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Willmar pays back Brainerd for lone Central Lakes loss this season

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

BRAINERD -- The Willmar girls basketball team avenged its only Central Lakes Conference loss to date Monday as the Cardinals upended Brainerd 54-44.

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Willmar (11-1, 16-2) was sitting on top of the conference standings by itself until Brainerd beat the Cardinals on their home court in overtime on Jan. 12. Since then Willmar has won six straight games to remain in a first-place tie with Alexandria.

Willmar hosts Alexandria on Friday. Willmar edged Alexandria 74-72 in overtime Jan. 5 in Alexandria.

"The girls really wanted this one after Brainerd beat us at home," said Willmar coach Brad Atchison.

The Cardinals owned a slight 41-39 advantage in rebounds after both teams shot a combined 29 percent from the field. Willmar was 19-for-58 and Brainerd was 15-for-59. But Willmar also had the upper hand in free-throw shooting.

"(Alex) Lippert, (Jena) Thompson and Jen Knake did a good job on the boards," said Atchison. "We had only six turnovers in the second half and we were poised down the stretch."

Mariel Aamot led Willmar in scoring with 13 points while Lippert followed with 12. Lippert also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds and Hannah Smith hooked another 12.

Alex Sauer and Gretch Kletscher netted 10 points apiece for Brainerd and Tess Rahto collected 13 rebounds.

Willmar 54, Brainerd 44

Willmar (11-1, 16-2) 24 26 -- 50

Brainerd (8-5, 9-9) 14 30 -- 44

WILLMAR - 19-58 FG (2-6 3-pt); 14-26 FT; 41 rebounds; 16 fouls ... Scoring: Mariel Aamot 13, Hannah Smith 6, Sara Kallhoff 8, Kayli Gimse 5, Jen Knake 2, Alex Lippert 12, Jena Thompson 8 ... 3-point shots: Aamot 1, Gimse 1 ... Rebound leaders: Lippert 13, Smith 12 ... Assist leaders: Thompson 7 ... Steal leaders: Thompson 4, Knake 3 ... Blocks: Knake 3, Lippert 3

BRAINERD - 15-59 FG (3-15 3-pt); 11-20 FT; 39 rebounds; 21 fouls ... Scoring: Trisha Kramer 9, Alex Sauer 10, Emilee Branum 2, Ally Mueller 2, Tess Rahto 9, Ashley Tibbets 2, Gretchen Kletscher 10 ... 3-point shots: Sauer 1, Kramer 1 ... Rebound leaders: Rahto 13, Sauer 8 ... Assist leaders: Kletscher 4 ... Steal leaders: Kramer 5

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