Wahpeton had Fargo Shanley right where they wanted them doing their Tuesday, Jan. 28 conference road battle. The Huskies led for most of the game, but the Deacons found their groove in the final minutes to pull out a 70-64 victory.
“We had a turnover here and there and it really came down to the last seven possessions of the game and we only scored on one of those possessions,” Wahpeton coach Jeff Ralph said. “We were down three with the ball and 30 seconds to go and I think on my part I should’ve called a timeout, but I didn’t want them to get set in their defense. We got a shot off, but it wasn’t a very good shot when the shot clock expired.”
The Huskies led by two at halftime, but their coach didn’t think that was a true reflection of how well they started the game.
“We had a good start at the beginning again, which I think is big on the road. A couple of these road games we’ve had where we’ve started behind and then you’ve got to battle back and that’s rough,” Ralph said. “I think we played better than them in the first half and were disappointed in a two-point lead. It just seemed like the gym was dead and we brought some energy to it and it just didn’t really pay off that much in the first half.”
Tyler Tollefson continued to pour it on for Wahpeton. The junior sank five 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 24 points.
“Tyler was just on fire last night,” Ralph said. “He went to the basket hard and had a great ball game.”
Corbin Cornelius also got his stroke going for WHS. The senior drilled four triples in a 16-point outing. He was also second on the team in rebounding with half a dozen boards.
“Corb shot it good from 3, too, and was aggressive. He rebounded the ball really well,” Ralph said. “Those two guys (Cornelius and Tollefson) have been carrying us here in the last couple weeks and I think we’re going to have to do a little more here down the stretch to get them some more looks because they’re shooting so good.”
Dez Munezero struggled getting his shots to drop throughout the night, but still came through for a strong floor game. The junior floor general led the team in rebounds (eight), assists (six), steals (four) and had the team’s lone block.
Next up for Wahpeton (5-7) is a 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31 trip to West Fargo High School.
“We’re going to have to really play well. They’ve got a big post kid who scores 13 points a game and he’s a hard guard and then a couple other kids that cause trouble,” Ralph said. “I think we’re playing good. I’m happy with how we’re doing stuff. We’ve got to fine-tune a little more, but we’re getting there.”
Wahpeton Stat Leaders
Tyler Tollefson- 24
Corbin Cornelius- 16
Jared Bartels- 8
Isaac Loosmore- 8
Dez Munezero- 8
Blake Matejcek- 4
Bridger Hansen- 3