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Tech cools off Willmar

ST. CLOUD -- In a battle of unbeatens, St. Cloud Tech toppled Willmar 82-72 in Central Lakes boys basketball on Tuesday.

Scott Nystrom, a senior who played for Kimball last winter, led St. Cloud Tech to its 10th win with 23 points.

Taylor Filipek paced four Cardinals in double figures with 28 points, plus eight rebounds and eight assists.

The Cardinals (5-1, 10-1) fell out of a first-place tie with St. Cloud Tech (6-0, 10-0) and Rocori, which played at Brainerd.

Willmar trailed 37-26 at intermission and by as much as 14 points in the second half at 61-47.

The Cardinals made a run, cutting the margin to five points on three-point makes by Jimmy Unger and Filipek.

But St. Cloud Tech built its lead back to 10 points when Tom Korf hit one of his four treys on the way to 18 points.

"They created a lot of second and third opportunities," said Willmar coach Steve Grove. "They're very athletic. Nystrom is very good off the dribble and he can penetrate."

The Tigers finished third in Class AAAA last March; their only loss to Hopkins.

The Tigers made 17 of 23 at the line to Willmar's 5 of 13. The Cardinals shot 55 percent (30-for-55) from the field.

Brian Reeves finished with 17 points and nine rebounds for Willmar, which will host Edina, another Class AAAA team, on Thursday. Sam Esboldt added 13 points and Unger 12.

Alex Hanks was also in double figures for the Tigers with 14 points. The defending CLC champions have now won 41 of their last 42 games, the only loss to the Class AAAA champions in the state semifinals last year.

Willmar will host St. Cloud Tech on Feb. 23.

SC Tech 82, Willmar 72

Willmar (5-1, 10-1) 26 46 -- 72

SC Tech (6-0, 10-0) 37 45 -- 82

WILLMAR - 30-55 FG (7-15 3-pt); 5-13 FT; 28 rebounds; 19 fouls ... Scoring: Jimmy Unger 12, Brian Reeves 17, Sam Esboldt 13, Sam Spaulding 2, Taylor Filipek 28 ... 3-point shots: Unger 2, Esboldt 2, Filipek 3... Rebound leaders: Filipek 8, Reeves 9 ... Assist leaders: Filipek 8 ... Steal leaders: five with 1 each

ST. CLOUD TECH - 27-63 FG (7-23 3-pt); 17-23 FT; 29 rebounds; 13 fouls ... Scoring: Kellan Euerle 9, Brett Stinogel 3, Alex Hanks 14, Trey Barber 7, Kevin Heysse 4, Dan Stoterau 4, Scott Nystrom 23, Tom Korf 18 ... 3-point shots: Korf 4, Nystrom 2, Stinogel 1 ... Rebound leaders, assist leaders, steal leaders: not available