WADENA — The Wolverines and Huskies were tied up at 23-23 at halftime, but Pillager's ability to make the few shots they were given brought them a 52-47 victory Tuesday, Jan. 11.
Leading the Wolverines was Payton Rondestvedt with 16 points and Teshe Loer with 15. Noticeably absent from the Wolverines lineup was big scorer Josiah Kallevig. The Wolverines made just 33% of their shots, including 31% of their free throws.
Rondestvedt hauled in the ball well bringing in eight rebounds and three steals. Defensively, both teams were not quick to give an opening.
"Defensively I thought we played a solid game," head coach Kevin Tumberg said. "To give up fewer than 30 points per half is doing a pretty good job."
Pillager struggled to find holes in the Wolverines solid defense as they got just 37% of their shots to fall. But they had seven players adding to the scoring, showing a well rounded bench. Their 6-foot 4-inch Tytan Skeesick put up a solid game with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
"We struggled with some turnovers tonight and guys trying to do too much," Tumberg added. "It’s a busy week, so we have to have a quality practice tomorrow prior to three game days in a row.”
The Wolverines showed an impressive burst in the waning minutes as they closed the gap from 10 points to just two at one point. They were forced to foul their way to the finish and Pillager capitalized on those free shots.
Wolverine senior Josh Dykhoff has been getting his feet wet in the varsity lineup this season and performed aggressively against the Huskies, forcing turnovers. He said this was a game the team could have won but he hopes they rise up to earn wins in the next three games they play. The group has to take on four teams this week including Aitkin on Thursday, Sebeka on Friday and Hancock on Saturday.
Pillager 23 29 – 52
Wadena-Deer Creek 23 24 – 47
Teshe Loer 15, Josh Dykhoff 4, Payton Rondestvedt 16, Peyton Church 7, Phillip Ross 5. FG 18-53 (33%), FT 5-16 (31%). 3-point 6-19 (31%). Conference: 2-3. Overall: 3-5. Next: hosts Aitkin 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13.
Jacob Dixon 2, Grayson Beard 10, Domanick Cabak 6, Zion Loucks 4, Tytan Skeesick 16, Elijah Miller 7, Parker Schaefer 7. FG 21-60 (35%), FT 7-11 (63%). 3-point 3-13 (23%). Conference: 2-1. Overall: 4-4.