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Willmar girls shut down Moorhead

WILLMAR -- Hannah Smith and Kelsey Evans swished back-to-back three-pointers for a 6-2 lead and start Willmar on the way to 58-36 win over Moorhead in a non-conference girls basketball game on Saturday afternoon.

Smith and Evans each would finish with 17 points. Alex Lippert, a junior post who comes off the bench, played her most complete game with 11 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots.

The win ended a three-game losing streak to the Spuds, a Class AAAA program which has struggled so far this season.

Willmar (6-2) outrebounded the Spuds (2-3) 29-15.

The offense showed considerably more pop than in Tuesday's 47-32 loss to New London-Spicer in the WildCard final.

Willmar shot a torrid 54 percent (21-for-39) from the field against Moorhead, including making 6-of-10 from three-point range.

"We were disappointed in our offense (against NLS), though we played defense really well," said Evans, who had four points in that loss. "We wanted to carry that defensive momentum into today's game."

The Cardinals applied hard pressure on the Spuds' backcourt to limit the touches by 6-foot Kassie Hooten and 6-2 Miki Stephenson. Those two were held to a total of 21 points; no one else got more than five.

With 6-foot Jena Thompson and the 6-3 Lippert running a high-low post, the offense loosen up for some easy buckets off quick passes. Forward Brittany Nelson made six assists.

Willmar returns to Central Lakes Conference action on Tuesday when the Cardinals host Little Falls (5-0, 7-3).

Willmar 58, Moorhead 36

Moorhead (2-3) 15 21 -- 36

Willmar (5-2) 34 24 -- 58

MOORHEAD - 15-42 FG (2-7 3-pt); 15 FT; 4-6 rebounds; 14 fouls ... Scoring: Hilary Enns 2, Kasey Steckler 2, Kelsey Johnson 5, Kaitlyn Rogalla 4, Kassie Hooten 12, Danielle Kukowski 2, Miki Stephenson 9 ... 3-point shots: Hooten 1, Johnson 1 ... Rebound leaders: Hooten 5 ... Assist leaders: Hooten 3 ... Steal leaders: Ashley Kassenborg 4

WILLMAR - 21-39 FG (6-10 3-pt); 10-14 FT; 29 rebounds; 12 fouls ... Scoring: Kelsey Evans 17, Mariel Aamot 3, Hannah Smith 17, Emily Nelson 2, Alex Lippert 11, Jena Thompson 8 ... 3-point shots: Aamot 1, Smith 3, Evans 2 ... Rebound leaders: Lippert 9, Smith 5 ... Assist leaders: Nelson 6 ... Steal leaders: Smith 6, Thompson 3 ... Blocks: Lippert 5