When you are chasing the No. 4- and 5-ranked teams in the state, every point and every victory counts.
That is the lot of Jed Carlson's Hawley Nuggets, who trounced Wadena-Deer Creek 83-55 Monday night in a non-conference tilt at WDC Elementary.
"We actually didn't play that bad, Hawley is just that good," WDC Head Coach Tom VanErp said. Our pregame goal was to keep turnovers to 18 or less. We had 18."
VanErp was disappointed with his team's 34 percent shooting but he credited the taller Hawley team with great defense and pointed out that the Nuggets shot 52 percent from the field.
"We may end up playing them again in the first round of the section tournament," VanErp observed. "They are solidly the No. 3 seed behind Perham and Pelican Rapids while WDC is still sitting at No. 6 in Section 8AA."
Good pressure helped the Heart O' Lakes Conference club surge to a 44-26 lead over the Wolverines by halftime. Devon Pekas came up with a monster game, scoring 30 points. The 6-4 forward landed some big assists from 6-2 forward Josh Johnson and 6-6 center Jacob Crompton who scored 12 and 11 points respectively. Carlson saw 11 of his players contribute to the scoring windfall. The Nuggets are averaging 66 points a game this season making them the No. 2 scoring threat in the HOL behind Pelican Rapids. HOL runner-up Perham is averaging 63 points a game. The Nuggets are 11-6 overall and are sitting in third place in the tough HOL with a 5-3 mark.
The Wolverines had eight players scoring with Ben Birch canning a team-high 24. The Nuggets held Evan VanErp to nine points and Ryan Redfield, who in usually a scoring factor on his home court, to just four points.
The loss dropped the Wolverines to 6-13 overall.
D. Leaf 2, J. Harms 5, B. Steichen 2, A. Regnier 1, B. Ellefson 7, J. Johnson 11, D. Pekas 30, Z. Filler 6, G. Moe 4, J. Schenck 3, J. Crompton 12.
A. VanErp 5, R. Redfield 4, B. Birch 24, E. VanErp 9, J. Sherman 4, M. Paulson 4, J. Price 3, J. Salge 2.
Hawley 44 39 -- 83
WDC 26 29 -- 55
Fouls: WDC 19; Hawley 23
Detroit Lakes 62,
Wadena-Deer Creek 32
The red-hot Lakers kept their Mid-State record perfect Friday in handing the Wolverines a 30-point loss.
The Lakers limited WDC's scoring to just three players. Evan VanErp tacked up 17 while Ben Birch added 13 and Jacob Salge contributed two.
Robb Flint saw 12 of his Lakers enter the scoring column with Kirk McLeod and Joe Mollberg scoring 11 apiece.
The Lakers held a 45-31 edge on the boards and grabbed 19 offensive rebounds. VanErp and Birch both pulled down eight.
The Lakers improved to 12-4 overall and 7-0 in the Mid-State. Robb Flint's club was 4-3 at the end of December.
B. Birch 13, E. VanErp 17, J. Salge 2. Totals: 12/4 4-10 32
DETROIT LAKES (62)
K. McLeod 11, R. Hutchinson 7, D. Long 2, J. Mollberg 11, B. Labat 4, L. Morgan 7, K. Singer 4, J. Hoganson 3, N. Groth 2, N. Singer 2, J. Lyngaas 1, A. Eiter 4. Totals: 22/4 6-11 62
WDC 18 14 - 32
DL 29 33 - 62
Fouls: WDC 14; DL 14