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Fergus Falls repels Willmar upset bid in overtime, 53-50

WILLMAR -- Fergus Falls thwarted Willmar's upset bid by having three players score in double figures as the Otters survived a back-and-forth affair 53-50 in overtime Friday in the Cardinals' Central Lakes Conference and regular-season finale.

There were seven lead changes in the first half and Fergus Falls (15-3, 21-4) overcame 10 turnovers to take a 22-21 lead at halftime.

Kelsey Evans, who netted a game-high 20 points and helped hold Fergus Falls star Hannah Draxten to just 15 points, gave Willmar (8-10, 11-13) a 24-22 lead on a three-pointer just 24 seconds into the second half. The Otters regained the lead shortly after, but Willmar battled back and grabbed a 32-31 lead on a Mariel Aamot free throw with 10 minutes remaining.

The lead would eventually grow to seven thanks to a Megan Brown three-pointer until the Otters started to employ a half-court defense that allowed them to tie the game at 47-47 and force overtime.

Fergus Falls struck first in the extra session before Evans knotted the game back up at 50-50 with a three-point play midway through the period. But another layup from Amanda Lewis, who also had 15 points, allowed the Otters to regain the lead and hold on down the stretch.

Jena Thompson added 14 points for Willmar.

"You have to give credit to Fergus Falls. They started to trap our guards and were really aggressive," said Willmar coach Brad Atchison. "We got a little tired late in the second half and gave up some bunnies late."

The Cardinals open the Section 2AAA playoffs on Tuesday at home against Hutchinson at 7 p.m.

Fergus Falls 53, Willmar 50

Fergus Falls (15-3, 21-4)..22 25 6 -- 53

Willmar (8-10, 11-13)........21 26 3 -- 50

FERGUS FALLS - 20-47 FG (2-10 3-pt); 11-18 FT; 28 rebounds; 11 fouls ... Scoring: Sarah Erickson 7, Susan Wellendorf 10, Erin Morstad 3, Brittany Gagner 1, Amanda Lewis 15, Hannah Draxten 15, Becca Rengel 2 ... 3-point shots: Draxten 1, Erickson 1 ... Rebound leaders: Draxten 6, Wellendorf 6 ... Assist leaders: Morstad 5, Draxten 3 ... Steal leaders: Draxten 2, Morstad 2

WILLMAR - 18-44 FG (6-13 3-pt); 8-12 FT; 26 rebounds; 14 fouls ... Scoring: Megan Brown 3, Kelsey Evans 20, Mariel Aamot 8, Greta King 5, Jena Thompson 14 ... 3-point shots: Evans 3, Aamot 1, Brown 1, King 1 ... Rebound leaders: Thompson 7, Evans 6 ... Assist leaders: Brown 5, Evans 3, King 3 ... Steal leaders: Brown 6, Evans 2, Thompson 2