esboldt's three-pointer on the way to scoring 16 points to go with six steals.

Willmar beat Sartell 61-55 in the first meeting on Dec. 22.

Sartell had no answer for Willmar's 6-foot-4 junior center Brian Reeves. Working near the iron, Reeves got 16 of his 25 points in the second half. He also pulled down 10 rebounds.

Jimmy Unger poured in 15 points off the bench for the Cardinals, all in the first half, including a trio of three-pointers.

Andrew Bangen added nine points and five assists.

Willmar beat the Sabres for the seventh straight time since a 48-46 loss in Willmar on Jan. 31, 2006.

Willmar ended a four-game stay on the road on Saturday night with a thrilling 62-61 win at Montevideo on Esboldt's top-of-the-key three-pointer in the waning seconds. The senior forward started this game the same way - a trey, this one from the side.

Sartell (3-9, 6-13) got 16 points from 6-4 forward Derek Gaab, 12 by 6-3 Andy Krupke on three treys and and 10 for 6-3 Ryan DeRoeck.

Willmar (8-4, 15-5), which is coming off a four-game road trip when it went 2-2, is at home to Brainerd on Friday.

Willmar 75, Sartell 56

Sartell (3-9, 6-13) 25 31 -- 56

Willmar (8-4, 15-5) 42 33 -- 75

SARTELL - 19-61 FG (6-18 3-pt); 12-19 FT; 19 rebounds; 16 fouls ... Scoring: A.J. Frank 3, Andy Krupke 12, Grant Borgeson 2, Chris Jenkins 7, Ryan DeRoeck 10, Derek Gaab 16, Jordan Gieske 6 ... 3-point shots: Krupke 3, Frank 1, Jenkins 1, DeRoeck 1 ... Rebound leaders: not available

WILLMAR - 27-41 FG (5-15 3-pt); 16-20 FT; 36 rebounds; 15 fouls ... Scoring: Jimmy Unger 15, Jake Rambow 8, Andrew Bangen 9, Brian Reeves 25, Sam Esboldt 16, Sam Spaulding 2 ... 3-point shots: Esboldt 2, Unger 3 Rebound leaders: Unger 6, Reeves 10, Esboldt 6, Spaulding 6 ... Assist leaders: Bangen 5, Esboldt 3 ... Steal leaders: Esboldt 6