WILLMAR -- The Sartell swimmers submerged a strong effort by Willmar in a Central Lakes Confeence dual meet Tuesday, 102.5-73.5. "It was our most competitive meet of the season, as good as we've swam this year," said Willmar coach Carl Shuldes. The first three events were all decided by a touch. The 200 freestyle was a virtual photo finish for the top three places.
University of Wisconsin-River Falls junior Hans Hoeg, a 6-3 guard from Litchfield, leads the Falcons (2-7 WIAC, 3-14) in scoring 16.7 ppg), rebounding (4.6 rpg) and steals (22) this season. Hoeg is shooting 83 percent from the free-throw line and 40 percent on three-pointers. Last year, Hoeg led all NCAA Division III players in free-throw percentage, making making 113 of 121 attempts (93.4 percent).
Minneapolis Community and Technical College is at the college gym in Willmar tonight for two games against Ridgewater. The Lady Warriors (3-1, 12-4) are a game behind the Marauders (4-0, 11-8) in the Southern Division, though Ridgewater ranks No. 1 and Minneapolis No. 3 in this week's coach's rankings. The women's game tips off at 6 p.m. The unranked Warrior men (2-3, 7-10) will try to convert the energy of Saturday's upset of Fergus Falls into a an even bigger shocker when they meet top-ranked Minneapolis (4-1, 16-2) at 8 p.m.
BRAINERD -- Despite a rugged season offensively, Willmar had been showing life recently with its penalty killing. On Tuesday, the defensive woes joined the offensive shortcomings, lending to a 9-0 Central Lakes Conference loss to Brainerd. It was the ninth time this season Willmar (1-13, 1-21) has been shut out. "We had been playing with some intensity lately," said Willmar coach Ross Dahl.
BRAINERD -- The Central Lakes Conference leaders controlled the puck and the scoring Tuesday as Willmar fell to the Brainerd Warriors 8-1. Brainerd (11-0 in the CLC) outshot the visitors 47-13.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals improved to 6-0 with an easy 60-18 win over the young Sartell Sabres Tuesday on the high school wrestling mat. The Cardinals wrestle Central Lakes foe St. Cloud Apollo on Friday night in a home triangular that also includes Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa. If they win, that would set up a showdown at Little Falls Feb. 2 in Willmar. The Flyers were 5-0 in conference matches entering Tuesday night's match with Sauk Rapids. Sartell, which remained winless in the Central Lakes Conference, forfeited three weights Tuesday night.
SARTELL -- Willmar patiently picked apart the Sartell defense en route to a 69-56 win in Central Lakes Conference girls' basketball action Tuesday night. It was the most points Willmar has scored this season. Katie Holmgren led a three-pronged Cardinals' attack with 23 points. Willmar shot 54 percent from the field. "We shot the ball great from the perimeter," said Willmar coach Brad Atchison. "Holmgren had her game of the year. Most of her baskets were from the elbow and beyond.
GROVE CITY -- Nikki Linn drained four 3-pointers and Benson shot just under 50 percent from the field Tuesday as the Braves moved into a tie for the lead in the West Central South Conference by upending Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 51-39. Benson is now 6-2 in the loop, while Yellow Medicine East dropped to 5-2 with a loss to Morris/Chokio-Alberta. Linn hit all four of the Braves' three-pointers to finish with a team-high 15 points. Brittany Holm followed with 11 points and also pocketed five steals.
HANCOCK -- Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg cashed in on the chances down the stretch and halted Hancock's seven-game winning streak with a 67-64 overtime win in non-conference girls basketball action Tuesday. The Fighting Saints (10-4) made only 7-of-11 free throws, but two of them came at the end of overtime when Patina Queenan gave KMS a three-point lead with nine seconds left. A Sara Carlson basket with 20 seconds left in OT gave KMS a 65-62 lead, but Hancock's Tara Thielke made two free throws to cut the lead to one. Esther Peterson paced the Saints with 16 points, followed by Queenan's 13.
LITCHFIELD -- Waconia held Litchfield to just two points in the second half Tuesday en route to handing the Dragons a 43-20 loss in a battle of Wright County Conference co-leaders. Waconia (7-1, 12-4) led 27-18 at halftime before surrendering just one field goal -- made by Natalie Devine -- to Litchfield (6-2, 12-4). The Dragons were 9-for-34 from the field. Emily Davis led Litchfield with 10 points. Waconia 43, Litchfield 20 Waconia (7-1, 12-4)..............27 16 -- 43 Litchfield (6-2, 12-4).............18 2 -- 20 WACONIA - 18-35 FG (0-3 3 pt); 7-11 FT; 24 rebounds; 6 fouls ...