Barnesville overpowers; fall to Breck in overtime
Two Heart O’ Lakes conference opponents traveled to the Al Siegle Activities Center this past week, and both the Barnesville Trojans and Breckenridge Cowboys came away with hard fought victories over the Pelican Rapids boys basketball team.
The two losses drop the Vikings to 5-5 overall on the season and 3-5 in conference play.
A tightly contested first half where the lead changed sides multiple times came to an end with the Trojans leading 33-32.
Barnesville extended their lead to eleven points midway through the second half at 53-42 before the Vikings were able to claw back into striking distance as they found themselves down by three 57-54 with four minutes to play. Barnesville closed the game with a 15-6 scoring run to come away with a 72-60 win.
Barnesville a tough foe
“Barnesville played a much tougher style of basketball than we were capable of playing as they handled us on the glass and shot fifteen more free throws than we did,” head coach John Gullingsrud commented. “Fortunately we were able to stay in the basketball game for the majority of it by hitting some threes, but we kind of lived and died by the outside shot which usually isn’t the way you win games.”
Jayden Rutherford led Pelican Rapids with 16 points, while Brayden Ecker had 12 as he knocked down 3 threes. Logan Fahje had 10 points, and both McHale Korf and Tanner Tollerud had 9 as Tollerud also connected on 3 threes. Fahje had a team high 9 rebounds, and Korf had 6 rebounds and 6 assists.
The Vikings made 22-51 (43%) of their shots overall and 12-32 (38%) of their three point attempts. Barnesville had 40 total rebounds and Pelican Rapids had 26.
Pelican falters after early lead
Another back and forth contest was in store for the Vikings when they hosted the conference leading Breckenridge Cowboys.
After racing out to an early 10-2 lead, Pelican Rapids found themselves trailing at the half 36-33.
Breck edges Vikes in overtime
The Cowboys scored the first six points of the second half to extend the lead to nine before the Vikings responded and eventually took the lead at 53-52 with eight minutes to go.
The lead changed back and forth down the stretch and the Cowboys had a 68-66 advantage as McHale Korf was fouled on a three point attempt with no time left on the clock.
After missing the first free throw, Korf made the next two to send the game to overtime.
Breck took control in OT
Breckenridge took control in overtime as they made 7-10 free throws to come away with a 79-74 win.
“We battled in this one tonight and although we took some steps forward in certain areas we’ve been working on, we were unable to get stops defensively or execute offensively in key moments of the game,” coach Gullingsrud said. “We left a lot of points out there on the free throw line as well, and you just can’t do that in a close game like this. We liked the effort we played with, but we need to be smarter on both ends of the court in key situations down the stretch.”
The Vikings were led by 19 points from both Logan Fahje and Jayden Rutherford. McHale Korf chipped in with 11 points and Tanner Tollerud had 9 on 3 threes for the second straight game. Fahje had a team high 9 rebounds and 4 assists, while Hunter Williams had 8 rebounds and Brayden Ecker had 6.
As a team, Pelican Rapids shot 25-58 (43%) overall from the field and made 7-22 (32%) of their threes. They outrebounded Breckenridge 43-38.
Logan Fahje scores for the Viking boys, Feb. 19 against Breckenridge. In the backgrouund, Pelican’s number 20 Hunter Williams.