Viking boys roar back from 42-20 halftime deficit to defeat Wadena 74-71

The Pelican Rapids boys basketball team traveled to Wadena  December 20 for their fourth straight road game to start the season.

It was a tale of two halves as the Wadena Deer-Creek Wolverines jumped all over the Vikings in the first half and raced out to a 42-20 halftime lead.

Pelican Rapids turned the tables on WDC in the second half to come from behind and take a thrilling 74-71 win.

“I am not sure the reason, but we did not come out ready to play in the first half and played quite poorly,” stated head coach John Gullingsrud. “They jumped out to an 11-0 lead and took control of the first half from there. We didn’t do a whole lot right in the first half as we turned it over, didn’t rebound, and gave them too many easy looks at the basket which they took advantage of. I was very proud of our guys for battling back in the second half though. We very easily could have given up, but the guys came out with focus and energy and played very well in the second half.”

The Vikings were led by Oakley Kress, who had 19 points and 6 assists. Jacob Gottenborg had 16 points and 14 rebounds, Donovan Young had 11 points and Nick Schermerhorn had 9 points while going 6-6 from the free throw line in the final two minutes of the game.

As a team, Pelican Rapids shot 28-69 (41%) from the floor and made 7-16 (44%) threes. They were outrebounded by the Wolverines 53-35 but forced WDC into 32 turnovers.

“To be down by over 20 points on the road and find a way to win is a big accomplishment for us,” said Coach Gullingsrud. “You have to do a lot of things right in order to overcome a deficit like that, and our guys continually made plays in the second half. Carlan Haugrud got us started off with a three pointer to open the second half, and Oakley Kress made some big shots before fouling out to close the gap as well. I hope we are able to carry the focus and control that we played with in the second half over into future games.”