Willmar upended by Tech
WILLMAR -- After opening the season with two easy wins, Willmar found someone that could match its intensity on defense. St. Cloud Tech (3-0, 5-0) limited its Central Lakes Conference rival to just 13 field goals en route to going home with a 39-...
WILLMAR -- After opening the season with two easy wins, Willmar found someone that could match its intensity on defense.
St. Cloud Tech (3-0, 5-0) limited its Central Lakes Conference rival to just 13 field goals en route to going home with a 39-37 win Thursday to stay unbeaten.
The Tigers' ability to clean up their missed shots on the offensive end helped them pull away after breaking a 20-20 tie on Jordyn Sears' long-range jumper.
Sears led all scorers with 14 points.
"Their offensive rebounding hurt us in the second half," said Willmar coach Brad Atchison. "They had too many second and third chances. The girls never gave up and we had some nice steals late in the game, but we couldn't seem to get over the hump."
Willmar, which fell be-hind by as much as six in the second half, pulled within one at 38-37 with 26 seconds remaining when junior Lisa Nielsen made the first of two free-throw attempts. Nielsen, who got to the line after getting fouled underneath the basket battling for a rebound, had her second attempt roll in-and-out.
Willmar's rally then fell short after its two possessions with under 20 seconds left ended on turnovers. The Cardinals (2-1, 2-1) committed 13 turnovers in each half.
Seniors Andrea Brown and Laura Nielsen both netted 10 points to pace Willmar. Laura Nielsen also grabbed 10 of the team's 25 rebounds.
The Cardinals jumped out to an early 5-0 lead after sophomore Brianna Goldschmidt nailed a three-pointer in the left corner and Brown converted a layup. The Tigers didn't get on the scoreboard until Sears hit two free throws 4:23 into the game.
Willmar host Brainerd in a Central Lakes Conference game at 3 p.m. Saturday at the high school.
SC Tech 39, Willmar 37
St. Cloud Tech (3-0, 5-0) 16 23 -- 39
Willmar (2-1, 2-1) 15 22 -- 37
ST. CLOUD TECH - 16 FG (0 3 pt); 7-12 FT; rebounds not available; 13 fouls ... Scoring: Jordyn Sears 14, Erin Foley 2, Terin Euerle 4, Megan Foley 11, Kristen Wolters 4, Joy Hesse 4 ... 3-point shots: none
WILLMAR - 13-38 FG (3-12 3 pt); 6-11 FT; 25 rebounds; 16 fouls ... Scoring: Megan Brown 3, Andrea Brown 10, Brianna Goldschmidt 5, Katie Holmgren 4, Lisa Nielsen 5, Laura Nielsen 10 ... 3-point shots: A. Brown 1, M. Brown 1, Goldschmidt 1 ... Rebound leaders: Laura Nielsen 10, Lisa Nielsen 5, Holmgren 5 ... Assist leaders: Laura Nielsen 2, A. Brown 2 ... Steal leaders: A. Brown 2, Goldschmidt 2, Holmgren 2, Laura Nielsen 2
NEXT -- Willmar: Saturday, home vs. Brainerd, 3 p.m.