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Girls basketball: Sabres take out Cardinals

Tribune photo by Brooke Kern Willmar’s Kassy Linbo looks inside for the score against Sartell’s Rachel Winter on Thursday in Willmar.

WILLMAR — The Willmar girls basketball team shaved the Sartell lead razor thin in the second half but couldn’t grab the lead and fell to the Sabres 69-65 on Thursday night at the Willmar High School gym.

The Cards, who lost at Sartell 49-40 on Jan. 4, have lost four straight and dropped below .500 for the first time (10-11).

Willmar will entertain Moorhead at 1 p.m. Saturday, followed by the boys varsity in a Spud doubleheader.

Sartell carried a four-point lead out of halftime but the Cardinals took a one-point lead early in the second half, and after the Sabres retook the lead, Willmar had the lead down to one point in late going.

Willmar’s Leah Ruter hit a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left to make it 67-65 Sartell but the Sabres scored to salt away the game.

“We played a tough game but Sartell was just the better team tonight,” said Cardinals head coach Dustin Carlson. “Both teams played tough defense but people found ways to score, too.”

Willmar’s Anne Dunham had team highs with 13 points and 6 rebounds and Heather Horning had 12 points, 4 boards, 4 assists and 4 steals.

Ruter finished with 8 points and 4 assists.

Ashton Haider led the Sabres with 23 points and Kendra Raths scored 15.

“We got close but it just seemed like every time (Sartell) would come down and make a basket or hit one or two free throws,” Carlson said. “We just couldn’t hit that big basket to tie or go ahead.”

Sartell 69, Willmar 65

Sartell (9-5, 13-8)    33 36 — 69

Willmar (7-7 10-11)    29 36 — 65

SARTELL – 26-49 FG (1-6 3-pt); 16-23 FT; 23 rebounds; 20 fouls … Scoring: Ashton Haider 23, Kim Zipp 3, Emma Mitzel 6, Rachel Winter 6, Taylor Mareck 2, Mika Turner-Carriere 4, Kendra Raths 15, Emily Johnson 10 … 3-point shots: Zipp 1 … Rebound leaders: NA … Assist leaders: NA … Steal leaders: NA

WILLMAR – 21-43 FG (5-12 3-pt); 18-27 FT; 26 rebounds; 18 fouls … Scoring: Courtney Magnuson 6, Megan Rudnick 3, Kassy Linbo 2, McKenzie Hastad 5, Heather Horning 12, Anne Dunham 13, Leah Ruter 8 … 3-point shots: Magnuson 1, Rudnick 1, Horning 1, Fosso 1, Ruter 1 … Rebound leaders: Dunham 6, Horning 4 … Assist leaders: Ruter 4, Horning 4, Linbo 3, Magnuson 3 … Steal leaders: Horning 4, Fosso 2

Tom Larson

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

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