Fairmont cagers win holiday invite crown
WINDOM — The Fairmont Cardinals girls basketball team utilized a game-opening 10-1 scoring surge before adding another offensive outburst just before halftime during Saturday’s Windom Holiday Classic.
Senior post player Claire Cutler, who earned a spot on the two-day all-tournament team with teammate Lexi Lunn, produced a game-best 15 points off the bench to power Fairmont to a 42-33 win over the host Windom Eagles in the classic’s championship clash.
“We (coaching staff and players) had talked in the pre-game about finishing in the paint, and that’s what Claire did today,” said Cardinals head coach Sara Junkermeier.
Center Alli Lardy banked home a putback basket off of the opening tip, Brenna Cutler hit the front end of a two-shot foul and Lardy converted one of Taylor Crissinger’s three assists for a low-post leaner to stake Fairmont to a quick 5-0 lead.
Autumn Hauge ended the hometown Eagles’ scoring drought with a solo charity toss at the 13:35 juncture before the Cardinals reeled off five more points. Claire Cutler tossed in an 8-footer off a pass from twin sister Brenna Cutler before Lunn spotted backcourt teammate Maggy Totzke for the team’s only 3-pointer of the contest.
Maurissa Isaacs, who topped all players with 15 rebounds and four assists to complement her eight-point effort, connected for Windom’s first field goal at the 8:24 mark of the first half.
Isaacs later produced a traditional 3-point play via a drive through traffic to whittle Windom’s deficit to 18-12 before Claire Cutler triggered Fairmont’s ensuing 8-0 run just before halftime.
Brooke Hunwardsen threaded a pass to Claire Cutler for a low-post turnaround, Crissinger and Hunwardsen combined equally for four free throws, and Lunn dished to Claire Cutler for two more points in the paint en route to a 26-13 halftime edge.
Hauge, however, served as the catalyst behind Windom’s countering 7-0 run during the early stages of the second half. Hauge, who finished with a team-best 11 points, delivered three of the Eagles’ points to close the gap to 28-20.
Claire Cutler worked the inside for six key points down the stretch, while the trio of Crissinger, Hunwardsen and Brenna Cutler controlled the boards to fend off Windom’s late comeback bid.
Hunwardsen finished with seven points, including 5-for-6 free throw shooting, and eight rebounds for Fairmont, while Crissinger cleaned the glass for a team-leading 14 boards to go with four points and three assists.
Isaacs and Shelby Erickson contributed eight points apiece to the Eagles’ effort, while Reegan Elder chipped in six.
Fairmont (6-3) travels to New Ulm on Thursday night for a Big South Conference game. Windom (3-8) travels to Luverne on Friday night.
B. Cutler 0-3 3-8 3, Crissinger 1-10 2-4 4, Lardy 2-4 0-0 4, Hunwardsen 1-5 5-6 7, Lunn 1-13 1-2 3, C. Cutler 6-8 3-7 15, Totzke 1-5 0-2 3, Miller 1-1 1-2 3. Totals 13-49 15-31 42.
Isaacs 2-9 4-14 8, Elder 3-11 0-2 6, Hauge 3-7 5-8 11, Erickson 2-3 4-6 8, Vancura 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 10-30 13-30 33.
3-pointers: Fairmont 1-16 (Totzke 1-4, Lunn 0-8, Crissinger 0-2, Hunwardsen 0-2); Windom 0-2 (Isaacs 0-2). Fouled out: Hauge, B. Cutler and Isaacs. Rebounds: Fairmont 42 (Crissinger 14, B. Cutler 9, Hunwardsen 8); Windom 26 (Isaacs 15). Assists: Fairmont 8 (Crissinger 3); Windom 6 (Isaacs 4). Steals: Fairmont 11 (Lunn and Totzke 3 each); Windom 5.
The Fairmont Cardinals captured the junior varsity girls basketball championship at the Windom Holiday Classic on Saturday.
Bryn Miller scored eight points and Kaitlyn Scott chipped in three points as Fairmont claimed a defensive battle with Windom, 21-6, during Saturday’s finals.
Jen Moeller poured in 18 points to guide Fairmont to a 49-17 rout over Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg during first-round action Friday.
Kylee Harder supplied 12 points to the Cardinals’ winning ways, while Miller added 11 points.