Brady Raph scored 30 points in leading Pine River-Backus to a 77-67 victory over the Menahga boys basketball team at Pine River on Thursday, Jan. 9.

Two putbacks by Rian Struss gave PR-B an early 81 lead before consecutive 3-pointers by Raph made it 16-6. Wade Berttunen’s three-point play, a layup by Tristan Aho, and jumpers by Victor Aho and Berttunen kept the Braves within 25-16 before layups by Struss, Brady Bristow, Raph and Evan Fenstermaker gave PR-B a 33-17 advantage. Charlie Hodge scored off a steal and Andreas Aho hit a 3-pointer as Menahga trailed 37-24 at the half.

The Braves mounted a comeback as a jumper and a 3-pointer by Hodge, a 3-pointer by Wade Berttunen, a basket off a rebound by Brock Berttunen, and a layup by Jonah Howard cut the deficit to 39-36. Another 3-pointer by Hodge and a jumper by Tristan Aho kept Menahga within 44-41 before two layups by Louis Bueckers helped give the Tigers a 52-41 advantage. A 3-pointer by Hodge was followed by a 3-pointer and a three-point play by Tristan Aho as the Braves rallied to within 55-52. PR-B used a pair of 3-pointers by Raph and three-pointers by Bueckers and Bristow to increase the lead to 71-61. Three-pointers by Tristan Aho and Wade Berttunen capped off the scoring for the Braves.

Bueckers flirted with a triple-double with 15 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists while Struss finished with 12 points as PR-B improved to 7-4.

Tristan Aho’s 24 points and four assists led the Braves, who connected on 9 of 33 3-point attempts. Hodge and Wade Berttunen added 16 points each with Brock Berttunen leading the way with eight rebounds while dishing out three assists. Tristan Aho grabbed six rebounds, dished out four assists and had three steals while Howard had six rebounds and Hodge had four steals. The loss dropped Menahga’s record to 5-5.

MENAHGA: Hodge 6 1-3 16, T. Aho 7 8-10 24, J. Howard 1 1-2 3, W. Berttunen 5 3-3 16, B. Berttunen 1 1-2 3, An. Aho 1 0-0 3, V. Aho 1 0-0 2. Totals: 22 for 64 (FG), 14 for 20 (FT).
PINE RIVER-BACKUS: C. Howard 3 0-0 6, Bueckers 4 6-6 15, Raph 10 6-6 30, Fenstermaker 3 3-6 9, Struss 5 2-3 12, Bristow 2 0-1 5. Totals: 27 for 53 (FG), 17 for 22 (FT).
Halftime: PR-B 37, Menahga 24. Three-pointers: Hodge 3, T. Aho 2, W. Berttunen 3, An. Aho 1, Bueckers 1, Raph 4, Bristow 1. Team fouls: Menahga 15, PR-B 17. Rebounds: Menahga 29 (B. Berttunen 8, Howard 6, T. Aho 6, Hodge 4, W. Berttunen 2, V. Aho 2, An. Aho 1). Assists: Menahga 11 (T. Aho 4, W. Berttunen 3, Hodge 1, Howard 1, B. Berttunen 1, V. Aho 1). Steals: Menahga 9 (Hodge 4, T. Aho 3, W. Berttunen 1, V. Aho 1). Blocked shots: Menahga 1 (B. Berttunen). Turnovers: Menahga 9, PR-B 14.