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Wolverines gain a pair of Park Region Conference wins

Wadena-Deer Creek's Ryan Anderson drives to the basket and gets the layup against New York Mills. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal1 / 3
Wadena-Deer Creek's Matt Goeden draws the foul when he drives to the basket against New York Mills. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal2 / 3
Wadena-Deer Creek's Jonathan Pantages gets up for the layup against New York Mills during Wadena-DC's victory over New York Mills. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal3 / 3

Noah Ross finished with 21 points, leading the Wolverines to a 49-42 victory over the Bertha-Hewitt Bears on Jan 26 in Bertha.

The win moves the Wolverines to 9-7 overall and 7-1 in the Park Region Conference. The Wolverines sit on top of the conference with a game looming with Henning on Thursday, Feb. 1 in Henning. The Hornets sit behind the Wolverines by a game in the standings, but the Wolverines won the previous matchup between the two teams when they defeated the Hornets 84-76.

The Wolverines are 2-0 in a stretch of five straight Park Region Conference games that should play a key role in determining a conference champion. The Wolverines are first in the conference at 7-1, with Henning and Pillager on their heels at 6-2. Pillager owns a win over both Wadena-DC and Henning, but has dropped a pair of games to Verndale and Menahga.

Ross finished with 21 points, doing most of his damage in the second half. He finished with 13 second half points and was a perfect six-for-six at the free throw line. The Wolverines only missed one free throw, hitting 13 of 14 attempts, which was key as Bertha-Hewitt tried to comeback in the second half.

It was a cold shooting night for both teams. The Bears put up 62 shot attempts and only made 17. They were 3 of 22 from the 3-point line in the game, shooting 13 percent from beyond the arc.

The Wolverines were 16 of 46 from the field, hitting on four of their 17 3-pointers. They made up for their struggles at the line and inside. The Wolverines shot for 41 percent when they were attacking the interior.

Cade Kapphan finished with eight points, while Hunter Hawkins added seven for the Wolverines.

Wadena-DC improves its season mark to 9-7 overall. They return to action with a Feb. 1 contest with the Hornets at 7:30 p.m.

WDC 29 20--49

B-H 14 28--42

WDC-Jonathan Pantages 3, Cade Kapphahn 8, Hunter Hawkins 7, Lucas Doyle 2, Noah Ross 21, Ryan Anderson 4, Henry Fitzsimmons 2, Cooper Folkestad 2

3-pointers: Pantages, Kapphahn 2, Ross. Free Throws: 13-14. Team Fouls 12. Fouled Out: None

B-H-Christian Baumgartner 3, Andrew Becker 7, Luke Follmer 13, Adam Bauch 3, Charles Bakken 4, Brett Jansen 12

3-pointers: Baumgartner, Becker, Bauch. Free Throws: 5-13. Team Fouls: 12. Fouled Out: None

Wadena-DC 68, New York Mills 64

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.

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.

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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