Boys basketball: Wadena-Deer Creek defeats crosstown rival New York Mills

The Wadena-Deer Creek boys basketball team continues their extended winning streak against a struggling New York Mills team at home on Friday night.

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Wadena-Deer Creek's Kobe Synder attempts to save a loose ball in the Wolverines 60-40 victory over the Eagles at Wadena on Jan. 27, 2023.
Nick Leonardelli / Wadena Pioneer Journal

WADENA – After five straight road games, the Wolverines were happy to be back home with a Park Region Conference showdown against neighboring New York Mills.

Wadena-Deer Creek (11-3, 7-1 Park Region) secured its seventh straight win, defeating the Eagles (1-15, 1-7 Park Region) 60-49.

“The biggest thing is we are happy we got the win,” WDC head coach Kevin Tumberg said. “New York Mills has scared me all year. I know they were 1-14 coming into the matchup, but they have been in a lot of their games. They were beating a tough Browerville team, up 15-2 at one point, and they just beat Sebeka by 20 at home. New York Mills is a team that has been improving like crazy, so they were definitely a team that we knew we had to bring it with all of our energy and intensity. In the first half, we thought we didn’t really have it. In the second half, we made some little adjustments and the guys came ready to play.”

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Wadnea-Deer Creek's Josiah Kallevig and Phillip Ross smother a New York Mills shooter in the Wolverines 60-49 victory over the Eagles at Wadena on Jan. 27, 2023.
Nick Leonardelli / Wadena Pioneer Journal

New York Mills head coach Mike Baune thought his team played hard, even though the results didn’t go their way.

“I am really happy, especially with the first half,” Baune said. “My guys really battled and played incredibly well. It’s really showing that we are taking that next step. With playing some tough teams, that volcano is going to explode. With as well as we played in the second half, you have to give credit to Wadena, who took it a notch up, hit a ton of tough shots and beat us to loose balls.”


The first half was evenly matched, with the Wolverines leading 28-26 heading into the locker room. The second half started with a 10-0 run by the Wolverines, which proved too much to overcome for the Eagles. WDC's biggest lead of the game came in the second half up 56-37.

“The biggest thing was we were getting pushed around like crazy,” Tumberg said. “We told the guys they have to toughen up and push back because if they were going to continue to get bullied around, we were in for a long fight. The boys came out and pushed them back a little bit. We thought, offensively, there was too much standing around and forcing. We got more involved with passing and cutting more, which helped to open things up for us in that second half.”

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Wadena-Deer Creek's Isaac Hamaan directs traffic in the Wolverines' 60-49 victory over New York Mills at Wadena on Jan. 27, 2023.
Nick Leonardelli / Wadena Pioneer Journal

“At halftime, everyone was frustrated, coaches included,”Tumberg said. “The boys came out and responded to themselves and the coaching staff being frustrated. We haven’t had many games like this. It’s usually games where that frustration boils over into a loss. The boys were able to keep their heads strong and come out with a strong second half.”

WDC’s Teshe Loer finished with a game-high 16 points and added six rebounds. Isaac Hamann (13) and Peyton Church (11) also scored in double digits. Josiah Kallevig finished as the team’s top rebounder with seven and two blocks. New York Mills’ Brayden Ehnert led his team with 13 points. Kobe Synder had five of Wolverines’ 12 steals.

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New York Mills' Teagan Lausten saves the ball from going out of bounds in the Eagles 60-49 loss to Wadena-Deer Creek at Wadena on Jan. 27, 2023
Nick Leonardelli / Wadena Pioneer Journal

Having five straight road games is always difficult, but the Wolverines did not back down from the challenge.

“With playing so many games on road, you get to bond with each other because you are on the bus all the time,” Tumberg said. “There is really no place to go after school because you have to get on the bus. These kids were spending seven to eight hours after school together, which has helped to develop a bond. The boys are really gelling together, and we have to keep that going.”

WDC 28 32- 60

NYM 26 23- 49


WADENA-DEER CREEK- Teshe Loer: 16 points, 6 rebounds; Lyrik Haug: 2 points, 2 rebounds; Kobe Synder: 5 points, 2 rebounds, 5 steals; Isaac Hamann: 13 points, 1 rebounds, 2 steals; Josiah Kallevig: 9 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks; Peyton Church: 11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals; Phillip Ross: 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block; Nathaniel Peterson: 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal

NEW YORK MILLS- Hunter Holtti: 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals; Brayden Ehnert: 13 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block; Braxton Ehnert: 3 rebounds; Finn Roder: 2 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals; Teagan Lausten: 12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block; Sam Kopveiler: 7 points, 5 points, 3 blocks; Will Oakes: 4 points, 3 rebounds

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