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Boys basketball: Willmar falls to Tech in home opener

Willmar senior guard Kyler Johnson puts up a layup after a steal at the Cardinal end to put Willmar up 30-19 in the first half of the home opener Tuesday in Willmar against St. Cloud Tech. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

WILLMAR — Over at the Willmar High School gym on Tuesday night, things looked pretty bright for the Cardinals at halftime leading the St. Cloud Tech Tigers 35-24.

But in the visitors’ locker room, Andy Foley and Jay Kedrowski were adjusting their gun sights.

The senior pair of 6-foot-5 centers combined for seven-three pointers and 28 points as the Tigers buried the Cards in the second half to take home a 61-52 victory in the Central Lakes Conference opener for both.

Both Tiger snipers ended up 4 of 5 from the arc.

After the great start, Willmar froze up post intermission scoring just 17 points.

A glaring problem for the Cardinals was the 23 fouls that handed Tech 27 chances at the free-throw line (the Tigers made 15).

Willmar went to the line just twice, making one.

Kyler Johnson got 13 of his team-high 18 points in the first half. Senior center Adam Nibaur started fast in his first varsity start scoring 12 points out of the gate and helping Willmar spring to away from Tech starting at the nine-minute mark. He finished with 16.

Tyler Stegeman, Dylan Schueler and Austin Grove each finished with six points. Grove pickoff 10 rebounds while Joel Carter, who started and got in immediate foul trouble, didn’t score but made 5 assists.

The Cardinals are back in action Thursday at home hosting Dassel-Cokato of the Wright County league.

Willmar 61, SC Tech 52

St. Cloud Tech (1-1)         24    37— 61

Willmar (0-1)      35   17—52

ST. CLOUD TECH – 19-46 FG (8-17 3-pt); 15-27 FT; 23 rebounds; 16 fouls … Scoring: Ethyn Fruth 3, Andy Foley 20, Philip Amundson 2, Isaac Matchinsky 8, Jake Martig 7, Jay Kedrowski 20… 3-point shots: Foley 4-5, Kedrowski 4-5

WILLMAR – 23-52 FG (5-25 3-pt); 1-2 FT; 25 rebounds; 23 fouls … Scoring: Tyler Steggeman 6, Dylan Schueler 6, Kyler Johnson 18, Adam Nibaur 18, Austin Grove 6 … 3-point shots: Johnson 3-10, Nibaur 2-3 … Rebound leaders: Grove 10, Schueler 4, Nibaur 3, Johnson 3… Assist leaders: Schuler 5, Stegeman 3, Brady Damhof 2, Johnson 2 … Steal leaders: Stegeman 3 … Blocked shots: Johnson 3

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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