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Girls Basketball: Cards reach section final for second-straight year

BUFFALO - A strong second half helped the Willmar girls basketball team down Big Lake 58-44 in the Section 5AAA semifinals on Saturday at Buffalo High School.

The win puts the No. 2-seed Cardinals (19-9) in the section championship game for a second-straight year.

Willmar plays top-seed Zimmerman (24-3) at 7 p.m. Thursday in Buffalo. Zimmerman reached the championship game with a 74-67 overtime win over Becker in the first game Saturday in Buffalo.

Zimmerman defeated the Cardinals 67-48 on Jan. 27 in Zimmerman. Willmar defeated the Thunder 58-53 in last year's section semifinals before falling to Becker in the title game.

On Saturday, Big Lake led the Cardinals by 1 at the half, and Willmar held only a three-point advantage about four minutes into the second half.

But the Card reeled off seven-straight to build a 10-point lead with 12 minutes remaining and Willmar's defense never let the lead slip. The Cards also shot a stellar 54 percent from the field.

Willmar's Grace Sawyer led the team with 13 points and Hannah Johnson had 12 points and five rebounds. Carly Wedel and Jordyn Swoboda both scored nine points.

See this web site and Monday's Tribune print edition for more on the game.

Tom Larson

Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.

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