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Willmar continues to struggle; falls to Alex

ALEXANDRIA -- The Willmar boys basketball team will need to buckle down over the last two weeks of the season after losing to Alexandria 60-48 in Central Lakes Conference action Thursday.

The Cardinals fell to 8-6 in the CLC and 15-7 overall, after starting the season winning their first 10 straight games.

"There's just a lack of energy; no flow offensively and defensively, we just didn't have any intensity," said Willmar coach Steve Grove.

The road doesn't get any easier for the Cardinals, who will host St. Cloud Tech, No. 2 in the conference, Tuesday.

"In the next four games, we play three of the top teams in the conference," said Grove.

But conference glory isn't the goal now. Willmar will set its sights for a long postseason run in Section 2AAA.

"We're fighting for a section spot now and we've got a shot for a top-four seed," Grove said. "But we need to work harder in the next couple of weeks."

Taylor Filipek returned to the Cardinal lineup after missing two games with an illness and scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. He was the only Willmar play in double figures.

Matt Peterson led Alexandria with 19 pionts and Parker Giroux added 13.

Alexandria 60, Willmar 48

Willmar (8-6, 15-7) 21 39 -- 60

Alexandria (6-8, 8-10) 24 24 -- 48

WILLMAR - 18-52 FG (6-15 3-pt); 6-9 FT; 32 rebounds; 17 fouls ... Scoring: Jimmy Unger 8, Jake Rambow 2, Andrew Bangen 5, Brian Reeves 6, Sam Esboldt 5, Taylor Filipek 22 ... 3-point shots: Unger 2, Bangen 1, Esboldt 1, Filipek 2 ... Rebound leaders: Filipek 11 ... Assist leaders: Bangen 2, Esboldt 2, Filipek 2 ... Steal leaders: none

ALEXANDRIA - 20-47 FG (7-15 3-pt); 13-23 FT; 30 rebounds; 15 fouls ... Scoring: Eric Carlsen 1, Matt Peterson 19, Parker Giroux 13, Mark Whiting 11, Dylan Galligan 3, Dan Gorghuber 1, Joe Hurlbut 9, Shawn Krueger 3 ... 3-point shots: Peterson 4, Giroux 1, Whiting 1, Krueger 1 ... Rebound, assist, steal leader not available