Seven seniors in spotlight at March 3 Pelican home game

Seniors on the Pelican Rapids High School basketball team were honored at the March 3 home game against Hillcrest Lutheran.
Pictured with their parents at center court, from left, Peyton Blakeway, Tanner Tollerud, Hunter Williams, Tydan Marich, Brady Petznick, Jayden Ripley, and Ian Fahje.
Ian Fahje, #30, flips a pass off to Hunter Williams, wide-open for a shot under the basket.

The Pelican Rapids boys basketball team wrapped up regular season play last week with three games. 

First up was a trip to Ada to face the Ada-Borup-West Cougars on Monday night.

The Vikings jumped out to an early 10-6 lead, but the Cougars responded with a 20-6 run to take a ten-point lead at 26-16. Pelican Rapids chipped away at the lead and knotted the score at 33-all going into halftime. A back-and-forth start to the second half took a turn towards Ada-Borup-West as they once again had a ten-point lead at 59-49 with six minutes left in the game. 

The Vikings chipped away at the lead and tied the game up on a Hunter Williams basket with forty-five seconds left in the game at 69-69. The Cougars were able to hit a layup with 4.5 seconds left in the game and escape with a hard-fought 73-69 win.

 “It was a good battle in Ada tonight as both teams played pretty well for the most part,” head coach John Gullingsrud stated. “We responded both times we got down by ten and gave ourselves a chance to send it to overtime, but they made one more play at the end than we did.”

Four Vikings were in double figures, led by the 20 points of Hunter Williams. Ian Fahje had 15, and both Treyvon Benson and Charlie Larson had 12. Fahje had a team-high 8 rebounds, and Benson led the way with 8 assists, while Williams was right behind both with 7 assists and 6 rebounds. Pelican Rapids made 29-58 (48%) of their shots overall and connected on 7-19 (37%) of their threes. 

They outrebounded the Cougars 31-25.

At six-foot-seven, with a long reach, Pelican senior Ian Fahje played one of his final home games March 3—shown here reachin—and towering—over a Hillcrest player.
Pelican senior Tanner Tollerud under the basket.
Viking Miguel Torres puts the ball up for Pelican, in action March 3 against Hillcrest.

Seniors honored,  but Hillcrest upends Pelican in  hard-fought clash 

Pelican’s Charlie Larson up for a lay-up against Hillcrest.

Up next for the Vikings was a home game on Friday night versus the Hillcrest Lutheran Comets, where the team would also honor their seven seniors. Peyton Blakeway, Tanner Tollerud, Hunter Williams, Tydan Marich, Brady Petznick, Jayden Ripley, and Ian Fahje were all recognized before the varsity game for their dedication and contributions to the basketball program over their careers.

The Comets jumped out to an early 8-2 lead in the game before the Vikings found their footing to take a 13-12 lead. Pelican Rapids closed the half strong and went into halftime leading 25-22. They maintained their lead until midway through the second half when Hillcrest took control and went on an 11-2 run to turn a 38-38 game into a 49-40 lead for the visiting team. The Comets didn’t allow a Vikings comeback as they ran away with a 59-45 win.

“Tough night for us as we struggled on the offensive end to get good looks and also make shots when we did get some space,” coach Gullingsrud said. “We were hoping to send our seniors out with a win as they have meant so much to our program with their hard work and selfless nature, but it wasn’t meant to be tonight.”

Hunter Williams continued his strong offensive play as he was the only Viking in double figures with 16 points to go with a team-high 8 rebounds. Fellow seniors Fahje and Petznick contributed 9 and 8 points respectively, while Treyvon Benson dished out 5 assists, and Fahje had 4 blocks. Pelican Rapids shot 18-57 (32%) overall from the field and made 3-11 (27%) of their threes. They did win the rebounding battle 36-28.

Pelican senior Brady Petznick brings the ball in, looking for a teammate March 3 against Hillcrest.
Pelican’s Hunter Williams is scrambling to keep the ball in bounds on the court.

Perham overpowers Viking boys 53-26

To close out the week and the regular season, Pelican Rapids hosted the Perham Yellowjackets in a Heart O’ Lakes conference make-up game on Saturday afternoon. 

A low-scoring first half dominated on the defensive end by both teams ended up with Perham ahead 18-11. 

Perham held a 29-20 lead with six minutes to go when the Vikings ran out of gas and allowed a 16-0 run for Perham, who would cruise to a 53-26 conference win.

 “Once again, a tough day on the offensive end for us,” coach Gullingsrud commented. “We needed to make some shots early to gain some confidence on that end, and we weren’t able to do that. Our guys played really hard today; we just couldn’t hang in there at the end of the second half.”

 Freshman Miguel Torres hit four threes for the Vikings and led the way with 12 points. Ian Fahje had 9 rebounds, Hunter Williams had 6, and Brady Petznick had a team-high 5 blocks. Pelican Rapids had a dismal day shooting the ball as they only hit on 8-39 (21%) shots overall and 5-19 (26%) of their three-point attempts. 

They outrebounded Perham 33-30.