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Strong inside attack lifts Wolverines past Frazee

Wadena-Deer Creek's Lucas Doyle fights inside for a hoop against Frazee. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal

The Wadena-Deer Creek boys basketball team has yet to find the perfect mix of offense and defense, the second half of its 74-59 victory over Frazee, maybe an indication of what could happen when that takes place.

The Wolverines slowed down the Hornets in the second half, building up a double-digit lead on its way to a 74-59 victory over the Frazee Hornets at the Wadena High School gymnasium.

“I didn’t think we played the best game we have played, but we played well enough to get things done,” Wadena-Deer Creek head coach Kevin Tumberg said. “We have to find that mix between offense and defense where we have them on the same night. So far this season, we haven’t found that. It’s going to be a fun game when we do.”

Noah Ross gets the shot inside against Frazee.

Noah Ross led all scorers with 28 points for the Wolverines, while Ryan Anderson poured in 15 points. Bereket Loer finished with 13 to help the Wolverines snap a two-game skid.

The Wolverines controlled the glass in the second half, especially on the defensive end, limiting the Hornets to one shot most of their second half possessions.

“We stressed that at halftime. We have to hold them to one shot,” Tumberg said. “It’s been a stress of ours all season long. The second half it showed it makes a big difference when you hold them to one shot. Their attempts go way down and therefore their percentage goes down and it keeps the score low.”

The Wolverines found success pounding the ball inside with Anderson in the first half. He scored 13 of his 15 points in the opening half. Ross had success inside as well, often using drives and floaters in the lane, helping the Wolverines attack and build a first half lead.

Bereket Loer drives to the hoop.

“I thought we had a size advantage. I thought our bigs were more physical and better than they were,” Tumberg said. “That was definitely an attack point. Luckily, it worked out and we were able to kick it out and hit some outside shots. That’s exactly how you want it to go.”

The Wolverines led wire-to-wire, building up a 10-point first half lead early, before the Hornets cut it down to five points. However, the Wolverines stretched it back to seven at the break.

However, turnovers continued to plague the Wolverine offense. Protecting the basketball is one of the keys Tumberg said the team needs to work on. He added the team needs to work on forcing the opposition into turnovers as well.

Chris Hughes paced the Hornets with 17 points. Cole Fleisher added nine points in the loss for Frazee.

The Wolverines improve their mark to 4-4 overall. They get ready for a three-game road swing when they travel to Pillager when they return to Park Region Conference play on Jan. 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Frazee 32 27--59

Wadena-DC 39 35--74

Frazee-Chris Hughes 17, Cole Fleisher 9, Broden Fleisher 7, Joby Geifer 2, Eddie Croucher 4, Vincent Helmers 6, Reid Eckert 8, Jack Courneya 6

3-pointers: Hughes, Fleisher 2. Free Throws: 4-4. Team Fouls: 12. Fouled Out: None

Wadena-DC-Bereket Loer 13, Matt Goeden 7, Hunter Hawkins 2, Thomas Quincer 5, Lucas Doyle 4, Noah Ross 28, Ryan Anderson 15

3-pointers: Loer 3, Ross 2. Free Throws: 11-17. Team Fouls: 5. 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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