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Howard scores 20 as Braves open season with 61-52 win

A 16-4 run to close out the first half sparked the Menahga boys basketball team to a 61-52 win over Grygla-Gatzke in the season opener Thursday night at Menahga.

Grygla-Gatzke's Tyler Stinar (3) and Menahga's Owen Anderson chased after a loose ball during Thursday night's game. Vance Carlson / Enterprise
Grygla-Gatzke's Tyler Stinar (3) and Menahga's Owen Anderson chased after a loose ball during Thursday night's game. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

A 16-4 run to close out the first half sparked the Menahga boys basketball team to a 61-52 win over Grygla-Gatzke in the season opener Thursday night at Menahga.

The Charges led 19-14 with 5:30 to play in the first half before Damon Howard hit three 3-pointers to give Menahga a 30-23 lead at the break.

Howard hit another 3-pointer and combined with Luke Wurdock to score 14 points in the second half to help the Braves prevail.

Howard finished with 20 points while Wurdock (9), Kirby Hrdlicka (8), Canton Matson (8) and Owen Anderson (8) combined for 33 points to lead a balanced offensive attack. Hrdlicka, Anderson and Al Pietila had five steals each, Wurdock dished out three assists, and Anderson hauled down five rebounds for the Braves.

"It is always nice to start the season off with a win, especially at home. Grygla came in with four returning starters from last season, so we knew they were going to be tough," said Menahga head coach Jeremy Nordick. "Offensively, we didn't shoot the ball that well, but that's to be expected early in the season. We need to show a bit more patience and take better shots. I felt that defensively we did some really good things throughout. We had 22 steals, so that tells me we were really active in the passing lanes and working hard. We had a few breakdowns that allowed Grygla to stay in the game, but the last few minutes we buckled down and got a few more steals to seal the deal. Overall, it was a nice win."

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MENAHGA: Howard 5 6-10 20, L. Wurdock 3 3-5 9, Hrdlicka 3 2-5 8, matson 4 0-0 8, Anderson 2 4-6 8, Steidler-Thompson 1 2-4 4, Pietila 0 4-4 4, A. Wurdock 0 0-0 0, Floyd 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 for 59 (FG), 21 for 34 (FT).

Halftime: Menahga 30, Grygla 23. Three-pointers: Howard 4. Rebounds: Menahga 24 (Anderson 5, L. Wurdock 4, Matson 4, Howard 3, Hrdlicka 3, Pietila 3, Steidler-Thompson 2). Assists: Menahga 8 (L. Wurdock 3, Pietila 2, Howard 1, Anderson 1, Steidler-Thompson 1). Steals: Menahga 22 (Hrdlicka 5, Anderson 5, Pietila 5, L. Wurdock 4, Howard 2, Matson 1). Team fouls: Menahga 24. Fouled out: Howard, Hrdlicka. Turnovers: Menahga 14.

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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