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Girls Basketball Roundup: Fergus Falls drops Willmar down a notch, 66-57

Girls basketball report for Feb. 17, 2022, in west central Minnesota. CLC-leading Fergus Falls avenges an earlier loss to Willmar

Willmar senior guard Grace Haugen splits Fergus Falls defenders Brynn Sternberg, left, and Cyntreya Lockett, right, as the Cardinals played host to the Fergus Falls Otters Feb. 17, 2022.
Willmar senior guard Grace Haugen splits Fergus Falls defenders Brynn Sternberg, left, and Cyntreya Lockett, right, as the Cardinals played host to the Fergus Falls Otters Feb. 17, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
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WILLMAR — Willmar girls basketball ended its five-game win streak, its longest of the season, and split its season series against Central Lakes Conference opponent Fergus Falls with a 66-57 loss Thursday.

Willmar drops a full game behind Fergus Falls with a 9-4 record while the Otters, which were tied for first in the conference with Brainerd prior to the matchup, are now 10-2 in the CLC.

The Cardinals previously defeated the Otters 67-52 in Fergus Falls.

Willmar senior Ella Shinn shoots past Ellie Colbeck of Fergus Falls as the Cardinals played host to the Fergus Falls Otters Feb. 17, 2022.
Willmar senior Ella Shinn shoots past Ellie Colbeck of Fergus Falls as the Cardinals played host to the Fergus Falls Otters Feb. 17, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

“We battled hard tonight but unfortunately Fergus Falls played really well,” Willmar head coach Dustin Carlson said.

Fergus Falls connected on 24 of 41 shots (59%) compared to Willmar’s 22 of 59 (37%).

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Willmar senior Jaida Reiman takes an open shot at the basket as the Cardinals played host to the Fergus Falls Otters Feb. 17, 2022.
Willmar senior Jaida Reiman takes an open shot at the basket as the Cardinals played host to the Fergus Falls Otters Feb. 17, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

Willmar struggled getting to the free-throw line against the Otters, going 6-for-7 compared to the Otters’ 11-for-11.

The Otters darted to a 14-2 run out of the gate, but the Cardinals quickly answered with an 11-0 run, making the score 14-13 with 10:34 remaining.

Senior guard Samantha Christoffer drives the ball past Fergus Falls defenders on her way to the basket as the Cardinals played host to the Fergus Falls Otters Feb. 17, 2022.
Senior guard Samantha Christoffer drives the ball past Fergus Falls defenders on her way to the basket as the Cardinals played host to the Fergus Falls Otters Feb. 17, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

After a Cardinals’ timeout, in which the Otters led 20-17 with 7:56 remaining, Fergus Falls out-scored Willmar 15-8 to take a 35-25 lead at halftime.

Willmar managed to tie the game 48-48 with nearly eight minutes remaining before Fergus Falls went on a 8-0 run. The Otters eventually extended their lead to eight following a Willmar technical for having six players on the court with 2:25 to play. Willmar was unable to mount a comeback.

Willmar senior Ellary Lange puts on the breaks after driving the ball up the court as the Cardinals played host to the Fergus Falls Otters Feb. 17, 2022.
Willmar senior Ellary Lange puts on the breaks after driving the ball up the court as the Cardinals played host to the Fergus Falls Otters Feb. 17, 2022.
Mike Moore / West Central Tribune

“It was fun to see us fight back down 12 in the second half,” Carlson said. “After that the ball just seemed to bounce their way. They were just really good tonight.”

Willmar plays at 7:15 p.m. Monday at Big Lake.

Willmar senior Ella Shinn works her way into the paint for a layup as the Cardinals played host to the Fergus Falls Otters Feb. 17, 2022.
Willmar senior Ella Shinn works her way into the paint for a layup as the Cardinals played host to the Fergus Falls Otters Feb. 17, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

Central Lakes

Fergus Falls 66, Willmar 57

Fergus Falls (17-5)      35   31 — 66
Willmar (16-8)             25   32 — 57

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FERGUS FALLS - Scoring: Ellie Colbeck 25, Karley Braeger 7, Tori Ratz 10, Bella Anderson 18, Hannah Polejewski 6 … 3-point shots: Colbeck 1, Braeger 1, Anderson 6 

WILLMAR - Scoring: Sammy Christoffer 11, Brielle Ogdahl 2, Ellary Lange 14, Zoe Schroeder 4, Kenedee Salonek 8, Jaida Reiman 11, Ella Shinn 7 … 3-point shots: Christoffer 3, Lange 2, Salonek 2 … Rebound leader: Christoffer 5, Lange 5 … Assist leader: Christoffer 3 … Steal leader: Reiman 3 ... Block leader: None 

West Central

Montevideo 58, Benson 30

Tenley Epema had 20 points, including five 3-pointers, to lead Montevideo past Benson at Montevideo.

Montevideo, ranked 10th in Class AA, leads the West Central Conference with a 10-1 record. Benson is 1-9 in the conference.

The Braves were led by Madilyn Wrobleski’s 12 points.

Montevideo plays Lac qui Parle Valley at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Montevideo. Benson plays Minnewaska at 6 p.m. Friday at Glenwood.

Benson (2-18)             11   19 — 30
Montevideo (19-3)       37   21 — 58

BENSON - Scoring: Kaida Helgenset 3, Presley Nygaard 2, Mya Kurkosky 3, Madilyn Wrobleski 12, Kylin Grube 7, Marley Rush 3  … 3-point shots: Helgenset 1, Kurkowsky 1, Wrobeski 2, Grube 2 … Rebound leader: n/a … Assist leader: n/a … Steal leader: n/a ... Block leader: n/a

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MONTEVIDEO - Scoring: Teagan Epema 2, Tenley Epema 20, Kiera Foley 2, Avery Koenen 14, Keely Foley 9, Hailey Dirksen 5, Cassie Pauling 6 … 3-point shots: Ten. Epema 5, Ke. Foley 2 … Rebound leader: n/a … Assist leader: n/a … Steal leader: n/a ... Block leader: n/a

Minnewaska 48, BOLD 46

Minnewaska improves to 6-4 in the West Central Conference victory at Glenwood.

Addy Kath and Brooke Kolstoe each scored 16 points for Minnewaska.

BOLD (14-11)                22   24 — 46
Minnewaska (15-9)      25   23 — 48

BOLD - Stats not available

Minnewaska - Scoring: Addy Kath 16, Maddie Thorfinnson 7, Olivia Richards 6, Brooke Kolstoe 16, Megan Thorfinnson 3 … 3-point shots: Kath 1, Ma. Thorfinnson 1, Richards 2, Kolstoe 1, Me. Thorfinnson 1 … Rebound leader: Kath 5 … Assist leader: Ma. Thorfinnson 3 … Steal leader: Kath 3, Richards 3, Randt 3 ... Block leader: Kath 3 

Non-Conference

YME 56, Paynesville 53

Despite having the lead at halftime, Paynesville suffered a buzzer-beating loss to Yellow Medicine East in Granite Falls.

YME’s Stella Schuler drained a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining to give the Sting the win over Paynesville.

Schuler finished with a game-high 17 points.

Katie Uhlenkamp had 16 points and Maddie Hentges added 14 for the Bulldogs.

YME plays Montevideo at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Granite Falls. Paynesville returns to Central Minnesota Conference play with a game at 7 p.m. Friday at Holdingford.

Paynesville (5-19)      31   22 —53
YME (12-10)                23   33 — 56

PAYNESVILLE - Scoring: Grace Roberg 5, Emma Flanders 8, Maddie Hentges 14, Aubrie Spanier 2, Mikayla Roberg 6, Rayna Spainer 2, Katie Uhlenkamp 16  … 3-point shots: G. Roberg 1, Hentges 1, M. Roberg 2 … Rebound leader: G. Roberg 3, Hentges 3 … Assist leader: M. Roberg 1 … Steal leader: Uhlenkamp 2 ... Block leader: None 

YELLOW MEDICINE EAST - Scoring: Anayansi Flores 3, Stella Schuler 17, Aria Peters 6, Hannah Stark 15, Shelby Mortenson 15 … 3-point shots: Flores 1, Schuler 5, Peters 2, Stark 2 … Rebound leader: Flores 7 … Assist leader: Flores 2 … Steal leader: Flores 4, Peters 4 ... Block leader: None 

More Girls Basketball Coverage:
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Matthew Curry is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune.
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