Still reeling from the death of former classmate Nick?Verdoes over the weekend, the Redwood Valley boys basketball team summoned up all of its courage to put forth its strongest effort of the season in an 80-64 rout of host Windom Area Tuesday night in a key early season SWC?showdown.
The Cardinals (6-0, 4-0) played an inspired game against a formidable Windom Area team that entered the contest with just one loss.
Junior guard Steve Runkel went off for 11 first half points, Alec?Koster knocked down a trio of three’s and before you knew it the Cardinals were up 36-17.
While the Cards seemed to be on a mission, the Eagles (4-2, 1-1) couldn’t buy a bucket in the first half, shooting just 6-for-27, including an 0-for-10 performance from standout senior Jake Holt.
Late in the first half Beau Stough - who had a career night - would bury a three and Mike Busack’s long distance bomb to end the half would put the Cards up 46-24.
There was no second half collapse for the pumped up Cards as they maintained a 20-point advantage for the rest of the game en route to a huge SWC road victory.
Busack paced the Cards with 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists as he just missed out on a triple-double.
Stough had a huge night scoring 22 points to go along with seven rebounds and a blocked shot.
Koster finished with 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds and did not turn the ball over.
Runkel had 11 points and three boards and R.J.?Juell finished with five points.
Redwood Valley continues to shoot well from the floor, this time hitting 45 percent of its shots (24-of-53) and going 20-of-27 from the charity stripe.
Lee Holt would pace the Eagles with 27 points and Jake Holt finished with 19.
On Friday night the Cardinals struggled on the road at winless Jackson Co.?Central but would rally from down 11 for a 77-75 victory.
The Cards trailed 39-31 at the half but would rally thanks to a herculian effort from Busack who poured in a career-high 45 points to go along with 13 rebounds, four steals and three assists.
He finished 14-of-29 from the floor, hit six three’s and was 11-of-12 from the charity stripe.
Adam Hengel added nine points, Stough had six points, Koster finished with five points and three assists and Mitch Fischer added six points and two boards.
Jordan Ford pitched in with four points and five assists.

Redwood Valley        80
Windom Area           64
Cardinal scoring - Busack 23, Stough 22, Koster 13, Runkel 11, Juell 5, Ford 2, Hengel 2, Kohout 1, Fischer 1
Eagle scoring - L. Holt 27, J. Holt 19, Pfeffer 10 Lovell 4, Cuppy 2, Remmers 2