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Key stops and late free throws help Wolverines

Wadena-Deer Creek's Ryan Anderson hits the layup during the Wolverines' 68-64 victory over the New York Mills Eagles on Jan. 23. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal

The Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines hit late free throws and got timely stops on defense in picking up a 68-64 Park Region Conference boys basketball victory over New York Mills on Jan. 23 in Wadena.

Noah Ross led the way with 37 points and hit eight free throws in the second half, helping Wadena-Deer Creek pull away from the Eagles.

Jonathan Pantages

It was an entertaining battle between Ross and New York Mills’ Brady Bauck. Bauck finished with 26 points, helping the Eagles stick with the Wolverines and grab the lead throughout the second half.

The Eagles used a 13-0 run early in the second half to take a 45-41 lead on the Wolverines. The run featured a rare 4-point play after Derin Gaudette sank a triple and was fouled. However, The Wolverines answered and tied the game on a bucket by Noah Ross.

The two teams would trade the lead back and forth until there was two minutes and 45 seconds remaining. The Wolverines hit from the free throw line, taking a seven-point lead, 64-57, with an 8-0 run. Ross had four points, while Matt Goeden and Ryan Anderson had a pair.

Matt Goeden fights through traffic.

The Eagles cut the lead to four on a 3-pointer by Bauck, but it was too little, too late for the Eagles in their upset bid of the Wolverines.

One of the keys for the victory was the way the Wolverines handled the ball. They limited their turnovers, finishing with just seven of them. They were able to come up with some key stops late, forcing turnovers and missed buckets by the Eagles.

The Wolverines hit on 41 percent of their shots from the field and were 63 percent from the free throw line. While the free throw percentage was down, they hit 10 of 12 in the final two minutes of the game.

NYM 30 34--64

WDC 37 31--68

NYM-Derin Gaudette 10, Bryce Mattson 3, Russel Arno 11, Logan Menze 3, Jonas Baune 11, Brady Bauck 26

3-pointers: Gaudette 3, Arno 3, Bauck 4. Free Throws: 6-11. Team Fouls: 19. Fouled Out: Mattson

WDC-Jonathan Pantages 6, Matt Goeden 9, Cade Kapphahn 3, Noah Ross 37, Ryan Anderson 7, Henry Fitzsimmons 6

3-pointers: Pantages, Ross 5, Fitzsimmons 2. Free Throws: 14-22. Team Fouls: 9. Fouled Out: None

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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