Weather Forecast


Girls basketball: Defense key in Card win at Brainerd

BRAINERD — Tough defense helped the Willmar girls basketball team offset a poor shooting night and the Cardinals downed Brainerd 46-38 in a Central Lakes Conference game on Friday.

The Cardinals head into their Wild-Card Tournament game against Minnehaha Academy next week with a 5-3 overall mark, and they improved to 3-2 in the CLC.

Willmar allowed Brainerd just 12 first-half points and head coach Dustin Carlson said switching up defensive looks was the primary reason.

“I think we confused them a bit, switching out of a 1-3-1 (zone) and man,” Carlson said. “We forced a lot of turnovers and we played good defense.”

The stout effort was needed since the Cardinals shot just 27 percent from the field and hit just 1 of 13 3-point shots.

Willmar didn’t fare much better from the foul line, hitting just 53 percent. But the Cardinals got to the line often, which made the difference, Carlson said.

“We usually hit more 3-pointers but we just couldn’t hit from the outside tonight,” he said. “But we limited our turnovers (13) and hit enough of our free throws to get the win.”

Anne Dunham led the Cardinals with 13 points, McKenzie Hastad had 8 and Jordan Martins scored 7.

Jennie Magnuson scored 3 points and led the team with 8 rebounds. Heather Horning was unable to hit a field goal but she had 7 rebounds and a team-high 3 assists.

Heather Fletcher scored 16 points for Brainerd.

Willmar 46, Brainerd 38

Willmar (3-2, 5-3)    21 25 — 46

Brainerd (0-4, 1-5)    12 26 — 38

WILLMAR – 13-49 FG (1-13 3-pt); 19-36 FT; 45 rebounds; 18 fouls … Scoring: Courtney Magnuson 5, Jordan Martins 7, McKenzie Hastad 8, Heather Horning 1, Anne Dunham 13, Kalley Fosso 6, Caroline Bell 3, Jennie Magnuson 3 … 3-point shots: Fosso 1 … Rebound leaders: J.Magnuson 8, Horning 7, Martins 6 … Assist leaders: Horning 3, C.Magnuson 2, Fosso 2 … Steal leaders: J.Magnuson 1, Horning 1, Martins 1

BRAINERD – 13-52 FG (1-15 3-pt); 11-20 FT; 38 rebounds; 24 fouls … Scoring: Heather Fletcher 16, Taylor Johnshoy 8, Katelyn Johnson 3, Ariana Huber 1, Maria West 10 … 3-point shots: Johnshoy