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Loer's late bucket lifts Wadena-DC in overtime

Wadena-Deer Creek's Bereket Loer drives to the hoop in the first half. Loer hit the game-winning basket with 1.8 seconds to go in overtime. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal

It was a night for the seniors, but it was a sophomore who came up with the biggest basket of the game when the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines needed it the most. Bereket Loer’s runout layup with 1.8 seconds left in overtime, secured the 75-73 victory for the Wolverines over the Upsala Cardinals on Feb. 27 on Senior and Parent’s Night in Wadena.

While Loer’s basket played a gigantic role in the outcome, it wouldn’t have happened if it was for the blocked shot by Noah Ross on the defensive end. Ross blocked the shot from Jorgan Kiley, sent an outlet pass to Cade Kapphahn, who found Loer breaking to the basket, who got the layup for the final two points.

Loer led all Wadena-DC scorers with 19 points, despite spending much of the second half on the sidelines due to foul trouble. He picked up his fourth foul early in the half. Ryan Anderson finished with 18 points, while Noah Ross added 17.

Ryan Anderson fights through traffic for a basket.

The Wolverines struggled from the 3-point line, hitting just one of their 14 attempts, but had a lot of success in the paint. Anderson was a machine attacking inside, finishing 7 of 15 from the field, while grabbing a team high 10 rebounds. The Wolverines had success working the ball inside for the most part. Ross was 7 of 17 from the field, while Loer was 7 of 18. However, the Wolverines struggled at the charity stripe. Their free throw woes allowed Upsala to chip away at the lead. The Wolverines led by as many as 15 points in the second half. However, Adam Thieschafer, Riley Johnson and Kiley continued to keep the Cardinals in the game. Thieschafer finished with a game high of 28 points. Kiley finished with 19, 15 of them in the second half and overtime. Johnson scored all 12 of his points in the second half before fouling out.

Cade Kapphahn launches a deep shot.

It was Kiley’s deep 3-pointer which sent the game to overtime. The Wolverines had a shot at a last second basket, but Ross’s attempt rang in and out.

It was tough for either team to get in much of a flow in the game. The two teams combined for 52 fouls, 61 free throw attempts and 35 turnovers. However, the Wolverines were able to overcome those miscues with a late defensive stand and key basket by Loer.

The Wolverines picked up their second straight win after dropping four straight games. The Wolverines improved their season mark to 13-12 overall, while the Cardinals fell to 2-23.

UPS 21 43 9--73

WDC 25 39 11--75

UPS: Adam Thieschafer 28, Bennett Westrich 7, Levi Lampert 5, Jorgan Kiley 19, Riley Johnson 12, Devin Prokott 2

3-pointers: Thieschafer 3, Westrich, Lampert, Kiley 5, Johnson. Free Throws: 18-29. Fouls:24. Fouled Out: Johnson

WDC: Bereket Loer 19, Jonathan Pantages 4, Cade Kapphahn 6, Hunter Hawkins 7, Lucas Doyle 2, Noah Ross 17, Ryan Anderson 18, Alexander Burckhard 2

3-pointers: Loer. Free Throws: 16-31. Fouls: 28. Fouled out: Pantages

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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