MANKATO - Fairmont earned a spot in the Pepsi Holiday Tournament's boys basketball championship game on the Bethany Lutheran College campus in Mankato.
Josh Eversman produced a double-double performance of 15 points and eight rebounds, while Mitch Pfingsten delivered 16 points, eight boards and three assists to power the Cardinals past the St. Croix Lutheran Crusaders, 65-47, during the eight-team holiday event's semifinals on Friday night.
Fairmont (7-2) faces Maple River - a 73-57 semifinal winner over Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial - at 8:30 p.m. tonight at the North Gym on the BLC campus in Mankato.
CHALLENGING — Fairmont guard Ryan Noll (31) challenges St. Croix Lutheran’s Aaron Zoellner during semifinal basketball action in the Pepsi Holiday Tournament on Friday night in Mankato. The Crusaders’ David Ponath (right) and Cody Sticha (22) look on. Photo by Leanna Becker
The Cardinals opened a 39-21 halftime lead and never looked back.
Ryan Noll netted 12 points and three steals for Fairmont, while Jay Ruen contributed eight points, six rebounds and four steals to the winning performance.
The Cardinals made 19 of 49 shots from 2-point range, 6 of 18 from behind the 3-point line and 9 of 14 at the free throw stripe.
Eversman's double-digit board total helped pace Fairmont's 41-28 rebounding edge.
The Cardinals' defense limited the Crusaders to 18 of 44 shooting from the floor, 2 of 13 from behind the arc and only 5 of 13 from the charity stripe.
St. Croix Lutheran plays Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial in the third-place game at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the North Gym.
St. Cloud Tech Classic
Rocori 56, Fairmont 44 - Heather Buerman scored 16 points to help guide the Spartans to a 12-point victory over the Cardinals during second-round action in the St. Cloud Tech Classic on Friday in St. Cloud.
Junior post player Kayla Lardy produced another double-double performance to pace Fairmont's effort. Lardy generated game-leading totals of 19 points and 18 rebounds to complement three steals.
Tracy Thiesse contributed nine points and six rebounds to the Cardinals' effort, while Madison Geerdes supplied six points and three steals. Alex Christianson pulled down 14 rebounds to go with three points, while Kristen Campe chipped in three points.
The Cardinals connected on 13 of 39 field goals from 2-point distance, 3 of 11 from behind the 3-point arc and scorched the nylon nets on 9 of 11 free throws.
Fairmont (1-8) travels to New Ulm on Friday, Jan. 4, while Rocori (7-3) hits the road to Fergus Falls next Friday night.
Fairmont posted a 48-14 victory over Sauk Rapids-Rice during junior varsity girls basketball tournament action in the St. Cloud Tech Classic on Friday in St. Cloud.
Courtney Mosloski netted 12 points to top the Cardinals' winning ways, Haley Harder supplied 11 points, while Sophie Shelgren chipped in eight points.
Mt. Lake Area Tour
Lakeview 81, Truman/Martin Luther 74 - Derek Larsen and Max Horner each netted 18 points to steer the Lakers to a seven-point victory over the BluejayKnights during the third-place game of the Mountain Lake Area Holiday Tournament on Friday in Mountain Lake.
Sam Geistfeld topped all scorers by delivering a game-high 22 points for TML, in addition to hauling in seven rebounds.
Cade Ekstrom supplied 15 points and distributed five assists for the BluejayKnights, Jeremy Smith netted 13 points, while Alex Weihe scored 10 points.
DaMarko Thomas grabbed 12 rebounds to top TML, which hit 17 of 25 free throws on the game. Lakeview made 20 of 31 attempts from the charity stripe.
Truman/Martin Luther (4-5) plays host to Sleepy Eye St. Mary's on Thursday, Jan. 3, in Northrop.
Westbrook-Walnut Grove 65, Truman 54 - Paige Erickson scorched the Mountain Lake Area gymnasium's nets for a game-leading 33 points to guide the Chargers to an 11-point decision over the Bluejays during the third-place game of the Mountain Lake Area Holiday Tournament on Friday.
Mady Johnson supplied 10 points for WWG, which made 10 of 12 free throws on the game.
Brooke McDonald neared double-double territory to top Truman's effort. McDonald scored 20 points, pulled down nine rebounds and pocketed five steals.
Cleo Maloney contributed 18 points and six rebounds to the Bluejays' cause, while Mikala Maloney and Briannia Pearson each distributed five assists.
Truman connected on 10 of 12 free throws, 19 of 35 shots from 2-point range and 2 of 6 behind the arc.
Truman (0-9) plays Granada-Huntley-East Chain on Thursday, Jan. 3, at East Chain School.