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Boys Basketball: Cardinals pound St. Cloud Tech

Willmar's Jimmy Unger escapes leaping St. Cloud Tech forward Alex Matchinsky in the first half Friday night in Willmar. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton.

Tribune Staff Report

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals do their love home cookin'.

The Cardinals overwhelmed the visiting Tigers from St. Cloud Tech 41-17 in the first half and cruised to a 77-62 win on Friday night in front of more than 800 fans on Senior Night.

Willmar is now 12-1 in their own kitchen and a step closer to their first Central Lakes title since 2007-2008 when Willmar and Tech each finished 17-1, splitting the home-and-home series.

This go-around Willmar swept the Tigers for the first time since the 2006-7 season.

Rocori kept pace winning at Brainerd 58-47.

Willmar is 11-4 in league conflicts with St. Cloud Apollo left on March 2, a road game. Rocori (10-4) has home games left with Alexandria (Tuesday) and St. Cloud Tech (March 2).

The Cardinals scalded the net the first half. Jimmy Unger's 3-pointer made it 20-3 with eight minutes gone. Dean Stier, Matt Seudbeck, Joe Leuze all hit from the perimeter while Austin Rambow carved the Tigers' defense inside for 14 points in the game's first 10 minutes.

"We just came out with a lot of energy, a lot more than our last two games," said Willmar head coach Steve Grove. "Tech had an off night shooting. They normally shoot a lot better outside."

Willmar just seems to shoot better at home while playing with magnified intensity and confidence; even in their only loss they played well against Edina.

The Cardinals canned 14 of 26 shots the first half; Tech, tall and athletic with broad-shouldered 6-foot-4 Paul Kaczor inside, played better the second half scoring 45 points and did get the lead down to 10 points with a minute left, but this was Willmar's game from the start.

Rambow finished with 19 points, Unger 16 (4 threes), Stier 11, Seudbeck 10, Alex Grove 8 and Mo Mohamud 6.

Andy Foley alone reached double figures with 19 points as the Tigers dropped to 8-6 in the CLC and 13-11 overall.

Willmar 77, SC Tech 62

SC Tech (8-6, 13-11) 17 45 -- 62

Willmar (11-4, 16-8) 41 36 -- 77

ST. CLOUD TECH - 21-48 FG (3-14 3-pt); 3-14FT; 28 rebounds; 23 fouls ... Scoring: Kevin Heysse 7, Michael Seehusen 9, Andy Foley 19, Bryant Bohlig 4, Alex Matchinsky 8, Luke Zwiener 5, Jake Martig 6, Paul Kaczor 4... 3-point shots: Seehusen 1, Foley 1, Zwiener 1

WILLMAR - 26-56 FG (8-21 3-pt); 17-30 FT; 29 rebounds; 22 fouls ... Scoring: Dean Stier 11, Joe Leuze 5, Jimmy Unger 16, Matt Suedbeck 10, Mo Mohamud 6, Brandon Zuidema 2, Austin Rambow 19, Alex Grove 8 ... 3-point shots: Unger 4, Stier 2, Leuze 1, Suedbeck 1 ... Rebound leaders: Rambow 8 ... Assist leaders: Unger 5, Stier 5 ... Steal leaders: Mohamud 3