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Girls Basketball: Cards topple No. 1

WILLMAR -- Tuesday night was the kind of night where everything could have gone wrong for the Willmar girls basketball team. Alexandria, Class AAA's top-ranked team, was in town sporting a mighty 12-0 record and sights set on a Central Lakes Conf...

Willmar head coach Dustin Carlson reacts to the final play of Tuesday's win against top-ranked Alexandria at Willmar High School. Jake Schultz / Tribune
Willmar head coach Dustin Carlson reacts to the final play of Tuesday's win against top-ranked Alexandria at Willmar High School. Jake Schultz / Tribune
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WILLMAR - Tuesday night was the kind of night where everything could have gone wrong for the Willmar girls basketball team.

Alexandria, Class AAA's top-ranked team, was in town sporting a mighty 12-0 record and sights set on a Central Lakes Conference championship.

And, to make matters worse, Willmar was playing just its second game without starting guard Hannah Johnson.

And yet, they fought back.

Willmar battled through a tough shooting night and a physical game for a 45-44 win to take a one-game lead in the CLC and hand Alexandria its first loss of the season.

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"I told the girls afterward, it was nice to have a little happy tears instead of disappointing tears, tears of injury and heartbreak," said Willmar head coach Dustin Carlson, citing last Thursday's game against Sauk Rapids in which Johnson went down with an injury. "Right now, the girls needed that. They sold out, left their guts out on the floor, it was impressive."

Alexandria carried an 18-16 lead into halftime and kept the lead for large chunks of the second half but Abby Berskow, who scored a team-high 10 points, and her Willmar Cardinals didn't back down. Madi Linbo, who finished with eight points on the night, hit a triple with less than a minute to go to cut Alexandria's lead to 42-41 and on the ensuing possession, Berskow swiped the ball from Alexandria guard Mia McGrane at half court and ran away for an easy layup to take the lead.

Willmar added another late score to push the game to 45-42 but Alexandria converted a layup with 11.6 seconds to play to put extra pressure on the game. Willmar appeared ready to head to the charity stripe but miscommunication and an errant inbounds pass gave Alexandria the ball.

Again, Berskow and the Willmar defense buckled down, preventing Alexandria from getting a shot off and taking the first game in a two-game season series.

"The big thing in the huddle was we were going to try to go and win the game," Carlson said. "We're not trying to hang on to maybe win or to tie, we want to go get it. So we were really aggressive."

One of Willmar's keys to the game was to try and slow down Alexandria's strong post players McKenzie Duwenhoegger and Emily Jones, who they limited to a combined 17 points. Ella Grove led Alexandria with 10 points.

"Their bigs are incredible so we knew we had to try to take them away," Carlson said. "We really tried to pack it in and force them to shoot a lot of threes and we did that for the most part. They are two outstanding players and you can't totally stop them. We just needed to slow them down the best we can and I thought Carly (Wedel) just played amazing on Duwenhoegger tonight. She really took care of the defensive rebounds for us because she's such an incredible rebounder."

Wedel finished the game with a team-high nine rebounds and added four points. Defensively, Willmar did what they set out to do, forcing Alexandria to take 22 3-pointers, only six of which they knocked down. Shooting came at a premium for both teams. Willmar finished the night shooting 31.2 percent from the floor, just a few ticks below Alexandria's 34.9 percent.

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Willmar can't celebrate for long, though. They face a tough road ahead with Section 5AAA foes Big Lake coming to town Saturday and they'll hit the road to take on what will certainly be a revenge-seeking Alexandria on Jan. 22.

Willmar 45,

Alexandria 44

Alexandria (12-1) 18 26 - 44

Willmar (11-2) 16 29 - 45

ALEXANDRIA - Scoring: Kaye Paschka 9, Mia McGrane 6, Ella Grove 10, Cate Bloom 2, Emily Jones 9, McKenzie Duwenhoegger 8 ... 3-point shots: Paschka 2, McGrane 2, Grove 1, Jones 1 ... Rebound leader: NA ... Assist leader: NA ... Steal leader: NA

WILLMAR - Scoring: Abby Berskow 10, Amanda Mathiasen 5, Katelyn Murphy 5, Mackenzie Jones 5, Sadie Raitz 4, Madi Linbo 8, Carly Wedel 4, Ashley Prahl 3 ... 3-point shots: Berskow 1, Mathiasen 1, Murphy 1, Jones 1, Linbo 1, Prahl 1 ... Rebound leader: Wedel 9, Murphy 4 ... Assist leader: Mathiasen 3, Berskow 2, Wedel 2 ... Steal leader: Wedel 3, Jones 2, Berskow 2

Annandale 56,

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NLS 49 OT

New London-Spicer fought back from a 13-point deficit in the second half to force overtime, but Annandale took the lead in the extra session and didn't look back on Tuesday.

Hannah Purcell scored 20 points for the Cardinals, spoiling a 17-point night from Mackenzie Rich who also pulled down seven rebounds.

The Wildcats will play again Friday when they hit the road to take on Dassel-Cokato.

Annandale (10-2) 19 27 10 - 56

NLS (9-5) 14 32 3 - 49

ANNANDALE - Scoring: Hannah Purcell 20, Lyssa Provo 2, Abby Lillehaug 8, Abby Neutz 6, Alison Helget 1, Taylor Medvec 14, Nyalaam Jok 5 ... 3-point shots: Lillehaug 2, Neutz 1, Medvec 3 ... Rebound leader: NA ... Assist leader: NA ... Steal leader: NA

NEW LONDON-SPICER - Scoring: Aleah Zieske 2, Avery Rich 6, Mackenzie Rich 17, Emma Hanson 5, Payton Mages 3, Grace DeSchepper 1, Ava Kraemer 3, Erin Knisley 12 ... 3-point shots: M Rich 2, Hanson 1 ... Rebound leader: Hanson 7, M Rich 7 ... Assist leader: M Rich 3, Mages 3 ... Steal leader: Sam Johnson 4, Hanson 3, M Rich 3

BOLD 74,

Paynesville 37

Ashley Trongard scored 16 points, Morgan Schmitz scored 15 points and Makayla Snow scored 14 to lead BOLD to a West Central Conference game against Paynesville on Tuesday.

Trongard also had 13 rebounds and seven assists.

Paynesville's Brynn Johnson scored 16 points.

BOLD plays host to Sauk Centre at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Olivia.

Paynesville (1-11) 24 13 - 37

BOLD (10-4) 38 36 - 74

PAYNESVILLE - Scoring: Kali Reiter 8, Harley Kunstleben 3, Natalie Lieser 7, Grace Utsch 1, Brynn Johnson 16, Macy Carlson 3 ... 3-point shots: Kunstleben 1, Carlson 1 ... Rebound leader: NA ... Assist leader: NA ... Steal leader: NA

BOLD - Scoring: Alex Revier 10, Morgan Schmitz 15, Lanie Mages 2, Madyson Herdina 5, Ashley Trongard 16, Makayla Snow 14, Jaylen Mortensen 2, Leslie Snow 2, Abby Meyers 4, Bria Hendriksen 2, Mari Ryberg 2 ... 3-point shots: Schmitz 1, Herdina 1, Trongard 1 ... Rebound leader: Trongard 13, Snow 6, Schmitz 5 ... Assist leader: Trongard 7, Snow 5, Schmitz 4 ... Steal leader: Snow 3

Minnewaska 49,

Osakis 38

Minnewaska won a defensive battle behind a 14-point night from Emma Thorfinnson.

Seven Lakers made it into the scoresheet and Avery Hoeper played a strong game in the paint with nine rebounds.

Osakis (2-11) 17 21 - 38

Minnewaska (8-5) 24 25 - 49

OSAKIS - Scoring: Alexa Lien 10, Elizabeth Clasemann 3, Alexis Johanson 12, Lauren Scherr 2, Tianna Stanek 6, Madisen Johanson 4, Kadyn Triebenbach 1 ... 3-point shots: Lien 2, Clasemann 1, A Johanson 4, Stanek 1 ... Rebound leader: Scherr 4, Stanek 4, Oeltjen 4 ... Assist leader: NA ... Steal leader: NA

MINNEWASKA - Scoring: Maddie Thorfinnson 5, Michele Stai 8, Hannah Hoffmann 9, Alexis Piekarski 9, Annika Randt 2, Emma Thorfinnson 14, Elizabeth Murken 3 ... 3-point shots: M Thorfinnson 1, Stai 2, Hoffmann 3, E Thorfinnson 3 ... Rebound leader: Avery Hoeper 9, Piekarski 7 ... Assist leader: NA ... Steal leader: Randt 3

Morris/CA 66,

W/HN 52

Malory Anderson logged a double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds to power Morris/Chokio-Alberta to a win against Wheaton/Herman-Norcross.

Wheaton/HN (4-8) 25 27 - 52

Morris/CA (8-5) 40 26 - 66

WHEATON/HERMAN-NORCROSS - Scoring: Maycee Tolifson 13, Ellisa Rinke 3, Haley Johnson 4, Isabelle Schmidt 21, Mackenzi Stafford 4, Brylie Schultz 7... 3-point shots: Tolifson 1, Rinke 1, Schmidt 1 ... Rebound leader: NA ... Assist leader: NA ... Steal leader: NA

MORRIS/CHOKIO-ALBERTA - Scoring: Maddie Carrington 19, Emma Bowman 5, Riley Decker 3, Liz Dietz 5, Malory Anderson 22, Sophia Carlsen 4, Kendra Wevley 8 ... 3-point shots: Carrington 2, Decker 1, Dietz 1 ... Rebound leader: Anderson 14, Bowman 8 ... Assist leader: Decker 7 ... Steal leader: Anderson 8

CMCS 51,

Canby 48

Central Minnesota Christian won its first Camden Conference game of 2019 on Tuesday, knocking off Canby with a 51-48 road victory.

Helping to put the Bluejays in the win column was Coco Duininck, who had a gamei-high 21 points. Elli Stoel added 11 points while grabbing eight rebounds, and Molly Mulder chipped in with nine points and six boards.

Hannah Jelen led the host Lancers with 12 points, followed by 11 from Morgan Cleveland and 10 from Marissa Hansen.

CMCS (6-8) 22 29 - 51

Canby (4-10) 26 22 - 48

CENTRAL MINNESOTA CHRISTIAN - Scoring: Elli Stoel 11, Reegan Duininck 2, Molly Mulder 9, Coco Duininck 21, Katelyn Bulthuis 7 ... 3-point shots: Stoel 1, C Duininck 1 ... Rebound leader: Stoel 8, R Duininck 6, Mulder 6 ... Assist leader: R Duininck 4 ... Steal leader: Bulthuis 5

CANBY - Scoring: Sarah Hansen 4, McKenzie Ruether 7, Morgan Cleveland 11, Hannah Jelen 12, Kayelee Johnson 2, Marissa Hansen 10, Ahlea Wright 2 ... 3-point shots: Cleveland 3 ... Rebound leader: Jelen 9 ... Assist leader: Johnson 4 ... Steal leader: S Hansen 3, Jelen 3

YME 73,

D-B 62

Mackenzie Dyrdahl and Hannah Gullickson both scored 23 points, pushing Yellow Medicine East to a 73-62 Camden Conference victory over Dawson-Boyd Tuesday in Granite Falls.

Alex Sather had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the visiting Blackjacks, followed by 16 from Megan Mamer.

D-B (3-8) 33 29 - 62

YME (8-3) 39 34 - 73

DAWSON-BOYD - Scoring: Mary Bothun 8, Megan Mamer 16, Jenna Wyum 4, Alex Sather 23, Avery Bartunek 11 ... 3-point shots: Sather 2, Bartunek 1 ... Rebound leader: Sather 10, Mamer 7 ... Assist leader: Bartunek 6 ... Steal leader: Bartunek 6

YELLOW MEDICINE EAST - Scoring: Lauren McCosh 8, Madison Hinz 7, Sam Anderson 10, Mackenzie Dyrdahl 23, Meeghen Dahlager 2, Hannah Gullickson 23 ... 3-point shots: Hinz 1 ... Rebound leader: Dyrdahl 9, Gullickson 6, McCosh 6 ... Assist leader: Dahlager 12 ... Steal leader: Hinz 2, Dahlager 2

Minneota 84,

KMS 47

Class A's top-ranked Minneota squad remains unscathed after handling Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg on Tuesday night.

Katie Krieger had a team-high 17 points for the Saints while Madison Rohner came up with a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

KMS (8-6) 30 17 - 47

Minneota (12-0) 46 38 - 84

KMS - Scoring: Katie Krieger 17, Mallory Rudningen 4, Morgan Lesteberg 2, Maret Gjerde 11, Madison Rohner 13 ... 3-point shots: Gjerde 1 ... Rebound leader: Rohner 11 ... Assist leader: Krieger 4 ... Steal leader: Krieger 2

MINNEOTA - Scoring: Morgan Kockelman 14, Lizzy Gillingham 10, Morgan Hennen 12, Natalee Rolbiecki 9, Abby Hennen 11, Katie Konold 2, Lydia Sussner 26 ... 3-point shots: Kockelman 2, Gillingham 1, A Hennen 3 ... Rebound leader: NA ... Assist leader: NA ... Steal leader: NA

LQPV 51,

RTR 35

Grace Hegland scored 19 points and Lindsey Kranz scored 13 in Lac qui Parle Valley's win over Russell-Tyler-Ruthton on Tuesday.

Hedland also had nine rebounds, Kranz had seven and Haley Wollschlager had five points, seven boards and seven assists.

LQPV takes on Minneota at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at LQPV High School.

LQPV (12-1) 25 26 - 51

RTR (8-6) 21 14 - 35

LAC QUI PARLE VALLEY - Scoring: Haley Wollschlager 5, Macie Lund 3, Isabel Schirm 2, Alex Stitt 5, Grace Hegland 19, Lindsey Kranz 13, Regan Johnson 2, Sidney Gerdes 4 ... 3-point shots: Lund 1, Stitt 1 ... Rebound leader: Hegland 9, Kranz 7, Wollschlager 7, Johnson 5 ... Assist leader: Wollschlager 7, Schirm 4 ... Steal leader: Schirm 3, Wollschlager 2

RUSSELL-TYLER-RUTHTON - Scoring: Brooke Thompsen 6, Kalleigh Carr 8, Haley Muenchow 2, Madison Muenchow 10, Shawna Thomsen 2, Jonni Biren 7 ... 3-point shots: None ... Rebound leader: NA ... Assist leader: NA ... Steal leader: NA

MACCRAY 46,

TMB 36

Piper Asche put up big numbers in a close win for MACCRAY against Tracy-Milroy-Balaton Tuesday night.

Asche scored a game-high 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds with four blocks.

Sage Mecker added 12 points with four assists to the cause.

MACCRAY (3-8) 46

TMB (2-11) 36

MACCRAY - Scoring: Piper Asche 22, Danni Burns 5, Kate Hultgren 5, Sage Mecker 12, Gabby Randt 2 ... 3-point shots: Asche 3, Burns 1, Hultgren 1, Mecker 2 ... Rebound leader: Asche 10 ... Assist leader: Mecker 4 ... Steal leader: Mecker 4

TRACY-MILROY-BALATON - Scoring: Margaret Dolan 3, Samantha Edwards 12, Kalley Hoek 2, Jadyn Lessman 9, Cassidy Smith 4, Catherine Wendland 6 ... 3-point shots: Smith 1, Wendland 2 ... Rebound leader: NA ... Assist leader: NA ... Steal leader: NA

Lakeview 56,

RCW 23

Held to just seven field goals, Renville County West is still looking for its first win after taking a 56-23 Camden Conference loss to Lakeview Tuesday in Cottonwood.

Tracie Read was the Jaguars' top performer with eight points, 10 rebounds and three steals.

Sierra Plotz was the Lakers' top scorer with 17 points while Aubrey Kaczmarek had a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.

RCW (0-14) 12 11 - 23

Lakeview (8-4) 34 22 - 56

RENVILLE COUNTY WEST - Scoring: Avery Elfering 4, Lauren Wulf 3, Vanessa Savig 3, Tracie Read 8, Lauren Allex 3 ... 3-point shots: Allex 1 ... Rebound leader: Read 10 ... Assist leader: Three with 1 ... Steal leader: Read 3

LAKEVIEW - Scoring: Olivia Butterfield 2, Alexis Lienemann 2, Kiana Imes 15, Savanna Louwagie 2, Aubrey Kaczmarek 10, Sierra Plotz 17, Savannah Rausch 8 ... 3-point shots: None ... Rebound leader: Kaczmarek 13, Rausch 7 ... Assist leader: Four with 2 ... Steal leader: Plotz 5

Related Topics: BASKETBALLACGC FALCONSWILLMAR CARDINALSBBE JAGUARSNEW WILLMAR CARDINALS NEW
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