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Boys Basketball: Cardinals’ starting 5 too much for Worthington

Willmar senior guard Brady Damhof, left, tries to block a shot from Worthington senior forward Carter Lindner during a non-conference game Saturday in Worthington. Worthington Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON — Willmar boys basketball head coach Steve Grove wasn’t enamored with some of his team’s shot selections in Friday night’s win over St. Cloud Apollo.

It’s possible Grove might not have been fond of some of the Cardinals’ shot choices on Saturday but he certainly couldn’t have argued with the results.

Willmar shot 61 percent — with Joel Carter hitting a combined 15 of the 17 of his shots from the floor and free-throw line — and the Cardinals downed Worthington 84-76 in a non-conference game.

The Cards had five players — all their starters — score in double figures, led by Carter, who finished with 20 points. He hit 5-of-7 from the field and converted all 10 of his foul shots. He also led the Cardinals with 7 rebounds.

Adam Nibaur canned three 3-pointers and scored 18 points, Kyler Johnson scored 16, Tyler Stegeman had 12 points and 6 boards and Austin Grove scored 10 points.

A 14-2 run midway through the first half helped the Cardinals turn a two-point deficit into a 29-19 lead, and they stretched the margin to 12 by halftime.

Willmar had the lead up to 20 points, 61-41, before Worthington rallied back, cutting the Cardinals’ lead to seven points, 78-71, late in the game.

But Carter and Johnson hit all six of their foul shots down the stretch to blunt the Worthington comeback attempt.

Willmar is 12-5 overall and has won three of its last four, with the lone defeat coming in double overtime against St. Cloud Tech. With today’s Central Lakes Conference game at Brainerd postponed, the Cardinals are scheduled to return to action on Thursday to host CLC rival Rocori.

Willmar 84, Worthington 76

Willmar (12-5)    44 40 — 84

Worthington (5-9)           32 44 — 76

WILLMAR – 28-46 FG (5-10 3-pt); 23-37 FT; 24 rebounds; 16 fouls … Scoring: Tyler Stegeman 12, Joel Carter 20, Josh Holtz 5, Brady Damhof 3, Kyler Johnson 16, Adam Nibaur 18, Austin Grove 10 … 3-point shots: Nibaur 3, Damhof 1, Johnson 1 … Rebound leaders: Carter 7, Stegeman 6 … Assist leaders: Grove 3, Stegeman 3 … Steals leaders: Carter 3, Stegeman 2

WORTHINGTON – 29-62 FG (7-20 3-pt); 12-17 FT; 21 rebounds; 20 fouls … Scoring: Will Dudley 8, Spencer Grafing 15, Marcus Potter 25, Will Mulder 19, Oliver Wolyniec 8, Carter Lindner 2 … 3-point shots: Mulder 5, Potter 1, Grafing 1 … Rebound leaders: Grafing 5, Potter 5, Wolyniec 5 … Assist leaders: Potter 7 … Steals leaders: Dudley 2