Lady Vikings earn tourney title with exciting win over West Central

The Pelican Rapids High School girls basketball team, with the first place trophy after defeating West Central Area Dec. 29.

The Pelican Rapids girls basketball team won the Minnesota National Bank holiday classic by defeating West Central Area 51-49.  

“We started the game and ended the game strong to help us earn a victory,” said coach Brian Korf.

West Central Area made a 3-point basket to score the first basket of the game, and then Kelsey Isaman responded with two free-throws to get the Vikings on the board.

The Vikings outscored the Knights 12-5 over the next six minutes of the game to lead 15-8. “We did a nice job of running the floor and attacking the basket early in the first half,” said coach Korf.

During the last twelve minutes of the first half, the Vikings were outscored 25-10. West Central Area went to a box and 1 defense, and the Vikings struggled on the offensive side of the court.

At halftime, West Central Area led Pelican Rapids 33-25.

Down 36-25, Anna Roisum scored on a baseline jumper to cut the lead to nine.  

The Knights responded with a basket and a free throw to lead by twelve points.  

Down by twelve points around the twelve-minute mark, Ellie Welch responded with a 3-pointer to cut the lead back to nine points.  

With back-to-back baskets from Roisum and Hazel Haugrud, the Vikings cut the lead to five points 39-34.  

With under six minutes in the game and Vikings down 42-38, Morgan Korf found Welch by the basket to cut the lead to two points, 42-40.  

Over the next two minutes, the Knights outscored the Vikings 7-2.

Down 49-42 with under four minutes of the game, Isaman drained a jumper, and then Roisum drained a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 49-47 with three minutes left in the game.  

Haugrud tied the game up at 49 with a 15-footer. Both teams had their chances to take the lead until 30 seconds left in the game.  

Vikings had the ball, and Welch drove to the basket and found Isaman open near the hoop for a basket. With Isaman’s basket, the Vikings led 51-49. The Knights had a shot at the buzzer but did not drop.  

Pelican Rapids shot 36% from the field, and West Central Area shot 45% from the field. At the free throw line, the Vikings shot 42.9% (6 for 14), and the Knights shot 66.7% (10 for 15). “It was not one of our better nights of shooting,” said coach Korf.  

Coach Korf was very pleased with the turnovers, as the Vikings only turned the ball over 11 times and forced 25 West Central Area turnovers. “We were very pleased with the way we valued the basketball and forced turnovers tonight,” said coach Korf.  

Roisum led the Vikings with 16 points, including a couple of big shots down the stretch. Korf scored all 11 points in the first half.   Isaman scored 10 points, including the game-winning basket at the end of game. Welch scored 7 points, and Haugrud scored 4 points. Megan Guler added 2 points, and Grace Backstrom chipped in 1 point. 

Leading the Vikings in rebounding was Welch with 10 rebounds. Roisum had 9 rebounds, and Isaman grabbed 7 rebounds for the Vikings.  

Korf led the Vikings with 5 assists, and Haugrud and Welch dished out 4 assists each.  

Leading the Vikings in steals was Korf with 4 steals and Welch with 2 steals.  

Pelican Rapids (8-1) will play at Underwood on Tuesday and will host Hawley on Thursday in a Heart O’ Lakes conference matchup.