Below, the Lady Vikings after the win over Concordia in the consolation round of the State High School Tourney.

After opening loss, Lady Vikes come out red hot to defeat Concordia 

By Steve Frendin

Guest Contributor 

The year was 1969. It was a Sunday in March. Pelican Rapids boys basketball had suffered its first defeat of the season the previous evening against Crosby-Ironton, one game short of the State Tournament. 

At the community get together in the gym, coach Rex Haugen was the first to speak, “Early this morning, the sun came up in the east, same as usual.”

Teams can respond two different ways to the first loss of a season, and consolation play. They can be despondent and lethargic, or they can dig deep and remain determined.

The 2020 Pelican Rapids girls chose the latter and came out “red hot” claiming a 9-0 in the opening minutes of the consolation game with the Concordia Beacons.

For the Vikings, shots were falling and rebounds were grabbed. Pelican fans also remained determined and vocal. They left no doubt about supporting their team, especially the student section.

At halftime, Pelican led 32-22, Greta Tollefson had 13, Anna Stephenson had 10 and Ryley Paulson had 9. Shooting percentage was much better than the night before at 55%.

For Concordia, Ivane Tensaie was on fire in the first half with 13 points, keeping the score somewhat close.

Halftime adjustments are often significant in sports, especially in football and basketball. Evidently Coach Korf and his Viking girls made some adjustments at the half, Ivane Tensaie failed to score in the second half.

Pelican kept the pressure on in the second half. Concordia made several 3 pointers to keep the score somewhat respectable.

In the scoring summary, Tollefson ended the night with 28 points and 8 rebounds. Stephenson had a double-double with 15 points, 12 rebounds, and Ryley Paulson had a strong game scoring 11 points. 

The final score was Pelican Rapids 59, and Concordia Academy 45, the first State Tournament win for a Pelican girls basketball team.

 The Vikings shot 46% from the field (8-39) and made 4-of-10 threes for 40%. 

Concordia Academy shot 34.7% (17-49) from the field and made just 23% (6-26) of their threes.  

No doubt about it, they are the top Pelican girls team of all time.

Congratulations girls, coaches, and fans!