BRAINERD — Brainerd hung tough through the first half but Willmar upped its game in the second half and downed the Warriors 66-54 in a Central Lakes Conference game on Friday. Willmar improved to 23-2 and the Cardinals wrap up the regular season against Alexandria on Friday at Willmar High School. The Cardinals' Noah Slagter scored a game-high 26 points and Ryan Slette had 11 points and seven rebounds. Drey Dirksen scored 10 points and Cameron Murphy and Ty Roelofs both scored five points. Roelofs also had five rebounds and Murphy pulled down four boards.
LUVERNE—Top-seed Luverne played the part, blanking Willmar 6-0 in the Section 3A quarterfinals on Thursday at Blue Mound Ice Arena. The outcome wasn't unexpected as Luverne, also nicknamed the Cardinals, defeated Willmar 10-0 at Blue Mound on Jan. 13. Willmar finished the season 2-23-1 while Luverne, now 19-6-0, moves on to play either Hutchinson or New Ulm in the section semifinals. Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato plays Marshall in the other 3A semifinal. Both games are Saturday in St. Peter. LDC 5, Windom 2
The basketball playoffs are underway and the guys from the WCT Sports Show are here to help break down the upcoming action.
KERKHOVEN — KMS opened the match with six straight wins and the Saints advanced to the Section 5A semifinals with a 48-24 quarterfinals win over Benson on Tuesday night at KMS High School. KMS' Coy Gunderson (106), Chase Magaard (113) and Will Magaard (120) spotted the Saints to an 18-point lead three matches in with pins. KMS' Jared Carlson scored a decision at 126 and Jonathan Tostenson (132) and Luke Hoefer (138) also notched wins to put KMS up 33-0 before Benson's Aaron Zosel scored the Braves' first points with a pin at 145.
WORTHINGTON — Minnesota West's defense created problems for the Ridgewater women's basketball team and the Jays thumped the Warriors 77-52 on Wednesday night. MN West's Katherin Ihnen scored 25 points and Emily Haubrick added 19. Ridgewater managed just 27 first-half points, then put up just eight points in the third quarter. The Warriors' Mariah Adams scored 16 points and Abby Oberg finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. Heidi Sellmann, who has been on a tear the second half of the season, was limited to six points by the Jays' defense.
The Willmar Cardettes dance teams put an exclamation point on their season at the Cardettes Dance Show on Monday night at the Willmar High School gymnasium. The Minnesota State High School League dance season wraps this weekend with the State Girls Dance Team Tournament Feb. 16-17 at the Target Center in Minneapolis. The state tournament kicks off with the Jazz competition Feb. 16 and the High Kick competition is Feb. 17. Teams in Class A, AA and AAA compete beginning at 11:30 a.m. both days.
Last, week, Curt revealed his mid-season "All-Stars" in area boys hoops in the Four-Point Play. On this week's show, the guys go through that list of players and "draft" their All-Star teams, a la NBA style.
ST. CLOUD — The Ridgewater women's basketball team took a healthy lead in the first quarter and never let St. Cloud Technical College gain any momentum in a 65-55 victory on Wednesday. The Warriors' Heidi Sellmann, an MCAC Player of the Week last week, again put up numbers worthy of the honor. Sellmann led the Warriors with 18 points and 23 rebounds, and she also had three assists. The Warriors' Abby Oberg had 16 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Mariah Adams finished with 12 points and four steals. Ridgewater 65, SCT 55
In honor of the upcoming NBA All Star Game, West Central Tribune sports reporters Curt Hogg and Jake Schultz decided to do an all star draft of their own. Using Curt's column, the Four-Point Play, the WCT Sports Show drafted their all star teams of area girls basketball players. Let us know on Facebook or on Twitter, using @WCTSports, what you think about their teams.
Willmar's Nordic ski season came to an end Tuesday at the Section 8A tournament in Callaway, Minnesota. St. Cloud Cathedral-Sartell took the boys title with 386 points and three of the top five finishers to qualify for state. Joining the state bound Crusaders is Little Falls, who followed up with 375 points and two of the top five finishers. Willmar took ninth out the 12 team event. Bemidji edged Alexandria by one point on the girls side but both are heading to the state tournament as the top two finishers. Willmar, meanwhile, took 10th place of 11 teams.