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WILLMAR -- The only thing Sartell did that Willmar didn't was score the first basket of each half. It didn't matter because the Cardinals had no problem collecting their 10th Central Lakes Conference win of the season Thursday. Willmar shot nearly 60 percent from the field and had Kelsey Evans score a season-high 27 points, allowing the CLC-leading Cardinals to collect a 78-26 win. Willmar (10-1, 13-3) now owns sole possession of first place in the conference after Little Falls fell to St. Cloud Apollo Thursday.
WILLMAR -- Kelsey Evans is confident that if a shot doesn't fall for her Alex Lippert will be there to clean up. The junior post didn't disappoint Evans Friday. Willmar drew up a play for Evans to take the final shot in the closing seconds, but the senior's driving layup bounced off the rim. However, Lippert was in the right place at the right time as she grabbed the offensive rebound and put it in the basket with one second left to give Central Lakes Conference co-leader Willmar a 70-68 come-from-behind win over St.
WILLMAR -- The shortest player on the court made the biggest shot of the game Tuesday for Willmar. Mariel Aamot, listed at 5-4, converted a layup with just under two minutes left to put Willmar ahead for good as the Cardinals went on to rally past Little Falls 53-52 and move into a first-place tie in the Central Lakes Conference game. Little Falls, who entered the game unbeaten in Central Lakes Conference play at 5-0, owned the lead for the majority of the game.
Two late afternoon contests and two games that feature conference rivals highlight today's area football schedule. While Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City lost to Eden Valley-Watkins on Thursday night in Section 5AA in St. Cloud, three other area teams are looking to extend their postseason run. New London-Spicer (8-2) squares off against West Central North Conference foe Albany (10-0) in the Section 6AAA final at 5 p.m. at St. Cloud State University. The unbeaten Huskies upended NLS 8-7 on Sept.
WILLMAR -- Twenty ace serves, 12 ace blocks and Emily Nelsen's 21 kills weren't enough for Willmar as St. Cloud Tech stunned the Cardinals 25-19, 15-25, 25-21, 18-25, 16-14 in a Central Lakes Conference match Tuesday. Mental errors down the stretch cost Willmar (7-3, 12-9) an opportunity to snap a two-match losing streak in CLC play. "We made poor decisions at the end," said Willmar coach Mary Hanson. "We played nervous and that cost us points." The Cardinals owned the lead for the majority of the fifth game as Nelsen collected four kills to help Willmar owned a 13-9 lead at one point.
WILLMAR -- Despite trailing for a majority of the match, Willmar outlasted Sartell 25-23, 20-25, 26-24, 19-25, 15-11 in a marathon that lasted nearly two hours Thursday night to remain unbeaten in the Central Lakes Conference. The Cardinals (7-0, 10-4) never had more than a two-point lead until the fifth game and had to rally in every set they won. "The girls worked hard in the offseason on their conditioning and it paid off (tonight)," said Willmar coach Mary Hanson.
WILLMAR -- Hutchinson grabbed control early and never let up as the Tigers roared past Willmar 25-19, 25-15, 25-10 in a non-conference volleyball match Thursday. Both teams came in with a 3-0 record, but it was the Tigers who came out on fire. Hutchinson owned a 24-13 lead in the first game before Willmar went on a 6-0 run to make things interesting. "They played faster than we could keep up," said Willmar coach Mary Hanson. "They were very focused. We easily get distracted. We have a great fan base, but we need to play like it's our gym.
KERKHOVEN -- Kevin Steinhaus moved one step closer to fulfilling a childhood dream Tuesday by verbally committing to wrestle for the University of Minnesota after his high school career is over. "He was so set on being a Minnesota Gopher since the seventh or eighth grade," said Wes Haglund, Steinhaus' coach at Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg.
GLENWOOD -- When the Minnesota State High School League releases dates for state tournaments, members of the Minnewaska Area girls golf team can almost for certain circle those dates to participate. Already having won the last two state titles and almost 40 straight meets, the Lakers are heavily favored to win a third straight title when Class AA play starts today and runs through Friday at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan. Three current golfers -- sophomores Courtney Boe and Sarah Roering and junior Emily Roering -- played for the Lakers in their first appearance in 2005.
WILLMAR -- Fergus Falls thwarted Willmar's upset bid by having three players score in double figures as the Otters survived a back-and-forth affair 53-50 in overtime Friday in the Cardinals' Central Lakes Conference and regular-season finale. There were seven lead changes in the first half and Fergus Falls (15-3, 21-4) overcame 10 turnovers to take a 22-21 lead at halftime. Kelsey Evans, who netted a game-high 20 points and helped hold Fergus Falls star Hannah Draxten to just 15 points, gave Willmar (8-10, 11-13) a 24-22 lead on a three-pointer just 24 seconds into the second half.