Jake Schultz and Curt Hogg
WILLMAR — Willmar took some time to solve Brainerd's zone defense but the Cardinals flourished in the second half and downed the Warriors 51-41 in their final home game on Friday at Willmar High School. The Cardinals improved to 21-2 and play at Alexandria on Thursday and close the regular season at Marshall on Saturday, Feb. 24. Against Brainerd, the Cardinals were frustrated trying to deal with the Warriors' zone, said Willmar head coach Dustin Carlson.
BENSON — Three Benson players scored in double figures as the Braves pulled off a non-conference upset of Hancock 50-39 on Thursday at Benson High School. The Braves notched their fourth win of the season while the Owls fell to 11-10. Kaitlyn Berreau and Courtney McNeill both scored 15 points and McNeill also pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. Claire Ricard had 12 points, six rebounds, three steals and four assists.
COLD SPRING — The Willmar girls basketball team took care of business on Tuesday night to earn a 55-21 win over Rocori. The Cardinals held the Spartans to just 10 first-half points en route to a 24-point halftime lead. Jordyn Swoboda led all scorers with 13 points and added seven steals for the Cardinals, which improved to 20-2 overall and 11-2 in Central Lakes Conference play. Willmar 55, Rocori 21 Willmar (20-2) 34 21 — 55 Rocori (2-22) 10 11 — 21
RENVILLE — Colton Husby drilled a two-pointer as time expired to top Renville County West 63-61 and clinch the North Division title in the Camden Conference Friday night. Husby finished the night with six points but it was his final two points that proved to be most crucial. Teammate Bentley Boike did most of the scoring work with 24 points, finishing just two rebounds shy of a double-double as well.
WILLMAR—The Willmar WarHawks obviously were not thrilled with their performance in an overtime loss to Rochester last weekend. In Friday's rematch, the WarHawks outshot the Ice Hawks 49-21, Braden Shea, Wyatt Toll and Max Oelkers all scored two goals and Peyton Bolstad also scored in a 7-0 victory at the Rochester Recreation Center. Shea, who has 15 goals this season, also had three assists and Jordan Cooper also had three assists.
ST. CLOUD — Jordyn Swoboda scored 22 points and Carly Wedel added 14 as the Willmar girls basketball team upended St. Cloud Tech 65-24 in a Central Lakes Conference game on Monday. Abby Berskow scored points and Hannah Johnson and Wedel both had five rebounds. Johnson also had six assists and three steals. Willmar 65, SC Tech 24 Willmar (17-2) 38 27 — 65 SC Tech (3-19) 16 8 — 24
PAYNESVILLE — The Paynesville wrestling team led New London-Spicer by a point after 12 matches but NLS had to forfeit at 220 pounds and the Bulldogs' Lucas Peterson wrapped up a 48-35 victory with a pin at heavyweights on Friday at Paynesville High School. Nine of the 14 matches were decided by pins—the Bulldogs had five falls and the Wildcats had four—and four others were forfeited matches. Paynesville's Shawn Rue (132), Daltin Christinsen (145), Weston Roberg (152), Shawn Pinske (170) and Peterson (285) won their matches by pin.
On the night his father was honored by his former team, River Lakes' Paxton Nelson had a goal and four assists as River Lakes defeated Willmar 7-0 on Thursday at the Willmar Civic Center.
PAYNESVILLE — Heartbreak hit Paynesville High School Tuesday night as Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted's Noah Bush scored a game-winner with three seconds left on the clock for a 35-34 win. Paynesville outscored the Lakers in the second half 17-14 but Bush proved to be the hero, scoring two of his four points with single-digit seconds remaining. Brandon Karels scored a game-high 10 points for the Lakers in an all-out defensive battle. Max Weidner and Spencer Imholte each finished with eight points for the Bulldogs.
KERKHOVEN — The KMS boys basketball team built a huge halftime lead and kept up the pace after the break to down Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart 69-48 in a non-conference game on Monday at KMS High School. The Saints built a 37-13 lead after the first 18 minutes, and four players scored in double figures. Regan Carlson scored 13 points, Josh Peterson had 12 and Weston Gjerde and Ethan Hauge both finished with 11. BLHS' Trent Weispfennig scored 11 points and Elijah Stifter and Payton Diebold both scored nine.