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Boys basketball: Cardinals down T-Hawks

Tribune photo by Brooke Kern Willmar’s Austin Rambow takes an inside-the-paint jumper over Montevideo defenders Ricky Schmitz (left) and Tanner Rood on Saturday in Willmar. Rambow had 18 points in the Cardinals’ 62-52 win.

WILLMAR — Austin Rambow netted 18 points and Alex Grove added another 11 to help Willmar snap a two-game losing streak Saturday by upending Montevideo 62-52 in a non-conference tilt.

The Cardinals (9-9) are now back at .500 after winning four of their last six games. Montevideo have lost three of its last five and now sit at 9-6 overall.

A back-and-forth affair for much of the first half started to lean Willmar’s way later in the half as the Cardinals went into the locker room at halftime with a 37-26 lead.

The Cardinals stayed in front for remainder of the game, even though they were 3-for-16 (19 percent) from three-point range and Montevideo had a height advantage.

“We had a little more depth and that wore them down a little bit,” said Willmar coach Steve Grove. “After the first half we never relinquished the lead and it was a great team effort.”

Kyler Johnson followed Rambow and Grove with 9 points behind three 3-pointers, Jordan Geurtz 8 and Joe Leuze 6. The Cardinals also owned a 33-21 advantage in rebounds and held Montevideo to 38 percent shooting.

Rambow and Leuze both hooked 5 rebounds and Leuze also pocketed 4 steals.

Austin Hansen scored 13 points and Jordan Thompson added 12 more to pace the Thunder Hawks, who stayed within striking distance by sinking 8 of 19 shots from beyond the arc.

Willmar leads the 21st century series 6-4, though the T-Hawks had won 4 of the last 5 before Saturday.

Montevideo and Willmar met yearly beginning in 1930 through 1980, four- years after the Cardinals had departed the West Central Conference as a charter member of Central Lakes Conference.

The series resumed in 2000, although there were three consecutive years in the middle of the last decade when they did not play.

Monte fans get a treat on Tuesday when the flashy Dutchmen of Class AA No. 1 Melrose arrive in town to play the Thunder Hawks at 7:30 p.m.

Willmar plays its second of four straight home games on Tuesday vs. Fergus Falls.

Willmar 62, Montevideo 52

Montevideo (9-6)    26 26 — 52

Willmar (9-9)    37 25 — 62

MONTEVIDEO– 18-48 FG (8-19 3-pt); 8-11 FT; 21 rebounds; 9 fouls … Scoring: Ryan Maroney 7, Jeff Rohloff 2, Jordan Thompson 12, Austin Hansen 13, Troy Diggins 8, Derek Bruns 4, Ricky Schmitz 3, Spencer Hildahl 3 … 3-point shots: Maroney 1, Thompson 3, Hansen 1, Diggins 2, Schmitz 1 … Rebound leaders: n/a … Assist leaders: n/a … Steal leaders: n/a

WILLMAR – 26-65 FG (3-16 3-pt); 7-8 FT; 33 rebounds; 14 fouls … Scoring: Joe Leuze 6, Joel Carter 2, Jordan Geurtz 8, Sean Zuidema 4, Dylan Schueler 2, Kyler Johnson 9, Austin Rambow 18, Alex Grove 11, Austin Grove 2 … 3-point shots: Johnson 3 … Rebound leaders: Rambow 5, Leuze 5, Zuidema 4, Carter 4 … Assist leaders: Alex Grove 3 … Steal leaders: Leuze 4

Jesse Fuchs
I have been with the Tribune since the summer of 1998. I enjoy covering the high school aspect of the business and designing pages.
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