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Boys Basketball: Filipek's 34 points lead Willmar past STMA

ST. MICHAEL -- Taylor Filipek outscored St. Michael-Albertville by himself in the second half to finish with 34 points and Willmar rallied from a double-digit deficit to collect a 56-52 win in the Central Lakes Conference/Mississippi 8 Showcase Saturday in boys basketball.

The Cardinals, playing for the first time in over a week, couldn't get their shots to fall early and fell behind 32-19 at halftime.

"We stood around and had no energy," said Willmar coach Steve Grove on his team's performance in the first half. "We'd settle for outside jump shots."

Willmar (2-0) then opened the second half on a run to get within striking distance, but the Knights would keep Willmar at bay and maintain the lead until Filipek converted a three-point play from an offensive rebound with two minutes remaining to give Willmar a 50-48 lead.

"Taylor was amazing (in the second half). He was going to the hoop and creating shots," said Grove. "We did a better job of being aggressive going to the basket."

Filipek, who also grabbed 12 rebounds, netted 21 points in the second half while the Knights scored 20. Willmar's comeback was also fueled by its performance at the free throw line as the Cardinals were 18-for-22 at the line in the second half.

Willmar opens its CLC schedule this week with two home games, Tuesday against Fergus Falls and Friday with Sauk Rapids.

Willmar 56, STMA 52

Willmar (2-0) 19 37 -- 56

SM-Albertville (1-2) 32 20 -- 52

WILLMAR - 16-57 FG (3-20 3-pt); 22-28 FT; 38 rebounds; 6 fouls ... Scoring: Jimmy Unger 6, Jake Rambow 2, Jeremy Schendel 2, Andrew Bangen 6, Nate Esboldt 4, Sam Spaulding 2, Taylor Filipek 34 ... 3-point shots: Unger 2, Filipek 1 ... Rebound leaders: Filipek 12, Spaulding 10 ... Assist leaders: Filipek 4 ... Steal leaders: Filipek 3

ST. MICHAEL-ALBERTVILLE - 20-51 FG (7-21 3-pt); 5-6 FT; 25 rebounds; 17 fouls ... Scoring: Dane Krutzig 2, Tanner Krutzig 6, Joe Carpenter 14, Jack Wooney 25, Jake Autio 5 ... 3-point shots: T. Krutzig 2, Carpenter 2, Wooney 2, Autio 1 ... Rebound, assist and steal leaders not available