Willmar flys away with winPublished 9:55am Friday, December 21, 2012
The Fergus Falls boys turned up the heat in the second half on the No. 8 (Class AAA) Willmar Cardinals Thursday night, but a late showing by the Otter offense allowed the Central Lakes Conference rival to sneak away with a 52-51 win at the Kennedy Secondary School Gold Gym.
The Cardinals came out ready to play in the first half as they were able to keep the Otters off balance on the offensive end and left at the break with a 32-24 lead.
Fergus sensed their lack of energy and came out more aggressively in the second half as they pressured the Willmar ball handlers. The Otters were able to hold the Cardinals to only 20 points in the second half, but it was just good enough as the buzzer sounded in favor of the visitor.
“We would have liked to put up more than 24 points in a half,” Otter assistant coach Denny Hystead said. “We had better energy in the second half as they bench, team and crowd got into the game.”
The Otters were led by post player Mike Millard with 17 points, while teammate Austin Rund chipped in 11 tallies of his own, while also pulling down nine boards.
Cody Magnuson led the Willmar shooters with 18 points and Sean Zuidema was also in double figures with 14 points.
Fergus led in every statistical category except on the score board as they were able to win the rebounding battle 32-24 and turnover battle 19-22.
The Otters will now turn their attention to their Holiday Tournament as they host the East Grand Forks Green Wave Thursday at 6 p.m.
WIL 32 20 — 52
FF 24 27 — 51
WILLMAR (52) — Cody Magnuson 18, Sean Zuidema 14, Austin Rambow 8, Jordan Geurtz 4, Dylan Schueler 4, Joe Leuze 2, Alex Grove 2. FG – 17/39 3’s – 5/17 FT – 13/19 PF – 17
FERGUS FALLS (51) — Mike Millard 17, Austin Rund 11, Jackson McAllister 7, Isiah Lemke 5, Reece Johnson 4, Drew Pearson 3, Brady Hansen 2, Joe Gaworski 2. FG – 19/47 3’s – 4/18 FT – 9/16 PF – 17