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Braves rely on pressure defense to defeat Bears

The Menahga boys basketball team forced 26 turnovers, hit 12 3-pointers to open Park Region Conference play with 75-31 victory.

A full-court pressure defense forced 26 turnovers, including 20 in the first half, and the Menahga boys basketball team hit 12 3-pointers in coasting to a 75-31 victory over Bertha-Hewitt in the Park Region Conference opener at Menahga on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Tristan Aho scored off a rebound, converted a layup, hit a 3-pointer and made two free throws to give the Braves a quick 9-1 lead. Two layups by Jonah Howard along with a jumper and a 3-pointer by Wade Berttunen made it 21-7 before two 3-pointers by Victor Aho, 3-pointers by Jared Tolkkinen and Charlie Hodge, a basket off a rebound by Howard, and a layup by Hodge extended the advantage to 43-15 at the half.

Menahga opened the second half with a 17-0 run as a layup by Brock Berttunen, a 3-pointer and a jumper by Hodge, 3-pointers by Wade Berttunen and Keegan Heegard, and a layup by Wade Berttunen pushed the lead to 60-15 with 13:12 to play. After the Bears followed with an 8-0 run, 3-pointers by Hodge, Wade Berttunen and Andreas Aho and two baskets by Tristan Aho sparked a 15-2 run and made it 75-25 with 5:36 remaining.

Tristan Aho’s 16 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals led the Braves, who made 12 of 31 3-pointers in the game. Wade Berttunen added 15 points and six rebounds, Hodge scored 13 points, Victor Aho had 10 points, and Howard chipped in 10 points and eight rebounds. Brock Berttunen grabbed seven rebounds as Menahga improved to 2-0 on the season.

Austin Bauch scored 10 points for the Bears, who fell to 0-3 on the season.

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BERTHA-HEWITT: Rach 2 0-0 6, Weishalla 1 4-5 6, Bartels 2 0-2 4, Wachlin 1 3-6 5, Bauch 3 2-3 10, Adams 0 0-2 0. Totals: 9 for 45 (FG), 9 for 18 (FT).
MENAHGA: Hodge 5 0-0 13, T. Aho 5 5-6 16, V. Aho 2 4-4 10, W. Berttunen 6 0-1 15, B. Berttunen 1 0-0 2, Tolkkinen 1 0-0 3, An. Aho 1 0-0 3, Howard 3 4-4 10, Pietila 0 0-0 0, Wurdock 0 0-0 0, Treinen 0 0-0 0, Heegard 1 0-0 3, Leritz 0 0-0 0, Al. Aho 0 0-0 0, Noland 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 for 63 (FG), 13 for 15 (FT).
Halftime: Menahga 43, B-H 15. Three-pointers: Rach 2, Bauch 2, Hodge 3, T. Aho 1, V. Aho 2, W. Berttunen 3, Tolkkinen 1, An. Aho 1, Heegard 1. Team fouls: B-H 15, Menahga 21. Rebounds: Menahga 46 (T. Aho 9, Howard 8, B. Berttunen 7, W. Berttunen 6, Leritz 4, Hodge 3, V. Aho 2, An. Aho 2, Wurdock 2, Noland 1, Heegard 1, Treinen 1). Assists: Menahga 20 (T. Aho 6, V. Aho 3, W. Berttunen 3, B. Berttunen 2, An. Aho 2, Howard 1, Heegard 1, Hodge 1, Leritz 1). Steals: Menahga 14 (T. Aho 3, W. Berttunen 3, Howard 2, V. Aho 2, Hodge 2, Tolkkinen 1, Heegard 1). Blocked shots: Menahga 3 (T. Aho 1, V. Aho 1, B. Berttunen 1). Turnovers: B-H 26, Menahga 19.
Related Topics: BOYS BASKETBALL
1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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