BECKER—Becker used a big second-half to give the Cardinals their first loss of the season, 71-61, in a non-conference game on Tuesday. Willmar held a 31-28 lead going into halftime but a defensive struggle in the second half led to 41 points for the Bulldogs. Madi Kerzmann was the game's leading scorer with 22. Cayle Hovland was Willmar's leading scorer with 12. Becker 71, Willmar 61 Willmar (1-1)................. 31 30 — 61 Becker (1-2)................. 28 43 — 71 Willmar
PRINSBURG — The Central Minnesota Christian School girls basketball team ran out to a 20-point lead by halftime and the situation didn't change in the second as the Bluejays downed Hendricks 58-27 in a non-conference game on Monday.
LITCHFIELD—The Litchfield wrestling team dominated the lower weight divisions in its invitational to take third in a field of seven on Saturday. Hutchinson won the meet with 220 points and Minneota was second with 213. Four different Dragons were champions in their weight division. Afton Kaping got things started in the 120-pound weight class, pinning Milaca's Garrett Hall in his first match of the day. He then defeated Totino-Grace's Triston Zuniga bya 17-4 major decision and won the championship against Minneota's Brant buysse with a 4-3 decision.
BECKER—Willmar's gymnastics team had a strong showing in their first action of the season, taking third in a tightly-contested eight-team field at the Becker Invitational on Saturday. North Branch took first with 138.3 points and Becker finished just 0.2 points behind in second place. Willmar finished with 135.8 points. Erica Schramm was the leading individual for the Cardinals. She took third in the all-around competition, finishing with 34.65 points. North Branch's Keeley Ertl took first with 35.35 points.
MONTICELLO—Noah Slagter did it all for Willmar on Saturday including guide a second half offensive surge to defeat Monticello 65-52 in the Monticello Invitational. Slagter finished with a double-double by scoring 27 points and 11 rebounds. He was only outscored by Monticello's Matt Todd who had 28 points. The Cardinals held a one point lead at halftime but they outscored the Magic by 12 in the second half for the convincing win. Tyler Johnson came just one point and one rebound shy of a double-double. Noah Getz also had nine points.
PORTLAND, Oregon—The Willmar girls cross country team lept up the leaderboard again on Saturday, placing fifth at the Nike Cross Country Nationals. Willmar finished with 218 points. Manlius (N.Y.) easily won the meet with 41 points and was followed by Davis (Calif.) with 181, Temecula (Calif.) with 185 and Carmel (Calif.) with 194. Sophie Schmitz was Willmar's top individual finisher in the 200-runner girls field, placing 61st in 18:58.3. Brie Oakley of Southwest won the meet in 17:10.1. Grace Ping, a Winona runner competing individually, placed sixth in 17:48.3.
CLOQUET—Macey Huhner scored 14 points and Laney Huhner had 13 to lead Litchfield to a win on Friday night on the first night of the Dragons' northern Minnesota road trip. The Dragons play at Duluth Denfeld at 7:30 p.m. today. Brynne Wahl finished with seven points and nine rebounds and Hallie Euerle had four points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Laney Huhner also had four assists and four steals. Litchfield 55, Cloquet 38 Litchfield................. 28 27 — 55 Cloquet................. 16 22 — 38
MONTICELLO — A big second-half surge was the difference as the Willmar boys basketball team opened the 2016 season with a 72-64 win over Zimmerman at the Monticello Invitational on Friday. Willmar trailed by four at halftime but scored 42 second-half points to put Zimmerman away. The Cardinals' Noah Slagter hit 8 of 14 from the floor—including three 3-pointers—and scored 31 points. He also led the Cards with eight rebounds.
SAUK RAPIDS — Sartell/Sauk Rapids scored early and often on Friday night as they downed Willmar's girls hockey team 7-0. The Sabers got started just three minutes into the game with a goal from Brooke Walters. Walters scored in each period to earn a hat trick. Bre Hess scored the second goal and Bria Ferns scored the third and seventh goal of the night as well. Willmar's Bryton Carlson stopped 37 of the the 30 shots she faced. The Cardinals will have a rematch against Northern Lakes on Tuesday in Breezy Point. Sartell 7, Willmar 0
ST. CLOUD—The Willmar wrestling team got off to a quick start and wins by the Reigstads late sealed a 38-31 victory over fellow Central Lakes Conference power St. Cloud Tech on Thursday. The two teams met for the CLC championship in the last regular-season match last year and they kicked off this year with another tight match.