Wahpeton got the balanced offensive attack they’ve been looking for all season in their Tuesday, Jan. 14 home battle with Fargo North.
The Huskies put five players in double figures as they held off the Spartans for a 71-60 victory. Wahp came out the gates firing to build a 28-10 lead in their second win in a row.
“How about a start like that once and a while for us? Got a good run going and I thought it was a combination of everybody,” Wahpeton coach Jeff Ralph said. “It was a chip in from everybody in that opening start and that was throughout the game. We were happy with three guys in double figures the other night. I thought the boys made plays tonight and that’s a huge step forward for us.”
Despite coming off the bench to start the game, Dez Munezero came in and took charge of the court. The junior was getting to the bucket, pulling up with confidence and also knocked down a pair of 3s for 16 of his team-high 18 points in the opening half.
“What a spark off the bench. Bridger (Hansen) played well and started, but got two fouls and Dez came in. Maybe it’s good that Bridger burned the two fouls so Dez didn’t have to get them,” Ralph said. “He had (Carson) Critchley on him, who’s not very mobile. He’s got a torn ACL. We wanted to attack him and that was something Dez took advantage of.”
Joining Munezero in double figures were Jared Bartels (16 points), Blake Matejcek (12 points), Tyler Tollefson (11 points) and Corbin Cornelius (10 points). After only making a pair of free throws in the opening half, Cornelus took over with eight out of his team’s 11 points in a key stretch in the second half to quench a North run. The senior drilled back-to-back 3s and followed his own miss with a putback to cap off the flurry.
“There’s Corb again, being aggressive with the ball in his hands. His aggression with the ball has been so much better the last three or four games. It’s something we hope is going to continue.”
Cornelius also made his impact felt on the glass with a dozen boards to notch a double-double for the second game in a row.
“Corbin maybe wasn’t our best player tonight, but played pretty good. When he wasn’t scoring early in the game, he was rebounding it,” Ralph said. “We always talk about how he needs to score more, but they made some switches to stop Dez and Blake and we got some action from him.”
Wahpeton (3-5) stays home for a 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17 home battle with Grand Forks Red River.
“Back to back at home and an effort like this on Friday night and it could be a good result for us,” Ralph said. “We have to have this effort and make plays and that’s what we’re going to have to do against that team, too.”
Wahpeton Stat Leaders
Dez Munezero- 18
Jared Bartels- 16
Blake Matejcek- 12
Corbin Cornelius- 12
Kobe Thimjon- 1
Tyler Tollefson- 1