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Boys basketball: Cardinals lose by one in OT

WILLMAR — What’s trending with the Cardinals boys basketball team?

How about “Crunch-time blues”?

For the third time in three games, the Cardinals couldn’t get it done in the closing minutes.

 This time the setback came in overtime to Rocori. The Spartans nudged the home team 5 to 4 in the extra-period for a 63-62 win Thursday in a Central Lakes contest.

Jordan Geurtz, Alex Grove and Austin Rambow each scored 12 for Willmar and Geurtz, in his best varsity game, also swept the boards for 15 rebounds.

Mac Mueller, whose last-gasp touchdown pass beat Willmar in football at Cold Spring in September, supplied the dagger once again with a basket and a free throw in OT.

Rambow scored both Willmar baskets in overtime. The Cards had the ball for a last chance shot but couldn’t get clear.

Mueller finished with 16 points, Jonah Eisenschenk 15 and Zach Templin 13.

If Willmar can only make its free throws things could turn around quickly; last night the Cards made 12 of 21 slightly better than 12 of 25 in a three-point loss to Apollo on Tuesday.

And their sights were out of adjustment from beyond the 3-point ring where only 4 of 24 fell.

Willmar opened the season with a three-point loss at Hutchinson.

The Cardinals will try to reverse their fortune hosting New Prague in a game scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Rocori 63, Willmar 62

Rocori (2-0, 2-0)    30  28  5 — 63

Willmar (0-2, 0-3)    32  26  4 — 62

ROCORI – 21-54 FG (5-9 3-pt); 16-29 FT; 26 rebounds; 16 fouls … Scoring: Mac Mueller 16, Brad Fabel 9, Zach Templin 13, Jonah Eisenschenk 15, Jeron Terres 5, Zach Schneider 5 … 3-point shots: Fabel 1, Eisenschenk 2, Schneider 1

WILLMAR – 23-44 FG (4-24 3-pt); 12-21 FT; 33 rebounds; 24 fouls … Scoring: Joe Leuze 8, Jordan Geurtz 12, Sean Zuidema 7, Tyler Stegeman 2, Cody Magnuson 9, Austin Rambow 12, Alex Grove 12 … 3-point shots: Magnuson 3, Rambow 1 … Rebound leaders: Geurtz 15, Rambow 9, Grove 3, Leuze 3 … Assist leaders: Leuze 2 … Steal leaders: Leuze 5, Magnuson 4

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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