Willmar defense stifling in victory
The pains are growing for the young Moorhead boys basketball team. A week after giving up a late 9-0 run to the top-ranked team in South Dakota, four days after being outscored 15-0 to end regulation at Fargo North, the Spuds allowed 14 consecuti...
The pains are growing for the young Moorhead boys basketball team.
A week after giving up a late 9-0 run to the top-ranked team in South Dakota, four days after being outscored 15-0 to end regulation at Fargo North, the Spuds allowed 14 consecutive points in a 70-65 loss to Willmar, Minn., on Saturday afternoon.
That's three second-half lapses and single-digit defeats against teams from three states in eight days.
"We have to exercise some patience," Moorhead coach Chuck Gulsvig said. "There's part of the game we just fail in from time to time. You've got to gut 'er out. We have a lot of young guys playing and they played last year so they should be better - and they are better, but it's just not where it should be."
The Spuds played from behind most of the game, even though Willmar expended plenty of energy in what coach Steve Grove called "our best defensive effort of the year" in a 61-50 home victory against Little Falls on Friday night.
How did the Cardinals follow up?
With overwhelming pressure that resulted in a nine-point lead midway through the first half.
Said Gulsvig: "We hadn't seen that kind of defense all year."
Nonetheless, Moorhead briefly took the lead late in the first half following a9-0 run.
But 5-foot-7 Willmar junior Kyle Townswick - who scored a game-high 22 points - hit a 3-pointer before the halftime buzzer to break a 29-all tie.
Then the Cardinals scored the first 11 points of the second half, holding the Spuds scoreless for 4 minutes, 37 seconds.
"We took care of the ball, we limited them to one shot and we hit open shots," said Grove, a Concordia College graduate.
"Right now we're a team that lives and dies with the 3-pointer. We need to find a post presence, and once we do that we'll be pretty salty."
Ditto for the Spuds - who got to within 66-63 with 30 seconds remaining - assuming they're able to fix their tendency to lapse late.
"Defensive errors and some rebounding mistakes are a big part of that," said sophomore guard Jordan Driscoll, who led three Moorhead players in double figures with 18 points.
"It's frustrating when that happens. A couple plays and you'll be down maybe seven points just like that."
WILLMAR (7-3): Townswick 5 8-9 22, Seehusen 3 1-3 7, Horning 2 2-4 8, Roisum 1 1-2 3, Hagemeyer 6 0-0 13, Hanson 6 0-4 13, Hanson 6 0-4 13, Van Hauen 2 0-0 4. Totals 25 12-22 70.
MOORHEAD (3-5): Driscoll 4 9-10 18, Burington 5 4-4 17, Borgen 3 2-4 8, Bulik 1 0-0 3, Lien 4 6-6 15, VanDyke 1 0-0 2, Haugen 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 21-25 65.
Half: W 32, M 29. 3-point goals: Townswick 4, Horning 2, Hagemeyer, Hanson, Burington 3, Driscoll, Bulik, Lien. Total fouls: W 23, M 20. Rebounds: W 27 (Roisum 5), M 36 (Lien 8). Turnovers: W 9, M 11.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Terry Vandrovec at (701) 241-5548