Frank powers Fairmont cagers to rout over Windom

POST POWER — Fairmont’s Wyatt Frank shoots for two of his 35 points during Big South Conference basketball against Windom Area on Friday in Fairmont. The Eagles’ Dylan Serreyn (left) defends on the play. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Wyatt Frank dominated the paint on senior night.

Frank shot 17-for-24, all coming from close range, to score 35 points, while bringing down 18 rebounds to power the Fairmont Cardinals to a 71-42 rout over the Windom Area Eagles on Friday at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont.

Cardinal head coach Jared Thompson said Frank’s positioning underneath the basket helped lead to his impressive numbers.

“It’s always nice to have old reliable, Wyatt Frank, in the middle,” Thompson said. “He was very efficient tonight. When he touched the ball, good things happened. Tonight was a night where he got really deep in position and was able to finish on the left block continuously. We were struggling to rebound there for a little while and he started gobbling up all the defenive rebounds for us.

“Offensively, he got extremely good position down low, defensively and rebounding, 34 (Dylan Serreyn) is a tough guy to box out. He (Serreyn) got a couple of offensive boards early, but then Wyatt did a much better job of sticking on him and trusting our guards. Once he just boxed out (Serreyn) that’s when the rebounds really came to him. … He’s playing the best basketball he’s played at the right time here at the end of February.”

The Cardinals didn’t need power inside to build a 12-3 advantage in the first three minutes.

Carter Bell started the game with a right-wing trifecta off a Zach Jorgensen assist before Jack Hested used a Carson Toomer assist for a 3 from two feet beyond the 3-point line.

Bell hit another 3 off a Jorgensen assist, then Hested used a Bell assist for a right-corner trey.

The teams combined to score the first 15 points of the matchup off 3s.

Then, Frank got involed.

Frank used a Hested assist, put in a putback and used a Toomer assist to score six of the Cardinals’ next seven points, then scored nine consecutive Cardinal points in a three-minute span to help build the Fairmont lead to 30-17.

The Eagles stayed in the game early with multiple 3s made from far past the 3-point line.

Austin Doorenbos hit a left-wing 3, then one from three feet past the top of the key before Abe McKibbin connected for a 24-footer before Austin Doorenbos hit another from the left wing. Henry Erickson hit a 26-footer to bring the Eagles within 32-20.

The Cardinls took a 36-20 lead into the halftime break, then Windom Area fought back to get within 43-31.

Frank then started a 12-0 Cardinal run with a putback 2, before using a Bell assist for a post 2, a Caden Baarts assist for a layup and putting in another putback shot. Jorgensen broke Frank’s eight-point run when he used a Toomer steal-turned-assist for a layup, then Frank scored six more off assists from Bell and Toomer and a post-spin move.

“When they (Eagles) made their run in the second half to cut the lead, we played some really good basketball to take control of the game,” Thompson said. “That gave us the opportunity to have five fun minutes with the rest of those seniors.”

Once the Cardinal lead was extended to 61-39, Fairmont began subbing in all of its 13 seniors.

Dan Betts recorded five points, while Blake Buntjer had three rebounds, Tony Ortega hit two shots for five points, and Ryan Hennager, Sedrick Parker and Luis Reyes Santiago all got shots up before the final buzzer.

Bell ended with 10 points, five assists and eight rebounds for the Cardinals, while Hested had nine points and four assists. Jorgensen grabbed eight boards, while Toomer dished out five assists and brought down four rebounds.

Fairmont (14-9, 7-4 Big South) plays its final regular-season game at 7:30 p.m. Monday, facing Tri-City United in Montgomery before starting the Section 3AA tournament next Saturday, Feb. 29.

“We’ve got to play well Monday,” Thompson said. “That’s our last time to be on the floor until Saturday, that’s a long stretch without a game. We need to have those good feelings going into practice to prep for whoever we play. For us to play well in the playoffs, the two goals that seem to determine our wins and losses are how we rebound and how we control the ball, limiting our turnovers.”

Windom Area (1-23, 0-13 Big South) plays host to Tracy-Milroy-Balaton at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Windom Area 20-22–42

Fairmont 36-35–71

Fairmont (71)

Frank 17-24 1-1 35, Bell 4-10 0-0 10, Hested 3-15 0-0 9, Betts 1-2 3-3 5, Ortega 2-2 0-0 5, Jorgensen 2-7 0-0 4, Baarts 1-2 0-0 2, Flohrs 0-6 1-2 1, Toomer 0-1 0-0 0, Buntjer 0-3 0-0 0, Parker 0-3 0-0 0, Hennager 0-2 0-0 0, Reyes Santiago 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 30-78 5-6 71.

Windom Area (42)

Erickson 4-9 0-0 12, A. doorenbos 3-12 0-0 9, S. Doorenbos 3-12 0-0 8, A. McKibbin 2-10 0-2 5, Serreyn 1-2 2-6 4, Squires 1-1 0-3 3, C. McKibbin 0-1 1-2 1, Armstrong 0-1 0-0 0, Flores Blees 0-0 0-1 0, Yusuf 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 14-49 3-14 42.

3-pointers: FHS 6 (Hested 3); WIN 11 (Erickson 4, A. Doorenbos 3). Fouled out: none. Rebounds: 54 (Frank 18; Bell & Jorgensen 8 each); WIN 20 (Serreyn 7, A. Doorenbos & A. McKibbin 4 each). Assists: FHS 20 (Bell & Toomer 5 each, Hested 4); WIN 11 (A. Doorenbos 5). Steals: FHS 8; WIN 4.

Tanner Rosch scored 20 points to lead Fairmont past Windom Area 50-28 during B-squad action Friday in Fairmont.

Gavin Junkermeier added nine points to the Cardinals’ winning ways, while Jake Harris and Armando Hernandez scored four each.

Trey Tumbleson scored 14, while Owen Burmeister dropped eight points to help lead Fairmont to a 41-40 C-squad win over Windom in Fairmont on Friday.

Levi Pooley and Isaiah Lebbi each scored seven points for the Cardinals.

Girls Basketball

Osage 52, North Union 43 — Dani Johnson and Sidney Brandau combined for 29 points to help the Class 2A No. 5-ranked Green Devils fend off the Warriors by nine points during the Iowa Region 2 semifinals Friday night in Osage.

Osage (22-2) advances to face No. 14-ranked Emmetsburg (17-5) for the regional championship and a state tournament bid at 7 p.m. Wednesday night in Garner, Iowa. Emmetsburg eliminated Sioux Central, 51-31, Friday night.

North Union ended its season with a 15-8 record.

Johnson connected for three 3-pointers to top Osage with 15 points, Brandau netted 14 and Mia Knudsen chipped in nine points.

Chloe Lofstrom closed out her outstanding prep basketball career at North Union, producing team-bests of 15 points and seven rebounds.

Vanessa VonBank hit two trifectas to fuel her seven-point performance for the Warriors, May Laverty netted five points and grabbed five boards, while Lily Henderson chipped in five points.

Hope Steinberger distributed five assists and pocketed four steals, while Cassie Beadle chipped in three steals for the Warriors.

Osage held a 14-13 first-quarter lead over North Union before outscoring the Warriors by a pivotal 16-2 margin in the second frame.