WILLMAR - Emily Thesing knocked down five 3-pointers to finish with 17 points in the Brainerd Warriors 65-45 Central Lakes Conference loss to the Willmar Cardinals Saturday.
Four Cardinals reached double figures, led by Hannah Smith's 18. The Cardinals outrebounded Brainerd 25-18.
"We just didn't defend very well," said Brainerd head coach Carl Hendrickson. "They beat us on the bards pretty good and that allowed them to get a lot of second-chance points. That hurt us.
"We had three kids foul out and Nikker Graumann went down with a knee injury in the first half so that really hurt us."
Tess Rahto secured 11 rebounds and added five points. Emilee Branum scored seven points for the Warriors, who had defeated Willmar five straight times before Saturday's loss.
Brainerd drops to 8-3 in the conference and 9-7 overall.
"They outhustled us," said Hendrickson. "We weren't really focused to play and I was surprised by that after playing so well and playing against the conference leader. We didn't have that motivation."
Willmar 34 31 - 65
Brainerd 22 23 - 45
Kelsey Evans 12, Mariel Aamot 6, Hannah Smith 18, Emily Nelsen 6, Hannah Murphy 2, Alex Lippert 10, Jena Thompson 10. FG 24-52 (46 percent), FT 14-28 (50 percent), 3-point baskets: 3 (Evans 2, Smith).
Alex Sauer 5, Emilee Branum 7, Kylie Stanfield 6, Tess Rahto 5, Emily Thesing 17, KB Capers 4. FG 16-41 (39 percent), FT 7-13 (54 percent), 3-point baskets: 6 (Thesing 5, Sauer). Conference: 8-3. Overall: 9-7. Next: hosts St. Cloud Apollo 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Rebounds: Brd 18 (Rahto 11), Will 25. Turnovers: Brd 14, Will 12. Steals: Brd 3, Assists: Brd 14 (Sara Parsons 4). Blocks: Brd 4.
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