Willmar drops Fergus, 68-52; St. Cloud Tech next

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals probably welcomed the chance to get back on the horse Monday night, two days after losing a non-conference game at Montevideo.

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals probably welcomed the chance to get back on the horse Monday night, two days after losing a non-conference game at Montevideo.

Led by Jordan Smith with 18 points and Michael Dunham with 16, the Central Lakes Conference leaders topped Fergus Falls 68-52 in a make-up game from Jan. 29.

"We told the kids it was a chance to get back in the saddle," said Willmar head coach Steve Grove. "We didn't want to just forget it, because we sure didn't rebound well, but we didn't want to dwell on it either, although it was against a great team in a fun atmosphere."

Willmar extended its CLC unbeaten streak to 13. The Cardinals, who played their third game in four days, now have two days to prepare for Thursday's home game with St. Cloud Tech, whose only league loss has been to Willmar.

Fergus Falls, which has wins over both St. Cloud Apollo and Rocori, didn't match-up well against Willmar's height.


The Otters stayed closed through the first half and into the first five minutes of the second by dropping three-point bombs: four each by Nick Fogard, who finished with 22 points, and Matt McGovern, who got 14.

The Otters are coached by Dave Lehrke, a 1968 Willmar graduate and former Fergus assistant coach.

He describes his status as "interim" after being asked to take over the program this year when the former coaching staff resigned.

"With our lack of height, we were trying to mix up defenses and hoping they would struggle shooting. But they were making there shots and when we went to man, they went inside on us."

Dunham made all three of his 3s in the first half and Smith got his three treys in the second as Willmar was 7-of-16 on 3s and 24 of 50 overall.

Willmar stats showed Fergus Falls without an offensive rebound. Junior forward Derek Hansen was held to four points, 14 under his average.

Also for Willmar, Casey Sussenguth finished with nine points, Adam Lindblad with eight and Ryan DeGree seven.

Immediately after the game, all the players and coaches went and sat at long tables to sign autographs for a long line of youngsters that numbered over 100.


Willmar 68, Fergus F. 52

Fergus Falls (4-9, 6-12) 30 22 -- 52

Willmar (13-0, 15-4) 33 35 -- 68

FERGUS FALLS - 19-42 FG (8-19 3-pt); 6-10 FT; 18 rebounds; 20 fouls ... Scoring: Jason Jorgenson 2, Matt McGovern 14, Kyle Shaikoski 1, Nick Fogard 22, Jonny Walvatne 3, Derek Hansen 4, Adam Schueller 6 ... 3-point shots: McGovern 4, Fogard 4... Rebound leaders: Hansen 6, Schueller 6 ... Assist leaders: McGovern 2, Shaikoski 2, Hansen 2 ... Steal leaders: Fogard 2

WILLMAR - 24-50 FG (7-16 3-pt); 13-26 FT; 35 rebounds; 11 fouls ... Scoring: Adam Lindblad 8, Jordan Smith 18, Casey Sussenguth 9, Mike Dunham 16, Isaiah Streed 4, Taylor Filipek 6, Ryan DeGree 7 ... 3-point shots: Smith 3, Dunham 3, Filipek 1 ... Rebound leaders: Lindblad 4, Smith 10, Sussenguth 6, Filipek 6, DeGree 5 ... Assist leaders: Smith 3, Dunham 2, Filipek 3 ... Steal leaders: Smith 5 ... Blocked shots: Smith 2, Sussenguth 3

What To Read Next
Get Local