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Willmar back on track

WILLMAR -- Casey Sussenguth potted 23 points and Jordan Smith came up with 21 to end a personal scoring drought as the Willmar Cardinals regained the winning track with a 77-56 win over Little Falls on Tuesday night.

WILLMAR -- Casey Sussenguth potted 23 points and Jordan Smith came up with 21 to end a personal scoring drought as the Willmar Cardinals regained the winning track with a 77-56 win over Little Falls on Tuesday night.

The win kept Willmar at the front-end of the 10-team Central Lakes Conference standings, along with the defending champion Rocori.

Willmar (6-0, 8-3) hosts St. Cloud Apollo on Friday and travels to Rocori the following Thursday.

Smith and Sussenguth each grabbed eight rebounds.

Smith, a 6-3 junior forward, had scored just 20 points in the four games since the holiday tournament. He was averaging 16 points through the team's seven games.

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"Justin got more in his shooting rhythm tonight," said coach Steve Grove. "We need 15 a night from him or someone else has to pick up the slack."

Smith hit 8-of-11 shots from the field, including 3-of-6 three-pointers.

Sussenguth sank 8-of-12 from the floor and 7-of-8 at the free-throw line.

Unlike Edina, which beat Willmar by 29 points on Saturday, the Flyers (1-5, 4-6) didn't match up well along the front. Forwards Ryan DeGree worked inside for 10 points and Taylor Filipek added six.

Guard Michael Dunham hit two 3s and finished with 10 points.

The Flyers' Nick Erdrich cashed three 3s in the second half and finished with 22 points, followed by Alex Scott with 14.

Willmar scored four points in the last 15 seconds of the first half when the Flyers were stalling for the last shot. Adam Lindblad's steal and basket and Casey Sussenguth's two free throws made it 43-26 at the break.

Willmar 77, Little Falls 56

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Little Falls (1-5, 4-6) 26 30 -- 56

Willmar (6-0, 8-3) 43 34 -- 77

LITTLE FALLS - 20-48 FG (7-17 3-pt); 9-11 FT; 15 rebounds; 19 fouls ... Scoring: Alex Scott 14, John Dunlap 6, Ryan Voss 6, Nick Erdrich 22, Dan Kornbaum 6, Ron Kornbaum 2... 3-point shots: Scott 1, Voss 2, Erdrich 4 ... Rebound leaders: not available

WILLMAR - 28-44 FG (6-14 3-pt); 15-20 FT; 23 rebounds; 15 fouls ... Scoring: Adam Lindblad 5, Zak Coquyt 2, Jordan Smith 21, Casey Sussenguth 23, Mike Dunham 10, Taylor Filipek 6, Ryan DeGree 10 ... 3-point shots: Lindblad 1, Coquyt 1, Smith 3, Dunham 2 ... Rebound leaders: Lindblad 3, Smith 8, Sussenguth 8 ... Assist leaders: Smith 3, Sussenguth 3, DeGree 2 ... Steal leaders: Dunham 3, Smith 2

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