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Girls basketball: Cards top Cougars in overtime

MANKATO — Courtney Magnuson and Kalley Fosso each struck for 21 points and the Willmar Cardinals took down Mankato East on the Cougars’ own court 72-66 in overtime on Saturday.

The Section 3AAA victory is all the more impressive as this was Willmar’s opener while the favored Cougars had already logged back to back wins over Big Nine foes Rochester Century (46-40) and Winona (68-47).

“East is a top team in the section and in the state,” Cardinals’ head coach Dustin Carlson said. “The girls stepped up in the second half when they were down by 10 with about 9 minutes left.”

At a disadvantage in the post height-wise, Willmar still was able to contain 6-foot-2 sophomore Allison Taylor, though 6-foot senior Taylor Karge would score a game-high 26 points.

“We had incredible help on defense digging in on the posts from McKenzie, Megan Rudnick, Kalley and Kaitlynn Kienholz,” Carlson said.

Leah Ruter cashed a trio of treys for all her nine points. Sami Doering sank two big threes for her eight points. Magnuson and Jordan Martins (8 points, 4 assists) pressured the East guards.

“It was a great way to start the season. We’ve set our expectations high now,” Carlson said.

Willmar, which trailed 34-27 at half, outscored the host team 18-11 in overtime to break the 66-66 stalemate at the end of regulation. In OT, Martins and Magnuson combined to sink 10 of 16 free throws while Fosso and Ruter each hit a three.

Willmar hosts another 2AAA team, New Ulm (0-3), on Tuesday and is at Fergus Falls on Thursday to open the CLC slate.

Willmar 77, Mankato East 66

Willmar (1-0)      27 39 18 — 77

Mankato East (2-1)        34 21 11 — 66

WILLMAR – 23-58 FG (6-20 3-pt); 20-28 FT; 22 rebounds; 20 fouls … Scoring: Courtney Magnuson 21, Megan Rudnick 2, Jordan Martins 8, McKenzie Hastad 2, Leah Ruter 9, Kalley Fosso 21, Sami Doering 8, Kaitlynn Kienholz 1… 3-point shots: Ruter 3, Fosso, Doering 2 … Rebound leaders: Fosso 7, Rudnick 5, Martins 4 … Assist leaders: C. Magnuson 3, Martins 4, Fosso 3 … Steal leaders: Magnuson 3, Rudnick 2, Hastad 2 … Blocks: Ruter 2

MANKATO EAST – Scoring: Ambria Rykus 3, Torey Richards 11, Paige Lingbeck 4, Taylor Karge 26, Shelby Beckman 2, Claire Ziegler 18, Allison Taylor 2 … 3-point shots: Rykhus, Richards, Karge

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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