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Willmar avenges loss to Alex

ALEXANDRIA -- Willmar dealt Alexandria a blow to its chances of contending for the Central Lakes Conference title as the visiting Cardinals posted a 62-48 win Thursday.

Willmar took control with a 17-2 run at the end of the first half for a 33-22 lead. Alexandria, which beat Willmar by two points in the season opener, got within three points once in the second half but no closer.

Kyle Townswick led Willmar with 22 points. Cory Hanson added 10, Ryan Hagemeyer (12 rebounds) and Tyler Horning nine each. Townswick hit four three-pointers, Horning and Mike Dunham one each.

Alexandria had won its last four conference games to creep within 1½ games of Rocori for first in the CLC.

Willmar, which has won two in a row, started the game with a 7-0 run. Alexandria grabbed a 20-16 lead, but a three-point play by Dunham and back-to-back baskets by Luke Buer, coming in off the bench, vaulted Willmar to a 28-22 lead.

"That's the best we've played up here; we executed tonight," commented Willmar coach Steve Grove. "We concentrated on keeping them in front of us and being the aggressors. We only gave up two offensive boards, so defensively we played tough."

Hanson and Townswick kept a close eye on Alexandria's top threat, Eric Hartmann, who got 15 points, six of those late in the game.

Rocori (9-0, 12-3) beat Little Falls 67-44 to firm up their lead in the CLC.

Willmar has consecutive home games coming up: Sartell on Tuesday and St. Cloud Tech next Friday.

"We'll try to keep this momentum going," said Grove.

Willmar 62, Alexandria 48

Willmar (6-4, 9-6) 33 29 -- 62

Alexandria (7-3, 8-4) 22 26 -- 48

WILLMAR - 23-41 FG (6 3 pt); 10-17 FT; 31 rebounds; 9 fouls ... Scoring: Kyle Townswick 22, Cory Hanson 10, Ryan Hagemeyer 9, Mike Dunham 6, Tyler Horning 9, Luke Buer 4, Matt Roisum 2 ... 3-point shots: Townswick 4, Horning, Dunham ... Rebound leader: Hagemeyer 12 ... Assist leader: Townswick 5 ... Steal leader: Horning 2

ALEXANDRIA - 21-43 FG (4 3 pt); 2-5 FT; 23 rebounds; 15 fouls ... Scoring: Ezra Hartzell 2, Mike Hendricks 2, Chris Conley 16, Justin Larson 13, Eric Hartmann 15 ... 3-point shots: Hartmann 3, Larson

NEXT -- Willmar: Tuesday, home vs. Sartell