Cardinals dunk Eagles by 24 points

FINGER-ROLL — Fairmont center Walker Tordsen (15) finger-rolls the basketball up and over the rim during Big South action Thursday night at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont. The Cardinals’ Wyatt Quiring (23) and Sam Schwieger (2), along with New Ulm’s Braden Zimmerman (3), watch the action. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FINGER-ROLL — Fairmont center Walker Tordsen (15) finger-rolls the basketball up and over the rim during Big South action Thursday night at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont. The Cardinals’ Wyatt Quiring (23) and Sam Schwieger (2), along with New Ulm’s Braden Zimmerman (3), watch the action. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Cardinals boys basketball team used a tough defensive performance to take a 61-37 Big South Conference win over the New Ulm Eagles on Thursday night in Fairmont.

The Cardinals are now on a four-game win streak.

“Getting that first win against LeSueur-Henderson after starting 1-5, (we) slowly we began getting more confident in every single game,” Fairmont head coach Jared Thompson said. “The win at St. James on Tuesday was a really big one for us. … We beat a very good team on the road. Then, you could have a letdown tonight, but we played well enough to win and that’s important.”

Despite the Eagles managing an early lead with sophomore guard Noah Hauge’s 3 as the catalyst, the Cardinals picked up the pace and tied the game at 10-all with 11:36 remaining in the opening frame.

Cardinals junior forward Derek Missling knocked down two at the charity stripe to get the home team within two. Senior guard Sam Schwieger then hit senior center Walker Tordsen on the inbounds pass for the tie game.

Missling provided an assist to senior guard Carter Lloyd, who netted the corner 3-pointer for the Cardinals’ first lead of the night.

Cardinals junior guard Nate Kallenbach intercepted a pass and made good on the fastbreak opportunity at the six-minute mark, and Schwieger added on a trey last than a minute later, with a feed from junior guard Brady Allen.

“Brady and Nate offensively really got us going in transition and attacking the paint,” Thompson said.

The team ended up outscoring the Eagles, 17-1, in the final seven minutes of the half, for a 35-15 advantage. Schwieger and Kallenbach each had five points during that time.

“We found a little rhythm in the first half. We got out in transition, finished the half well there,” Thompson said. “There were some steals for a couple breakaway layups that got us going, and that picked up the energy on defense.”

The Eagles, however, came out of the halftime break scoring the first points when junior forward Connor Foley completed the traditional 3-point play. Foley, who led the Eagles in scoring with 13 points, tried to scratch away at the Cardinals’ lead and made a shot with less than 10 minutes to go for a 45-29 deficit.

But, Tordsen responded with six unanswered points to give the Cardinals a 20-point lead. Tordsen, who had a game-high 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting and eight rebounds, provided Missling with with one of his two assists to pile on to the lead.

“Walker had a really good second half. I think he sensed that we were struggling offensively and took it upon himself (to lead the team),” Thompson said. “Walker’s been — about the last four games — in that 10-15-point range, so he’s found some consistency in his offense.”

Much like in the opening frame, the Cardinals closed out the second half outscoring the Eagles, 16-8.

“Our defense the first half was really good in the first half, and it was just okay in the second half,” Thompson said. “Our defense led to some turnovers and we got out in transition and scored quite a bit there in the first half. That got us the lead, and then it was just a grind from there the rest of the night.”

Kallenbach contributed 12 points, going 5-for-6 from the floor, with six rebounds. Schwieger notched five points and five assists, while Lloyd made 3 of 4 shots for eight points. Missling provided the Cardinals with five rebounds.

Fairmont (5-5) host Martin County West at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

FAIRMONT (61)

Walker Tordsen 5-8 3-3 14, Nate Kallenbach 5-6 2-2 12, Carter Lloyd 3-4 0-0 8, Brady Allen 3-5 0-0 6, Sam Schwieger 1-9 2-2 5, Derek Missling 1-3 3-4 5, Lucas Denney 2-3 0-0 4, Tyler Johnson 1-1 0-0 2, Wyatt Quiring 1-2 0-1 2, Dustin Schultz 0-1 1-2 1, Christian Burmeister 0-1 1-2 1, Hayden Berhow 0-0 1-2 1, Darrin Thingstad 0-0 0-0 0, Carter Klanderud 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-43 13-18 61.

NEW ULM (37)

Connor Foley 5-12 3-7 13, Reece Melby 4-9 0-0 11, Jaden Domeier 2-2 2-4 6, Noah Hauge 2-2 0-0 5, Braden Zimmerman 1-4 0-0 2, Brett Bianchi 0-2 0-0 0, Alexander Lund 0-4 0-0 0, Samuel Dobie 0-1 0-0 0, Brandon Singlaterry 0-1 0-0 0, Jacob Sellner 0-0 0-0 0, Sam Furth 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-37 5-11 37.

3-pointers: Fairmont 4-12 (Lloyd 2-3, Schwieger 1-5, Tordsen 1-2, Allen 0-1, Schultz 0-1); New Ulm 4-13 (Melby 3-5, Hauge 1-1, Bianchi 0-1, Singlaterry 0-1, Foley 0-2,  Lund 0-3). Fouled out: None. Rebounds: Fairmont 29 (Tordsen 8, Kallenbach 6); New Ulm 11 (Melby 3). Assists: Fairmont 12 (Schwieger 5); New Ulm 3. Steals: Fairmont 7; New Ulm 5.

Fairmont took a 63-37 win over New Ulm during B-squad action on Thursday.

Dustin Schultz led the team with 12 points, and Nick Eversman had a double-double’s effort of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Hayden Berhow chipped in 10 points. Dylan Kennedy recorded nine points, while Dan Reiter had six points.

Fairmont’s C-squad topped New Ulm, 39-29.

Jack Hested contributed 12 points and Dan Betts scored eight points.

Girls Basketball

New Ulm 61, Fairmont 42 — The lethal backcourt tandem of Meleah Reinhart and Joey Batt combined for 44 points to pace the hometown Eagles’ 19-point Big South Conference victory over the Cardinals on Thursday night in New Ulm.

Reinhart, who will play basketball at Southwest Minnesota State University next season, delivered a game-best 23 points, while Batt tallied 21.

Brenna Cutler topped Fairmont’s effort by scoring 13 points to go with five rebounds, while teammate Taylor Crissinger delivered eight points, eight rebounds and three steals.

Brooke Hunwardsen collected six points and distributed three assists for the Cardinals, who only trailed 19-14 at halftime.

Claire Cutler tallied five points for Fairmont, while Lexi Lunn chipped in four points and three assists.

The Cardinals made 13 of 24 shots from 2-point range for 54 percent, just 1 of 8 behind the 3-point arc and 13 of 17 at the free throw line for 76 percent.

Fairmont (7-4) plays host to nonconference opponent Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther at 7 p.m. Saturday night at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont.

New Ulm (10-2) plays host to St. James Area at 7:15 p.m. Saturday night.

Fairmont     14-28–42

New Ulm      19-42–61

New Ulm defeated Fairmont in B-squad action, 56-26, Thursday night in New Ulm.

Whitney Scott scored seven points to top the Cardinals, Chloe Murphy netted six points, while Abby Tonder added five points.

Bryn Miller produced 15 points to power Fairmont to a 51-40 victory over New Ulm during C-squad action on Thursday night in New Ulm.

Natalie Tonne contributed 14 points to the Cardinals’ winning ways.

Blue Earth Area 72, St. James Area 20 — Caitlin Rorman nearly outscored the Saints during the Bucs’ 52-point Big South Conference rout on Thursday night in St. James.

Rorman topped all scorers by generating 14 points, while teammate Samantha Barslou contributed 12 points, four steals and four rebounds to the Bucs’ effort.

Ryanne Klabunde collected six points and grabbed eight rebounds for BEA, which made 27 of 63 field goals and 15 of 21 free throws on the night.

Blue Earth Area (5-6) travels to Trimont on Tuesday night to play Martin County West in a non-league clash.

B.E. Area         45-27–72

St. James         10-10–20

Mankato Loyola 60, Granada-Huntley-East Chain/ Truman/Martin Luther 56 — Lindsey Theuninck went off for 33 points in the Class 1A, No. 9-ranked Crusaders’ four-point win over the Jaguars during Valley Conference action Thursday night in Mankato.

The Crusaders went into halftime with a 27-26 lead and finished the game going 19-for-60 from the field and 16-for-26 at the free throw line.

Hanna Geistfeld scored 24 points, paired with nine rebounds for the Jaguars. Kenlie Pytleski reached double-double territory with 13 points and 12 rebounds to go with six assists, three steals and a block. Hannah Johanson contributed seven points.

The Jaguars made 22 of 45 field goals and 11 of 21 free throw tosses.

The Jaguars (9-2) travel to Fairmont for a non-league contest at 7 p.m. Saturday night at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont.

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