Viking Tim Guler, pictured in action here earlier this season, a total of 43 points in two road games last week.

The Pelican Rapids boys basketball team went on the road for two Heart O’ Lakes conference games last week as they traveled to Barnesville Jan. 18 and Breckenridge Jan. 20.

 The Vikings started out strong against Barnesville as they jumped out to an early 8-3 lead on the Trojans’ home floor. 

The Trojans chipped away at that lead and eventually took a 33-25 lead of their own before Ian Fahje hit a three pointer just before halftime to cut the Barnesville lead to 33-28 at the half. Pelican Rapids scored the first six points of the second half and then took the lead for good at 52-51 with only a few minutes left in the game as they held on for a 64-59 victory over the Trojans.

 “It is really difficult to go into Barnesville and come away with a win, so we were really proud of the effort and resolve the boys played with tonight,” head coach John Gullingsrud stated. “It was a close game throughout with the lead changing hands multiple times. Ian Fahje and Luke Sjolie both made huge threes in the second half for us and our defense really buckled down in the last couple of minutes to force Barnesville to take some tough shots.”

Rebounds boost Vikings 

 Pelican Rapids had three players reach double figures in scoring led by Timmy Guler’s 20 points. Ian Fahje finished with 16 and Luke Sjolie had 12 as both players knocked down four three pointers in the game. 

Hunter Williams had a team high 7 rebounds, while Tanner Tollerud led with 7 assists and Guler also had 6. 

As a team, the Vikings shot 24-52 (46%) overall from the floor and made 11-26 (42%) of their threes. They were outrebounded by Barnesville 32-28.

Pelican wins on road at Breckenridge 

Brady Petznick #22 on defense under the basket in Breckenridge.

With the win at Barnesville, the Vikings looked to keep their undefeated conference record going at Breckenridge, who was searching for their first conference win. 

The Cowboys were the more aggressive team early and it showed on the scoreboard as they held an 11-8 lead midway through the first half. Pelican Rapids closed the half with a 12-5 run to go into halftime with a 20-16 lead. Breckenridge continued to hang around in the second half and were withing one at 31-30 before a 10-1 run by the Vikings finally gave them some breathing room. 

They were able to maintain that ten point lead down the stretch as Pelican Rapids came away with a 55-43 road win.

 “We missed some shots early on tonight which allowed Breckenridge to dictate the pace of the game, especially in the first half,” coach Gullingsrud commented. “We didn’t have the same defensive intensity we have grown accustomed to seeing with this group and had difficulties staying in front of the drives to the basket by the Cowboys all night long. Fortunately we had that little run in the second half to open up a lead that we were able to protect in the last few minutes.”

Guler tops scoring with 23 

Timmy Guler once again led the Vikings’ scoring effort as he had a game high 23 points to go along with 3 rebounds and 3 assists. 

Tanner Tollerud was also in double figures with 10 points and Brayden Ecker had a solid all-around game with 5 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals. 

Pelican Rapids was 23-52 (44%) overall from the field and made 6-20 (30%) from the three point line. They held a slim 27-26 edge on the boards and forced Breckenridge into 18 turnovers.

Viking boys undefeated in HOL conference; on home court all week

The two road wins last week improved the Viking boys overall record on the season to 10-3 and their HOL record to 5-0 as they have now won six straight games. 

They have a busy week ahead with three games at home. The Vikings hosted DGF Jan. 25, who are currently in second place in the conference. 

Frazee will come to town on Thursday night, Jan. 27, and they will finish the week with an afternoon contest with NCE-UH on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. 

Pelican Rapids also has a quick turnaround with a Monday night home game (1/31) with Wadena-Deer Creek next week.