On the sidelines at a game earlier this season, Coach John Gullingsrud, (kneeling), and the Pelican Rapids High School boys basketball team. PHOTO BY DRAGO NEMEC

The Pelican Rapids boys basketball team played two games last week as they traveled to Barnesville January 31 for a Heart O’ Lakes conference game with the Trojans and followed that up with another road game the following night at Wadena-Deer Creek. 

They were also slated to play Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton on Tuesday night, but that game was postponed to February 4 due to the cold weather.

The Vikings were in control for much of the game against Barnesville as they led 33-30 at the half and increased their lead to eight points early in the second half. However, the Trojans closed the game on a 20-9 run which gave them a 62-55 win over Pelican Rapids.

 “We did a lot of nice things in the first half and the early part of the second half as we were aggressive offensively and did a nice job of communicating and rebounding defensively,” head coach John Gullingsrud said. “Barnesville switched up their defense in the middle of the second half and we were unable to make the necessary adjustments against it to maintain our offensive flow. We needed to make a big shot or get a stop on defense when they went on their run, but we just couldn’t get it done.”

 Fahje nets 21 points 

Logan Fahje had a big game for the Vikings as he led the offense with 21 points to go with 6 rebounds. McHale Korf was the only other plaer in double figures as he had 11 points and a team high 6 assists and 8 rebounds. 

As a team, Pelican Rapids made 24-54 (44%) of their field goal attempts and 4-14 (29%) of their threes. Barnesville outrebounded the Vikings 39-35 and also had a large advantage at the free throw line where they went 20-32 while the Vikings were 3-8.

 Vikings come from behind to outscore Wadena 

Against Wadena-Deer Creek, Pelican Rapids found themselves down early to the Wolverines 17-6. 

After a timeout, the Vikings picked up their defensive intensity and were able to convert some steals into baskets as they surged ahead for a 33-26 halftime lead. The Wolverines cut the lead to five midway through the second half, but Pelican Rapids held on for a 65-53 win. 

The win broke a four game losing streak for the Vikings as they improved to 6-10 overall.

“We really came out flat against Wadena-Deer Creek and were probably fortunate we didn’t fall behind by more than we did,” Coach Gullingsrud stated. “We did like the response of our guys after our slow start as we were able to turn up our defensive intensity and get back into the game. We were able to push the lead to fourteen in the second half, but we need to get better at closing out games by taking care of the basketball and executing offensively.” 

Korf, Rutherford, Sytsma, Christenson in double-digits

Pelican Rapids had a balanced scoring night as four players were in double figures led by McHale Korf’s 16 points. Jayden Rutherford was next with 15, Hayden Christenson had 13 and Eli Sytsma had 11. Logan Fahje had a team high 7 rebounds and 5 assists and Korf led the team with 4 steals. 

The Vikings shot 24-51 (47%) overall and 6-13 (46%) on threes. They lost the rebounding battle to the Wolverines 37-32.