Prep Basketball: Cards find no magic
MONTICELLO—Much like how its regular season transpired, so did Willmar boys basketball's Section 5AAA quarterfinal against Monticello on Tuesday night.
The No. 5 Cardinals showed flashes of efficiency on both ends of the floor, but could not sustain that type of play for long enough as they fell 57-43 to the No. 4 Magic.
Matt Todd led the Magic with 25 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Noah Slagter scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Willmar, which trailed 23-20 at halftime and exchanged leads with Monticello early in the second half before eventually fading away.
For the Cardinals, it was the 10th loss in 11 games following an optimistic start to the season that saw them go 9-7 to open the year.
Willmar trailed by as many as eight points in the first half before Slagter hit a pair of 3-pointers to draw the score even.
Noah Streed, who scored 10 points, added a pair of triples in the second half as the Cardinals hung close, but not close enough.
The Magic used a swarming defensive effort to fuel a run that staked them out to a 38-29 lead with 9:45 to play. Willmar would draw within seven points after that, but never closer.
It was a reversal of outcomes from the first meeting between the two teams this season, when the Cardinals ousted the Magic 65-52 on Dec. 3. That defeat came during a string of five consecutive losses for Monticello to open the season before it eventually turned its season around.
The Magic shot 39 percent from the field compared to the Cardinals' 34 percent. While neither team was lighting it up from the field, Monticello forced 15 Willmar turnovers while only committing seven.
Monticello 57, Willmar 43
Willmar (10-17) 20 23 — 43
Monticello (12-15) 23 34 — 57
WILLMAR - Scoring: Noah Slagter 19, Noah Streed 10, Donald Jurek 4, Drey Dirksen 4, Ty Roelofs 2, Dalton Rambow 2, Jacob Minnick 2 ... 3-point shots: Slagter 3, Streed 2 ... Rebound leader: Slagter 10, Dirksen 7 ... Assist leader: Jurek 2, Cameron Murphy 2 ... Steal leader: Dirksen 3
MONTICELLO - Scoring: Matt Todd 25, Rezi Useh 15, Tommy Blackstone 8, Carson Sawatzke 5, Blake Thompson 4 ... 3-point shots: Todd 2, Useh 1, Sawatzke 1 ... Rebound leader: Todd 8 ... Assist leader: Todd 3 ... Steal leader: Todd 2