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Girls basketball: Tigers maul Willmar

Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Willmar’s Leah Ruter maintains possession of a defensive rebound in the first half with Marshall’s Kenzie Beekman, left, and Lexi Saugstad nearby Thursday in Willmar. Beekman scored 32 points to lead the Tigers to their ninth straight win.

WILLMAR — The Willmar Cardinals fell on Thursday to No. 6 Marshall 71-48 in a meeting of Section 2AAA foes.

The result won’t help Willmar’s case or perhaps their confidence going into post-season in a tough section.

Things started out just dandy with the teams exchanging baskets at a blazing clip.

Willmar led 19-16 in the first 7 minutes but then began to crumble against the Tigers’ trapping full-court press.

A succession of miscues followed by the visitors’ deadeye shooting led quickly to a 27-20 reversal that soon extended into a 24-4 run.

Heather Horning sank four 3-pointers the first half plus a pair of deuces to account for 16 of the  Cardinals’ 28 first-half points. She would finish with 20.

Anne Dunham added 9 points and 8 rebounds and Courtney Magnuson 7 points.

Kenzie Beekman, a 5-11 junior forward, was hard to stop scoring 32 points for the Tigers.

With no one able to take charge to break the press, Willmar was assessed 28 turnovers which made it difficult for the offense to fully function.    

Marshall, helmed by former RCW coach Dan Westby, has won 9 in row and is 21-1 versus Minnesota schools this season, with a win and two losses to Sioux Falls, S.D., high schools.

Tigers, who average 66 ppg, shot 45 percent (30 of 67) to Willmar’s 41 percent on 17 of 41.

The Cards end the regular season tonight at St. Cloud Tech.

Marshall 71, Willmar 48

Marshall (22-3)    44 27 — 71

Willmar (11-13)    28 20 — 48

MARSHALL – 30-67 FG (3-9 3-pt); 8-10 FT; 32 rebounds; 10 fouls … Scoring: Sarah Buysse 12, Morgan Saugstad 7, Kelsey Saugstad 4, Kenzie Beekman 32, Hannah Bennett 6, Lexi Saugstad 7, Sarah Andersen 3 … 3-point shots: M. Saugstad 1, Beekman 1, L. Saugstad 1

WILLMAR – 17-41 FG (5-11 3-pt); 9-14 FT; 29 rebounds; 14 fouls … Scoring: Courtney Magnuson 7, Megan Rudnick 2, Kassy Linbo 4, McKenzie Hastad 2, Heather Horning 20, Anne Dunham 9, Caroline Bell 2, Leah Ruter 2 … 3-point shots: Magnuson 1, Linbo 1, Horning 3 … Rebound leaders: Horning 6, Dunham 4 … Assist leaders: Dunham 3, Rudnick 3 … Steal leaders: Ruter 3, Horning 2 … Blocks: Dunham 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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