Wolverines derailed by Nuggets 74-65
Evan VanErp trumped all scorers with 32 tallies Thursday night but the Hawley Nuggets prevailed on their home court 74-65 to advance in the South Sub-Section 8AA basketball tournament.
The WDC junior dropped in five of his team's 10 three-pointers, three deuces and went 11-of-18 at the foul stripe. VanErp had 27 of his game points in the first half.
The Wolverines went into the contest ranked sixth while the Nuggets took a No. 3 ranking into the game. The Nuggets clobbered WDC 83-55 earlier in the season on the Hawley court.
Halftime found the Wolverines leading 44-41, a dramatic turnaround for a 15-point first half in their regular season finale with Perham.
The Nuggets adjusted in the second half and held the Wolverines to just 21 points.
Devon Pekas led the Nuggets with 31 points while Ben Ellefson scored 23 and Jacob Crompton added 11. The Nuggets hit on 24 of 56 field goals for a 43 percent average and converted on 21 of 27 free throws for a healthy 78 percent.
Ben Birch scored 12 points for the Wolverines who were 24 of 56 for a 43 percent clip and canned 15 of 23 free throws. Birch completed a double-double by hauling down 11 of his team's 27 rebounds. The Nuggets collected 40 boards.
"We played a super game," WDC Head Coach Tom VanErp said. "This team palyed very well down the stretch of the season. I am very proud of how we battled with Detroit Lakes late in the season and made huge improvements to nearly beat the Nuggets."
The Wolverines closed out their season with a 9-17 record.
B. Ellefson 23, J. Johnson 2, K. Hinrichs 2, D. Pekas 31, Z. Filler 2, L. Stoa 1, G. Moe 2, J. Crompton 11. Totals: 17/5 21-27 74
WADENA-DEER CREEK (65)
A. VanErp 5, R. Redfield 9, B. Birch 12, E. VanErp 32, J. Sherman 5, M. Paulson 2. Totals: 14/10 15-23 65
Wadena-Deer Creek 44 21 -- 65
Hawley 41 33 -- 74