No. 8 Fairmont throttles LCWM
FAIRMONT – Class AA, No. 8-ranked Fairmont eclipsed its girls basketball program’s single-season record for victories Friday night, but Cardinal mentor Don Waletich has loftier goals.
Kayla Lardy and Alex Christianson produced double-doubles, Kristen Campe swooshed five 3s, Courtney Mosloski scored 12 points and Sierra Schultz delivered seven assists and five steals to power No. 1-seeded Fairmont to a runaway 77-41 playoff win over No. 8-seeded Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial at Cardinal Gym.
The Cardinals (23-4) advance to face No. 4-seeded Jackson County Central in the Section 3AA, South Sub-Section semifinals at 6 p.m. Tuesday night in St. James.
The Huskies ended No. 5-seeded Blue Earth Area’s season with a 55-46 quarterfinal triumph.
Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial ended its campaign with a 2-23 record.
“I thought we were getting close to the record, but we want to accomplish more than that,” a smiling Waletich said in reference to the program’s 22-win mark set during the 2008-09 campaign.
“Tonight’s game was just the beginning of the second season – the playoffs – and it’d be nice to add a few more wins to our total,” said Cardinal assistant coach Sara Junkermeier.
Fairmont, however, opened the sub-section quarterfinal slowly before snapping the fifth and final tie of the first half -13-all – by erupting for a 15-0 run at the 11-minute juncture.
After LCWM guard Ashlie Wiens hit a runner in the lane, Campe nailed the first of five consecutive trifectas to trigger Fairmont’s double-digit surge.
Mosloski tossed in a baseline leaner off one of Lardy’s four assists before Lardy and Christianson – who pulled down 12 and 10 rebounds, respectively – hit back-to-back putbacks. Schultz then pocketed a backcourt steal and went coast-to-coast before Christianson and Mosloski cleaned the offensive glass again to build a 28-13 edge.
Ironically, Megan Lee later sank her lone 3-pointer of the game, and teammate Rachel Sonnabend tallied six of her team-best 13 points during the final seven minutes of the first half to keep the Knights close at 38-16.
“The girls responded during the second half and really picked up the pace on defense,” Junkermeier said in reference to the red-and-white lineup limiting the visiting Knights to only 15 second-half points en route to running time during the final seven minutes.
Schultz found Campe on a pair of 3-pointers that bookended Lardy’s putback basket to help trigger the Cardinals’ 19-0 run four minutes into the second segment.
Mosloski then ran a perfect give-and-go with Emily Kim, Kim converted a midcourt steal into a layup and Sierra Schrader worked the offensive window for a traditional 3-point play.
Christianson then swooshed a turnaround jumper from the low post and hit a putback to widen Fairmont’s lead to 66-31 at the 7:14 mark.
Christianson and Lardy each scored a game-high 16 points to complement their double-digit rebounding totals, while Campe chipped in 15 points to complement four assists for the Cardinals.
Becca Norgren added eight points for the Knights, Wiens pulled down four rebounds to go with five points, while Jessica Brown tossed in five points off the bench during the playoff clash.