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Boys basketball: Willmar edges Alexandria

Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Jordan Guertz, right, and Willmar teammate Sean Zuidema barricade Alexandria’s 6-foot-8 Logan Doyle on a first-half free throw attempt in the first half Friday in Willmar.

WILLMAR — Alexandria big man Logan Doyle was held to just 9 points before fouling out late in the game Friday as the Willmar Cardinals got some key defensive stops in rallying to edge Alexandria 64-60.

The win puts Willmar at 12-12 overall and in line to land the No. 4 seed for the Section 2AAA playoffs that start on March 5. But the Cardinals need to take care of business and beat St. Cloud Tech (7-17) on the road Monday to cement their chances of landing a home game for the first round of the playoffs.

Hutchinson (10-13) has won three straight and will likely be the No. 5 seed if Willmar beats Tech, which it did earlier in the season, 80-61 on Jan. 19 in Willmar. Hutchinson, which has a chance to overtake Willmar as the No. 4 seed, beat the Cardinals 57-54 on Dec. 6 in the Cards’ season opener.

Austin Rambow ignited the offensive charge for Willmar Friday by scoring 21 points. The senior forward was also trying to contain the 6-foot-8 Doyle — as were other Cardinals hovering around the paint — while patrolling the glass, where he grabbed a team-high 6 rebounds.

Rambow netted 24 points in Willmar’s 66-60 win over Alexandria on Jan. 17.

Kyler Johnson followed Rambow last night with 14 points, while Joe Leuze chipped in 6 points, 4 steals and 3 assists, Dylan Schueler 7 points and Jordan Geurtz 5 rebounds.

“The biggest lead we had was six late in the game as we were able to get stops, one thing that didn’t happen in the first half,” said Willmar coach Steve Grove. “Our defensive effort wasn’t great in the first half, but we were fortunate to have them miss a shot and get the rebound and make (a basket) on the other end (late in the game).”

Willmar 64, Alexandria 60

Alexandria (5-9, 10-12)    35 25 — 60

Willmar (7-8, 12-12)    33 31 — 64

ALEXANDRIA – 22-54 FG (8-20 3-pt); 8-14 FT; 27 rebounds; 21 fouls … Scoring: Brandon Bistodeau 14, John Vogeler 10, Joe Gorghuber 7, David Krivanek 9, Logan Doyle 9, Chase Kohler 11 … 3-point shots: Bistodeau 3, Vogeler 1, Krivanek 1, Kohler 3

WILLMAR – 22-64 FG (4-12 3-pt); 16-24 FT; 21 rebounds; 16 fouls … Scoring: Joe Leuze 6, Jordan Geurtz 2, Sean Zuidema 3, Dylan Schueler 7, Tyler Stegeman 5, Kyler Johnson 14, Austin Rambow 21, Alex Grove 6 … 3-point shots: Schueler 1, Rambow 1, Johnson 2 … Rebound leaders: Rambow 6, Geurtz 5 … Assist leaders: Leuze 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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