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Girls basketball: Willmar outlasts Rocori to earn 10th win of season

WILLMAR — The Cardinals found the range and lit the board again in a 70-56 home-court win against Rocori on Thursday.

Willmar has now won four of its last five, three times scoring in the 70s.

Willmar lost at Cold Spring to the Spartans 48-37 in the third game of the season.

After putting up a seven-game win streak, Rocori has lost five of six.

Four of the five starters were in double figures — Heather Horning and Courtney Magnuson, 15 apiece; Anne Dunham and Kalley Fosso, 12 each.

Jordan Martins scored 8 including 6 of 6 at the foul line, four in the late going.

Fosso made 3 of 5 from the arc and Magnuson 2 of 2 as the Cardinals shot a fiery 46 percent from the floor.

The Cards also out-boarded the visitors 40 to 21.

“That let us get out and run with good outlet passes,” said coach Dustin Carlson.

Willmar’s scoring has picked up, though they scored only 37 in a loss to Mankato East on Tuesday.

“We’re making stronger passes and the shooters are ready to catch and shoot,” said the head coach. “Earlier in the season, we weren’t ready for the pass and by the time we got set to shoot the defender was there.”

Willmar led by 10 at half, 39-29. Rocori ate away at the lead getting it down to two with just under 10 minutes to play. But Willmar accelerated again and pulled away, helped by made free throws including Magnuson’s 3 for 4.

Willmar stays in the fight for second place at 7-2 in the CLC and has a chance to reign in No. 1 (AAA) Fergus Falls (10-0, 15-0) at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Cardinals’ gym. The Otters trapped the Tigers 50-42 last night.  

Willmar 70, Rocori 56

Rocori (5-5 8-8)    29  27 — 56

Willmar (7-3 10-7)    39  31 — 70

ROCORI – 21-58 FG (2-8 3-pt); 10-19 FT; 21 rebounds; 19 fouls … Scoring: Svihel 11, Schmitz 15, Templin 6, Ficker 8, Mehr 2, Young 2, Rothstein 3, Buerman 9 … 3-point shots: Schmitz, Rothstein

WILLMAR – 23-50 FG (5-11 3-pt); 19-29 FT; 40 rebounds; 14 fouls … Scoring: Courtney Magnuson 15, Kassy Linboe 2, Jordan Martins 8, McKenzie Hastad 3, Heather Horning 15, Anne Dunham 12, Kalley Fosso 12, Leah Ruter 3 … 3-point shots: Fosso 3-5, Magnuson 2-2 … Rebound leaders: Dunham 10, Fosso 4, Magnuson 5, Horning 7, Linbo 4 … Assist leaders: Horning 5, Magnuson 3 … Steal leaders: Fosso 2, Dunham 2 … Blocks: Dunham 2