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Unbeaten ride continues for Willmar boys

Willmar guard Andrew Bangen, left, blocks a shot a by Alexandria forward Shawn Krueger in the first half Saturday at Willmar. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

WILLMAR -- In workmanlike fashion the Willmar Cardinals nailed down their 10th win without a loss, hammering Alexandria 61-44 on Saturday evening.

Willmar takes a 5-0 Central Lakes record to St. Cloud Tech (5-0, 10-0) on Tuesday. Rocori is also 5-0 in the CLC, creating a three-way jam at the top.

Willmar led the visiting Cardinals (2-3, 5-3) 37-24 at intermission. The lack of tension generated little excitement in the crowd estimated at 625.

"I felt we were in control the entire game, though it wasn't pretty," said Willmar coach Steve Grove, who had all five of his timeouts left at the end. "Defensively, we did a better job on the boards after being outrebounded the past two games."

Taylor Filipek led Willmar with 24 points, matching his total in a 79-74 win at Brainerd on Thursday night.

Brian Reeves added 10 points and Jimmy Unger, who cashed a pair of treys, added eight points. Guard Andrew Bangen graded out as the defensive leader, helped by a pair of blocked shots and three steals.

Alexandria had trouble against Willmar's height. Joe Hurlbut, a 6-5 center, and Shawn Krueger, a stout 6-2 forward, each got nine points. Junior guard Parker Giroux, averaging near 20 points, was held to six.

"We didn't play our best game, that's for sure," said Alexandria coach Forrest Witt, a former Morris Area standout. "Our big men were altering their shots going against Filipek and Reeves."

Willmar 61, Alexandria 44

Alexandria (2-3, 5-3) 24 20 -- 44

Willmar (5-0, 10-0) 37 24 -- 61

ALEXANDRIA - 18-66 FG (3-17 3-pt); 5-13 FT; 33 rebounds; 18 fouls ... Scoring: Matt Peterson 7, Parker Giroux 6, Mark Whiting 6, Dylan Galligan 2, Chris Curry 3, Dan Gorghuber 2, Joe Hurlbut 9, Shawn Krueger 9 ... 3-point shots: Peterson 1, Curry 1, Krueger 1 ... Rebound leaders: Hurlbut 7, Whiting 5 ... Assist leaders: Giroux 3 ... Steal leaders: four with one each

WILLMAR - 23-56 FG (3-11 3-pt); 12-21 FT; 32 rebounds; 11 fouls ... Scoring: Jimmy Unger 8, Jeremy Schendel 5, Andrew Bangen 2, Brian Reeves 10, Sam Esboldt 5, Sam Spaulding 2, Taylor Filipek 24, Jake Damhof 5 ... 3-point shots: Unger 2, Schendel 1 ... Rebound leaders: Reeves 7, Filipek 11, Damhof 6 ... Assist leaders: Esboldt 3, Filipek 4, Damhof 3 ... Steal leaders: Bangen 3, Reeves 2 ... Blocks: Bangen 2, Reeves 2

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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