Vikes beat Barnesville, Breck in front of home audience

Brady Petznick looks for a shot against Breckenridge Jan. 19. He scored 14 for the Vikings. Background, Ian Fahje, left, and Charlie Larson.

The Pelican Rapids boys basketball team hosted two Heart O’ Lakes conference rivals last week as Barnesville came to town Jan. 17 and Breckenridge Jan. 19. 

Tanner Tollerud shoots for the Viking boys, against Breckenridge Jan. 19.

The Vikings came into the week on a three-game losing streak and a 1-3 conference record, so they were looking to get back on track and into the mix in the conference race once again.

Pelican scored the first five points of the game against Barnesville, and they were up 22-12 midway through the first half. Hot outside shooting was the theme of the first half for the Vikings as they extended the ten-point lead to fifteen at the half, 40-25. 

They were able to increase the lead to as much as twenty-one points in the second half as they never trailed in the game and posted a 66-52 win over the Trojans.

“It was a good effort tonight from our guys on both ends of the floor as we were able to slow Barnesville’s offense down which was a big key,” head coach John Gullingsrud said. “We were efficient on offense as we moved the ball well and shot it well which gave us some much need confidence on that end.”

Larson notches best performance, scoring 20

 Charlie Larson had his best offensive night of the season as he poured in a team-high 20 points while making four threes.

Ian Fahje had 16 to go with 6 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks, and Luke Sjolie was also in double figures with 10. Treyvon Benson had 6 assists to lead the Vikings. As a team, Pelican Rapids was 25-42 (60%) overall from the field and made 12-20 (60%) threes. Barnesville won the rebounding battle by a 26-24 margin.

Viking boys hold on to beat Breckendridge 

Breckenridge was up next, and the Cowboys were able to take the lead early with five quick points out of the gate. 

Pelican responded to take their first lead at 10-9 as the rest of the first half was a back-and-forth affair with both teams exchanging the lead. With the game tied at 26 with two minutes left in the half, the Vikings rattled off seven straight points and went into halftime with a 33-28 lead after the Cowboys hit a two-pointer at the buzzer. 

Treyvon Benson, left foreground, passes the ball off to Charlie Larson, past Breckenridge defenders Jan. 19. Larson scored a combined 36 points over two games last week.
Driving to the basket Jan. 19, Pelican’s Luke Sjolie.

Pelican Rapids took control to start the second half as they extended the lead to 45-32 and maintained that lead the rest of the way as they went on to win by a score of 70-57.

 “It took us a little bit of time to settle in on offense as shots weren’t falling for us early and Breckenridge was doing some things on defense that we needed to adjust to,” coach Gullingsrud commented. “We picked things up in the second half as multiple players stepped up on the offensive end as we had four guys in double figures by the end of the game which was great to see.”

Williams, Pretznick  top scorers 

Hunter Williams led the way with 19 points, while fellow senior Brady Petznick came off the bench with 14 points as well. 

Sophomores Larson and Treyvon Benson were also in double figures with 16 and 11 points, respectively. Larson had a team-high 9 rebounds, Tanner Tollerud had 6 assists, and Benson had 3 steals to lead the Vikings. 

Pelican Rapids shot 29-58 (50%) overall and made 3-15 (20%) of their threes. 

They had 13 steals on the night and outrebounded the Cowboys 34-24.

Pelican boys now 9-5 

With the two wins, Pelican Rapids improved to 9-5 overall on the season and 3-3 in the HOL conference. They have one game next week as they travel to Frazee on Thursday night.