WILLMAR — Brainerd rode a healthy first-half lead and strong 3-point shooting to hold off Willmar 71-68 in a Central Lakes Conference game on Tuesday at Willmar High School. Willmar fell to 10-12 overall while the Warriors improved to 8-12. Brainerd, which led by 11 at the break, shot a solid 52 percent (12-of-23) from beyond the 3-point line. Michael Russell and Chris Karels, who combined to hit 9-of-13 3-pointers, scored 26 and 17 points. Micheal Bieganek had eight points and eight rebounds.
BIRD ISLAND — ACGC's offense erupted in a West Central Conference match against the BOLD boys basketball team on Monday night, outscoring the Warriors 85-72. Gabe Eisenbacher led the way for the Falcons with 23 points while teammate Erik Belgum logged a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds. The Falcons led 39-30 at halftime and kept up the pressure in the second half, outscoring the Warriors 46-42 to close out the game. ACGC's Adam Johnson and Payton Kinzler added 13 and 11 points, respectively, to give the Falcons four double-digit scorers.
PRINSBURG — Hancock pulled away over the final stretch of play to turn a tight contest against CMCS into a comfortable 48-38 win to kick off the front end of a girls-and-boys doubleheader against the Bluejays. Hancock led by as many points as five, but never trailed in the second half. A late run led by guard Kassandra Algarate gave the Owls the 10-point win. Going into the half, the Owls held a slim two-point advantage, then proceeded to control the pace of the game over the final 18 minutes.
SAUK RAPIDS — The Willmar swimming and diving team had seven top-10 finishes and placed seventh at the nine-team Central Lakes Conference Championships on Saturday. The Cardinals scored 152 points. Sartell won the meet with 585 points, followed by Brainerd (384.5) and Alexandria (361). The Willmar team of Mateo Marin-Mera, Ethan Kubesh, Jacob Meyer and Garrett Shuldes placed third in the 400 Freestyle Relay.
SAUK RAPIDS - The Willmar gymnastics team pulled out a solid victory on Saturday, edging the defending Class AA state champion St. Cloud Tech in the Central Lakes Conference Championships. The Cardinals scored 146.675 points and Tech was second with 146.225. Tech downed the Cardinals in a Jan. 26 dual meet, meaning the teams tied for the CLC overall title. "It was a big win for us and hopefully will give the team confidence rolling into sections," said Willmar head coach Jodi Mottinger, whose team hosts to Section 6A championships on Saturday at Kennedy School.
WILLMAR — Granite City proved why they are the top team in the West Division Friday night as they breezed past the Willmar WarHawks 8-2. The Lumberjacks netted two first period goals and continued that theme in the second with two more. The WarHawks scored their first of the night with a goal from Jacob Dobberstein midway through the second but trailed 4-1 going into the third period.
GLENCOE - Litchfield's win streak moved to seven in a row with a strong second half comeback and a 64-56 Wright County Conference win over Glencoe-Silver Lake on Friday. Kyndra Beavers had a strong night individually for the Dragons as she neared a triple-double and set the school's all-time record for career assists. She finished the night with nine points, eight assists and 10 rebounds. Macy Huhner led all Dragons with 16 points and teammate Brynne Wahl scored 15. GSL's Maddie Monahan led all scorers with 22 points. Litchfield 64, GSL 56
LITCHFIELD - Noah Kreger and Owen Boerema were nearly unstoppable from distance as Litchfield took down Wright County Conference foe Glencoe-Silver Lake 72-62 on Friday. Krieger hit six 3-pointers on his way to a 26-point night and Boerema finished right behind with five three-pointers and 23 points. Teammate Brandon Nelson also had a strong game with nine points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and four steals. The Dragons will take on Annandale Tuesday in Litchfield. Litchfield 72, GSL 62 GSL (11-9) 20 42 — 62
SAUK RAPIDS — Noah Streed beat the buzzer and drained a 3-pointer to complete the comeback in Willmar's 68-65 Central Lakes Conference win over Sauk Rapids-Rice on Friday night. The Cardinals trailed by five points at halftime and by 10 points with five minutes left before kicking on the jets down the stretch. Streed finished with 22 points, as did Noah Slagter, who just missed a triple-double.
The Willmar WarHawks are just outside of a playoff spot at the moment but Curt and Jake discuss the team's playoff chances. The WarHawks are currently four points back of a playoff spot with a string of West Division games ahead of them. They have a home-and-home series against the Granite City Lumberjacks on Friday and Saturday.