Jared Bartels

Jared Bartels keeps his man in front of him during Wahpeton’s Friday, Jan. 24 home win.

It wasn’t the prettiest game from Wahpeton this season, but the Huskies did enough to keep the Valley City, North Dakota, Hi-Liners in check to take a 62-50 home win on Friday, Jan. 24. Valley City went down swinging and constantly answered when they needed to get back into striking position to keep the game interesting.

“I told the boys beforehand, ‘They’re going to play hard until the end. We’re going to have to make sure we sustain everything we do,’ and they just kept making run after run,” Wahpeton coach Jeff Ralph said. “It seemed like if we got the lead up to 15, boom, right back to nine again. Credit to them for some kids hitting shots.”

Whenever the Hi-Liners would cut the lead back down to single digits, Dez Munezero would answer with a big bucket. The junior was slashing to the hoop early and often, putting on a show with his finishing skills.

“Several times in the game he took the game over. He needs to do that more,” Ralph said. “I thought he was the difference in the game. His play on both ends was really good.”

The Hi-Liners’ standout scorer, Peyton Zaun, poured in 18 points but needed a lot of shots to do it. Corbin Cornelius showed why he’s the go-to lockdown defender as he held the Valley City sniper at bay.

“We did a great job on (Peyton) Zaun. He’s one of the leading scorers in the EDC and one of the top three or four 3-point shooters in the league,” Ralph said. “Corbin didn’t hardly score tonight, but I told him, ‘Corb, you use all of your energy to stop that guy.’ I thought he played great tonight.”

Blake Matejcek turned in a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The senior big man’s outing was all the more impressive considering he was battling illness prior to and during the game.

“He’s sicker than a dog right now. I really thought before the game that he wasn’t going to play,” Ralph said. “He gave one heck of an effort and I think once he just settled on getting to the middle and going to his right, he was really good.”

Wahpeton (4-6) and Breckenridge will duke it out at the Blikre Activity Center. Tip-off is set for 6:45 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25.

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