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No. 10 St. Peter ‘turns over’ FHS

SLAM DUNK — Fairmont Cardinals forward Zach Jorgensen (11) hammers down a dunk after making a backcourt steal during Big South Conference basketball action Friday night at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont. St. Peter forward Ethan Grant watches the action. St. Peter went on to defeat Fairmont, 74-62. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Cardinals outrebounded Class AAA No. 10-ranked St. Peter, proved more efficient at the free throw line and nearly matched the visiting Saints beyond the 3-point arc during Friday night’s Big South Conference basketball clash at Cardinal Gym.

The Cardinals, however, could not overcome a minus-21 turnover ratio as the Saints’ balanced offensive attack — six players delivering double-figure scoring — and sure-handed ball-handling produced a 74-62 victory in Fairmont.

“They (the Saints) simply were more disciplined than we were tonight,” said Fairmont head coach Jared Thompson, whose lineup committed 29 miscues to St. Peter’s eight, including only one in the opening half. “Our guys are good athletes, but at times we were trying to do too much.”

Zach Jorgensen delivered three of his 15 points by converting a drive-and-one to narrow the Cardinals’ deficit to 17-13 with 11 minutes remaining in the first half, but sharpshooter Josh Johnson triggered the Saints’ ensuing 10-0 scoring surge from behind the arc.

Johnson, who finished with 10 points, followed Wyatt Olson’s baseline 15-footer with back-to-back 3-pointers from the right wing and left corner, respectively, before Ethan Grant lobbed a perfect inbound pass to Bennett Olson for a touch tip-in to extend St. Peter’s lead to 27-13 in only a minute and a half.

Jack Hested ended Fairmont’s scoring drought with a low-post lay-in for two of his co-game-best 16 points before center Wyatt Frank reeled off four of his co-game-high 16 points to keep the home team within 11 with 5 minutes to go before intermission. Frank went on to generate a stellar double-double by grabbing a game-best 16 boards.

Grant, who produced a co-game-high 16 points, later triggered the Saints’ 7-0 offensive run to close out the first half with a 47-28 margin.

“It could’ve gone a different way coming out of the lockerroom for the second half, but our guys didn’t lay down and fought back right out of the gate to close the gap,” said Thompson.

Hested buried all three of his trifectas during the first 6 minutes of the second segment to pare the Cardinals’ deficit to 54-39.

After Bennett Olson hit a runner for two of his 10 bench points for the Saints, Carter Bell delivered the first of his bookend 3s to inch the Cardinals within four.

Jorgensen pocketed a backcourt steal out of a Fairmont timeout at the 12:48 juncture and hammered home a sweeping left-handed dunk to match Frank’s earlier rim-wrecker in the opening half.

Caden Baarts converted a backdoor layup off one of Bell’s three assists, Frank stepped behind the arc and swooshed a trey, and Bell added a left-corner trifecta off a Hested assist for good measure in trimming Fairmont’s gap to 56-52.

St. Peter mentor Sean Keating called timeout at the 9:35 mark, as Grant and point guard Ethan Volk responded to their coach’s motivational speech.

Grant hit a weaving runner through traffic before displaying his all-out hustle by tracking down the loose basketball and finding Wyatt Olson, who in turn, spotted Volk for a wide-open 3.

Frank later sank his second 3 of the game, but Volk and Wyatt Olson combined to trigger the Saints’ 7-0 run that put the game out of reach with 5 minutes remaining.

Bell finished with 12 points, three steals and three assists for the Cardinals, who made 7 of 11 shots from 3-point range in the second half.

Wyatt Olson produced impressive all-around numbers of 14 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Saints, while Grant added four assists and three steals to his 16-point outing. Kaden Oeltjenbruns added 14 points and three steals, while Volk jumped in 10 points.

“We learned that we have to play two good halves in order to beat a good team like St. Peter,” said Thompson.

Fairmont (5-4) plays host to Worthington on Tuesday night at Cardinal Gym, while St. Peter (10-4) hits the road to New Ulm on Thursday night.

St. Peter 47-27–74

Fairmont 28-34–62

FAIRMONT (62)

Frank 7-15 0-1 16, Hested 4-7 5-7 16, Jorgensen 4-6 6-6 15, Bell 3-5 4-4 12, Toomer 0-2 1-2 1, Baarts 1-2 0-0 2, Flohrs 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 19-51 16-20 62.

ST. PETER (74)

W. Olson 5-13 4-6 14, J. Johnson 3-5 1-4 10, Grant 6-10 2-3 16, Oeltjenbruns 5-11 2-2 14, Volk 3-6 3-4 10, B. Olson 4-9 0-0 10, Kennedy 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 26-56 12-19 74.

3-pointers: Fairmont 8-16 (Hested 3-6, Bell 2-3, Frank 2-4, Jorgensen 1-1, Toomer 0-1, Flohrs 0-1); St. Peter 10-21 (J. Johnson 3-5, Grant 2-4, Oeltjenbruns 2-4, B. Olson 2-4, Volk 1-3, W. Olson 0-1). Fouled out: Jorgensen (F). Rebounds: Fairmont 30 (Frank 16); St. Peter 23 (W. Olson 10). Assists: St. Peter 10 (W. Olson and Grant 4 each); Fairmont 8 (Bell and Toomer 3 each). Steals: St. Peter 16 (W. Olson, J. Johnson, Grant and Oeltjenbruns 3 each); Fairmont 5 (Bell 3).

St. Peter outlasted Fairmont, 57-47, during B-squad action Friday night at Cardinal Gym.

Jacob Crissinger scored 16 points to top the Cardinals, while Gavin Junkermeier contributed nine points.

Waseca 86, Blue Earth Area 52 — The Class AA No. 2-ranked Bluejays soared by the Bucs, with four players reaching double-digit scoring in a Big South Conference game Friday night in Waseca.

Andrew Morgan led the Bluejays with 22 points, while Kyreese Willingham totalled 20 points, Ryan Dufault dropped 19 and Zach Hoehn scored 11.

Cameron Anderson led the Bucs’ offense with a game-high 24 points, while Austin Thielfoldt posted solid all-around numbers of nine points, five assists and four rebounds.

Zach Herrmann and Sam Keister each scored six points for the Bucs, while Grant Strukel put up five points.

Waseca built a 55-18 halftime advantage and never trailed for the duration.

Blue Earth Area (4-4) travels to St. James Area for a Big South Conference matchup at 7:15 p.m. Thursday night, while No. 2-ranked Waseca (10-3) plays host to Fairmont for a Big South Conference game on Thursday night.

B.E. Area 18-34–52

Waseca 55-31–86

Garner-Hayfield/Ventura 74, North Union 41 — Three Cardinals reached double-digit scoring in a Top of Iowa Conference basketball win over the Warriors on Friday in Garner.

Landon Dalbeck led the Cardinals with 19 points, while Hayden Hutcheson netted 15 points and Kevin Meyers totalled 13.

Robert Ortman led the Warriors with 12 points and five rebounds, while Gage Madden totalled eight points and Noah Morphew had six.

North Union made 12 of 25 shots from 2-point range, 4 of 19 from beyond the 3-point arc and 5 of 12 from the charity striple.

North Union (1-10) plays host to Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night in Armstrong.

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