Girls basketball: Alexandria increases win streak to 10 with win over Willmar
Another strong second half run, along with unselfishness, helped Alexandria earn a 23-point win over Willmar on Friday. Alexandria is now on a 10-game winning streak.
ALEXANDRIA - The Alexandria girls basketball team had the lead for the majority of its game against the Willmar Cardinals on Friday and, midway through the second half, aimed to put the game away.
Alexandria increased its lead to the low teens on multiple occasions early in the second half, but Willmar kept chipping away and cut its deficit to eight (56-48) with 9:55 left in the game.
From then on, Alexandria did what it’s done to most of its opponents all season as it dominated the final stretch of the game and won 77-54 at home.
“We just executed our gameplan down the stretch and had some nice finishes,” Alexandria sophomore Hadley Thul said. “I think passing was important because we had a lot of our passes tips and had some turnovers, but we fixed things.”
After trading leads in the opening stages of the game, Alexandria created a little distance for itself and led 42-33 at the half.
From the 9:55 mark of the second half to the 4:15 mark of the second half, Alexandria went on a 21-0 run that sealed the win.
“Anytime we go into that locker room, our head coach Wendy Kohler is there to motivate us and help us get back out there, especially if we didn’t start the game off strong,” Thul said.
Alexandria’s offense was once again balanced on Friday as it had four scorers reach double figures.
“I think it’s really nice,” Thul said about the team’s balance on offense. “It’s really nice if you have an off game that you can lean on another player. Every time we come down, anyone can knock down a shot. It makes defenses have to get back.”
Chloe Scholl led all scorers with 19 points, while MaCee Linow added 17.
“Chloe and MaCee played really well,” Thul said.
Thul had 12 points, and Allie Haabala had 11 points. Rounding out the scoring for Alexandria, Kate Hennessey had nine points, while Kaia Emter had six, and McKinley Hoelscher finished with three points.
Allie Rosendahl and Brielle Odgahl both had 11 points for Willmar.
Alexandria has now swept the regular season series against Willmar as it earned a 64-36 win in Willmar on Dec. 6, 2022.
Alexandria is now 14-3 (6-1 Section 8AAA) on the year, while Willmar fell to 4-12 (0-5 Section 8AAA). Alexandria is undefeated against Central Lakes Conference and has the best conference record, 10-0.
“We’re just so energetic, and we all really love playing with each other,” Thul said.
Alexandria is now on a 10-game winning streak, and in nine of those wins, Alexandria has had a margin of victory greater than 17 points.
In this 10-game winning streak that dates back to Dec. 30, 2022 (a 54-47 win over Mahtomedi), Alexandria has outscored its opponents 694-428 and has held those opponents to 54 points or less.
Alexandria has also won nine out of its ten conference games by at least 17 points.
In its last four wins, Alexandria has scored at least 70 points, and it has scored at least 70 points in eight of its 14 wins so far this season.
As the season goes on, Thul said that one of the team’s goals is to continue getting better at coming out of the gates strong in the first half of its games.
Alexandria is the No. 5 ranked team in Class AAA in the Minnesota Basketball News poll.
Alexandria hits the road on Tuesday to face Moorhead at 7:30 p.m.
Willmar - 33 21 - 54
Alexandria - 42 35 - 77
WILLMAR SCORING - Brielle Ogdahl, 11 points; Maycee Gustafson, 6 points; Telilie Lange, 6 points; Allie Rosendahl, 11 points; Zoe Schroeder, 7 points; Kenedee Salonek, 9 points; Lyza Gustafson, 4 points
ALEXANDRIA SCORING - Hadley Thul, 12 points; Chloe Scholl, 19 points; MaCee Linow, 17 points; Kaia Emter, 6 points; Allie Haabala, 11 points; Kate Hennessey, 9 points; McKinley Hoelscher, 3 points