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Frank, Fairmont hand 3AA playoff loss to Windom Area

SWAT — Fairmont’s Wyatt Frank (0) rejects a shot by Windom Area’s Sam Doorenbos (5) during Section 3AA, South Sub-Section quarterfinal basketball action Saturday night in Fairmont. The Cardinals’ Jack Hested (3) and Carter Bell (left), along with the Eagles’ Chris McKibbin, look on. (Photo courtesy of Randy Chirpich)

FAIRMONT — Wyatt Frank donned a small protective padded brace on his left hand, but it didn’t slow down Fairmont’s 6-foot-7 senior center during Saturday night’s basketball playoff opener.

Frank unleashed yet another game-best double-double performance of 24 points and 17 rebounds to power the No. 2-seeded Cardinals to an 80-47 Section 3AA, South Sub-Section quarterfinal rout over the No. 7-seeded Windom Area Eagles in Fairmont.

Fairmont (16-9) advances to play No. 3-seeded Luverne (12-13) in a 7:30 p.m. sub-section semifinal Thursday night in Windom. Luverne flattened No. 6-seeded St. James Area, 74-40, to gain the next round of the postseason.

Windom Area ended the season with a 1-25 record.

“Wyatt received a contusion or a deep bone bruise to his hand during practice on Tuesday. We were running a post-perimeter drill and Caden (Baarts) accidentally hit Wyatt in the hand,” said Fairmont head coach Jared Thompson. “After that, we (coaching staff) had him sit out most of our drills on Wednesday and Thursday just as a precaution.

“His hand seemed to be OK tonight.”

Indeed. Frank connected on 9 of 14 field goals and 6 of 7 free throws to complement distributing four assists out of numerous double- and triple-team situations on the offensive end, while garnering three steals and three blocked shots from a defensive perspective.

Frank delivered 11 of the Cardinals’ initial 17 points, with his two free throws regaining the lead for Fairmont for good with 11 minutes remaining in the first half.

“Windom came out and shot well from 3-point range during the first six minutes of the game and stayed right with us,” Thompson said in reference to Austin Doorenbos’ two treys and Henry Erickson’s one trifecta — in addition to Dylan Serreyn’s low-post 2-pointer — that helped fuel leads of 12-10 and 16-15 for the Eagles. “We then made some adjustments and tightened up our defense, and it triggered our offense.”

Carter Bell, who finished with 15 points on the strength of a game-best five 3-pointers, converted one of Carson Toomer’s game-high six assists into a trey to follow Frank’s pair of free throws at 17-16.

Frank then sank two more charity tosses and a putback, respectively, before Windom Area’s Abe McKibbin tossed in a baseline floater to temporarily interrupt Fairmont’s scoring surge.

Zach Jorgensen hit a hard drive into the paint, Joey Flohrs tossed in a putback basket before Jack Hested joined Bell from long distance. Hested nailed the first of his four 3s before Bell swooshed back-to-back trifectas to widen the Cardinals’ lead to 37-18 on the strength of their 22-2 offensive avalanche.

Fairmont scorched the Cardinal Gym nylon nets via 14-for-31 shooting from behind the bonus arc en route to a 28-for-57 overall effort — 49 percent — from the floor. The Cardinals limited the Eagles to just 14 of 47 — 30 percent — from the field, including 5 of 18 from 3-point range.

Jorgensen tossed in five of his nine points on the playoff clash, while Bell and Hested each drilled one 3-pointer to engineer Fairmont’s 11-0 run to open the second half and put the game out of reach at 51-24 with 15 1/2 minutes remaining.

Flohrs contributed eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers, off the Cardinals’ bench, while Hested finished with 12 points.

Serreyn produced a double-double performance of 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Eagles, Erickson supplied 11 points and eight boards, while Sam Doorenbos scored a team-best 12 points.

Windom 24-23–47

Fairmont 40-40–80

FAIRMONT (80)

Frank 9-14 6-7 24, Hested 4-12 0-0 12, Jorgensen 3-8 3-7 9, Bell 5-9 0-0 15, Toomer 0-3 0-0 0, Baarts 1-1 0-0 2, Flohrs 3-5 0-0 8, Buntjer 0-0 0-2 0, Rosch 1-1 1-2 4, Parker 0-2 0-2 0, Ortega 1-1 0-0 3, Reyes Santiago 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 28-57 10-20 80.

WINDOM (47)

S. Doorenbos 2-10 7-9 12, C. McKibbin 1-2 2-2 5, Serreyn 5-8 1-3 11, Erickson 3-6 4-5 11, A. Doorenbos 2-11 0-0 6, A. McKibbin 1-6 0-2 2, Krefsky 0-1 0-0 0, Walklin 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 14-47 14-21 47.

3-pointers: Fairmont 14-31 (Bell 5-9, Hested 4-10, Flohrs 2-3, Ortega 1-1, Reyes Santiago 1-1, Rosch 1-1, Frank 0-1, Parker 0-2, Jorgensen 0-2, Toomer 0-1); Windom Area 5-18 (A. Doorenbos 2-8, C. McKibbin 1-1, Erickson 1-2, S. Doorenbos 1-5, A. McKibbin 0-2). Fouled out: S. Doorenbos (WIN). Rebounds: Fairmont 39 (Frank 17); Windom 29 (Serreyn 12). Assists: Fairmont 15 (Toomer 6, Frank 4); Windom 8 (A. Doorenbos 4). Steals: Fairmont 7 (Frank 3); Windom 4.

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