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Willmar gets offense on track in win

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals unlocked their offense Tuesday and punished Hutchinson 69-33 in a non-conference girls basketball game. The start was almost dream like for a team coming off a disappointing overtime loss to Brainerd on this same ...

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals unlocked their offense Tuesday and punished Hutchinson 69-33 in a non-conference girls basketball game.

The start was almost dream like for a team coming off a disappointing overtime loss to Brainerd on this same court Saturday.

In succession without a miss, Kelsey Evans, Kjerstin Knutson, Lisa Nielsen, Brin Hanson and Nielsen scored again, off a steal for a 10-0 lead; four free throws by Nielsen made it 14-0 before Hutchinson broke the ice on a shot by Kaitlin Hjerpe.

The lead stood 22-2 with eight minutes gone.

"We needed that," said Hanson, a senior guard after the victory. "It should get our confidence back. Oh, my gosh, we were really upset after (the) Saturday (loss)."

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Hutchinson, a young team that will only get better, just couldn't keep up with the Cardinals' ball movement.

It was 34-16 at half but any notion Hutchinson had of staging a comeback was doused when Willmar started the second half with an 11-2 run for a 45-18 lead at 12:30.

Lisa Nielsen, a senior center, poured in nine of her game-high 15 points in the first half and also grabbed eight rebounds. Hanson ran up 12 points, five assists and five steals and Evans supplied 11 points and eight rebounds.

Eight players scored off the bench, including Greta King with eight.

"We're working together better," said Hanson. "We're getting use to this team thing."

Willmar 69, Hutchinson 33

Hutchinson (2-3) 16 17 -- 33

Willmar (3-3) 34 35 -- 69

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HUTCHINSON - 11-54 FG (3-11 3 pt); 8-11 FT; 27 rebounds; 20 fouls ... Scoring: Michaela Larson 6, Brittany Stamer 3, Laci Murtha 6, Kelsey Frazer 3, Angela Tauer 7, Kate Bryon 6, Kaitlin Hjerpe 2... 3-point shots: Stamer, Frazser, Tauer ... Rebound leaders: Byron 7 ... Assist leaders: Murtha 3 ... Steal leaders: Byron 4

WILLMAR - 22-40 FG (3-8 3 pt); 13-23 FT; 35 rebounds; 9 fouls ... Scoring: Megan Brown 2, Kelsey Evans 11, Brin Hanson 12, Mariel Aamot 2, Hannah Okins 5, Emily Nelson 3, Briana Goldschmidt 2, Kjerstin Knutson 4, Ali Unger 1, Greta King 8, Lisa Nielson 15, Jena Thompson 2, Whitney Arends 2 ... 3-point shots: Evans, Hanson 2, Nelson 1 ... Rebound leaders: Evans 8, Nielsen 8 ... Assist leaders: Hanson 5 ... Steal leaders: Hanson 5, Okins 5 ... Blocks: Nielsen 2

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