Pelican overcomes E. Grand Forks; outscored heavily by high-ranked Perham

Pelican’s Hunter Williams puts up a shot over a Perham defender.

The Pelican Rapids boys basketball team hit the road for two section 8AA games this past week, and first up was the East Grand Forks Green Wave Jan. 3.

The game started out with both teams exchanging leads until the Vikings scored to go up 15-14. A 16-4 run from there increased the Pelican Rapids lead to 31-18 with four minutes left in the first half. East Grand Forks responded with a 10-4 run to go into halftime down 35-28. The Vikings started out the second half with a 9-2 run to take their biggest lead of the game at 44-30. The game of runs continued as the Green Wave battled back with a 17-3 scoring run to tie the game at 47 with five minutes to go. 

Three other ties would occur in the last few minutes of the game, with the last one at 55-55 before Pelican Rapids was able to take control and come away with a 64-59 win.

“This was a really nice win on the road for our guys as East Grand Forks plays a tough brand of basketball that is fast paced and we thought we handled it well for the most part,” head coach John Gullingsrud stated. “We looked like we had control at a few different points tonight, but they kept coming back and fortunately never took the lead from us. It was good to see us make some winning plays in the last three minutes as Ian Fahje hit some big shots, Charlie Larson hit some big free throws, and we were able to get some stops on defense to get out with the win.” 

Three Vikes shoot in double digits

Fahje and Larson led the scoring charge for the Vikings with 18 and 11 points, respectively. Treyvon Benson was also in double figures with 10 points, while Luke Sjolie and Hunter Williams chipped in 9 and 8 points apiece. 

Larson also had a team-high 7 rebounds, and Fahje led the way with 4 assists. Pelican Rapids finished the night 29-53 (51%) from the field and made 6-20 (30%) of their three-point attempts. They narrowly outrebounded EGF 34-31. 

Up next was a trip to Perham to take on the Vikings’ Heart O’ Lakes conference rival. 

Top five ranked Perham overpowers Pelican boys

The Yellowjackets came into the game undefeated and with a top-five ranking in class AA in the state of Minnesota. Perham showed their strength early as they raced out to a 21-7 lead. Pelican Rapids was able to cut the lead to 24-15 midway through the second half, but Perham extended their lead back out and went into halftime up 34-19. The Vikings had no comeback effort in the second half as the Yellowjackets clamped down on the defensive end, limiting Pelican Rapids to ten second-half points as they cruised to a 64-29 conference win.

 “We definitely weren’t up to the challenge tonight as we were unable to keep up with the pace and effort that Perham played with,” commented coach Gullingsrud. “Hopefully this was an eye opener for our guys tonight and we are able to respond to the loss as we head into next week.”

The offensive woes were evident in the box score for Pelican Rapids, who was led in scoring by Charlie Larson’s 8 points. 

They were held to 23% shooting (11-47) and only connected on 1-18 (6%) threes. 

They were also outrebounded by Perham 45-22.

Pelican Rapids has two games this week as they will travel to Hawley on Thursday night and will play Oak Grove on Saturday in Perham at noon as part of the Breakdown Crossover Classic.