No. 8 Cardinals claw Tigers

FAIRMONT – Kristen Campe moved into a tie for the most career 3-pointers made in the history of Fairmont girls basketball during Saturday night’s final regular-season home game at Cardinal Gym.

Fittingly, the 5-foot-7 senior sharpshooter delivered four pivotal trifectas to pace her team-leading 16-point performance, while teammate Kayla Lardy produced another double-double to help the Class 2A, No. 8-ranked Cardinals scratch the Albert Lea Tigers, 55-51.

“Campe really hit some clutch 3-pointers for us tonight,” said Fairmont mentor Don Waletich. “It would have been nice for her to break the record at home, but at least she got a chance to tie it here.”

Campe eclipsed former Cardinal standout Angie Hugoson’s second-best career mark of 92 before ending Saturday night’s nonconference clash tied with all-time 3-point shootist Rhiannon Plumhoff at 95 each.

Ironically, Campe opened the game with a right-wing 3-pointer off the first of point guard Sierra Schultz’s four assists out of the opening tip to trigger Fairmont’s initial 7-0 surge.

Lardy, who produced 13 points to complement a game-best 16 rebounds, then threaded one of her three assists to Courtney Mosloski for a baseline jumper before Alex Christianson spotted Campe for a left-corner 2-pointer.

Sydney Rehnelt, who generated 16 points, snapped the nets on one of her three 3s to end the Tigers’ mini-scoring drought at the 15:37 juncture.

Christianson and Mosloski each connected on a pair of free throws to extend the Cardinals’ early edge to 11-3 before the hometown team’s lead and free throw-shooting prowess evaporated.

“How many free throws did we miss tonight?” Waletich asked with a wry smile.

Despite making only 11 of 28 charity tosses – 39 percent – on the night, Campe’s outside sharpshooting combined with the steady low-post performances from Lardy and Mosloski fended off Albert Lea’s bid for a victory.

After Tiger point guard Bryan Woodside, who netted a game-best 18 points, nailed a pull-up 3-pointer and a left-elbow 15-footer to knot the game at 20-all, Campe countered with the second of her four trifectas on the contest.

Schultz quickly swung a pass to an awaiting Campe for a left-wing trey to stake the Cardinals to a temporary lead with 2 minutes remaining before halftime.

Francesca Eckstrom’s baseline toss-in and Woodside’s steal-turned-layup at the 21-second mark swung a 24-23 halftime lead to the Tigers.

Lardy, Christianson and Mosloski pounded the paint during the early stages of the second half to regain a five-point edge before Woodside ignited Albert Lea’s next comeback bid.

Woodside’s 18-footer and Megan Kortan’s free throws later tied the game at 33-all before Campe drilled bookend 3s around Sydney Rehnelt’s free throws to give the Cardinals breathing room at 39-35 with 11 minutes to go.

Sydney Rehnelt later drilled a pair of treys during the final 5 minutes of the second half only to have Campe sink two free throws and Lardy work the low post for back-to-back baskets to fend off the Tigers’ final comeback bid.

Mosloski neared double-double territory by collecting 12 points and nine rebounds for the Cardinals.

Kortan displayed her multi-tasking skills by generating 11 points, six rebounds, a game-best five assists and four steals for the Tigers.

Fairmont (21-3, 9-0 South Central) closes out its conference schedule on Friday night by traveling to New Ulm for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.

Albert Lea (6-13) plays host to Big Nine Conference opponent Mankato West on Tuesday night.

Albert Lea defeated Fairmont in B-squad action, 48-34, Saturday in Fairmont.

Larissa Becker scored 10 points to top the Cardinals, while Alexis Bass contributed seven points and seven rebounds.

Abby Fitzgerald supplied five points and five boards, Marisa Nelson netted five points, while Emily Kloeckner and Haley Harder each doled out four assists for Fairmont.

Lexi Lunn collected five points, five steals and four assists to guide Fairmont to a 38-19 victory over Albert Lea during C-squad action Saturday in Fairmont.

Brooke Hunwardsen tallied seven points and six steals for the Cardinals, Haley Burmeister scored five points, while Brenna Cutler added five rebounds.