Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.
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The Willmar girls basketball team earned its first state tournament berth since 2010 with a 62-51 victory over Zimmerman in the Section 5AAA championship game Thursday
Three Willmar Cardinals wrestlers earned second-place finishes in Class AAA at the Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center
A strong second half helped the Willmar girls basketball team down Big Lake 58-44 in the Section 5AAA semifinals on Saturday at Buffalo High School
Kenyon-Wanamingo defeated KMS 37-19 in the Class A consolation championship match on Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center
The Willmar wrestling team lost to Owatonna 30-29 in the consolation championship match at the Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center
The prep wrestling post-season got underway in a big way on Tuesday, with the top four seeds in Section 5A advancing to the semifinals in Kerkhoven and Belgrade. Top-seed KMS and No. 4 Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville will square off on Friday and No. 2 BBE takes on No. 3 Paynesville. Both matches are at 6 p.m. in Holdingford, and the winners will meet at 8 p.m. Friday for a spot in the Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament. The state tournament is March 2-4 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
BENSON — Benson kept it close against Montevideo in the early going but the Thunder Hawks righted their ship and downed the Braves 55-37 on Monday at Benson High School. Abby Olson led the T-Hawks with 16 points and she also led the team with eight rebounds and had a pair of steals. Ashley McKee scored 10 points and Sarah Sulflow had seven points and five rebounds. Emmy Enevoldsen finished with eight points and four assists. Both Sulflow and McKee had two steals. Danielle Himley led the Braves with 10 points and she and Grace Lee both had five rebounds.
NEW LONDON — A tough shooting night spelled defeat for the New London-Spicer girls basketball team on Thursday. Unofficially, the Wildcats hit just 23 percent of their shots and fell to Watertown-Mayer 62-47 at New London-Spicer High School. "(Shooting) was a big part of it," said Wildcats head coach Mike Dreier. "(23 percent shooting), that's not going to get it done." By contract, W-M didn't shoot the lights out the Royals shot an unofficial 42 percent from the field, helping to turn a two-point halftime lead into a 15-point victory.
WILLMAR—The National Basketball Association annually touts its big Christmas Day slate of games. For local hoops aficionados, next week in Willmar and New London will offer the prep equivalent. The Bremer Bank Holiday Classic features eight area boys teams playing four games on both Tuesday and Wednesday at Willmar High School. Later in the week, New London-Spicer plays host to the annual Heritage Bank WildCard girls tournament. At the Holiday Classic, 3-2 New London-Spicer and BBE (1-3) kick off the tournament with a 2 p.m. game Tuesday.
Thursday, Dec. 8 Boys Basketball Montevideo at ACGC, 7:30 p.m. Melrose at BOLD, 7:30 p.m., in Bird Island Morris/CA at Minnewaska, 7:30 p.m. Benson at Sauk Centre, 7:30 p.m. RCW at Hancock, 7:30 p.m. Paynesville at Yellow Medicine East, 7:30 p.m. Ortonville at Lac qui Parle Valley, 7:30 p.m. Maplewood Academy at Willmar Community Christian, 7 p.m. Osakis at Litchfield, 7 p.m. Girls Basketball Willmar at St. Cloud Tech, 7:30 p.m. BOLD at Benson, 7:30 p.m.