Peterson scores 20 points as Braves defeat Pillager

The Menahga girls basketball team improved to 4-0 on the season with a 65-33 Park Region Conference victory.

Martha Peterson hit six 3-pointers and scored 20 points in leading the Menahga girls basketball team to a 65-33 Park Region Conference victory over Pillager at Menahga on Friday, Jan. 22.

The win kept the Braves tied atop the conference standings with a 3-0 record while Pillager fell to 2-1. Henning also has a 3-0 record while New York Mills shares third place with Pillager at 2-1.

“The girls have been playing very well to start the year. We have been playing great team defense and have been moving the ball really well on offense,” said Menahga head coach Cody Pulju. “These girls are extremely unselfish and share the ball and play very well together. If we can continue to move the ball and lock in on defense, we will have a chance to compete every single night.

Peterson hit a pair of 3-pointers and a jumper during a 15-0 run that turned a 6-5 deficit into a 20-6 advantage with 10:41 to play in the first half. Maryn Pinoniemi hit her second 3-pointer of the game and scored on a layup while Kate Hendrickson chipped in a jumper during that run. Hendrickson scored off a rebound, Pinoniemi scored off a steal, Peterson hit another 3-pointer, and Pinoniemi and Janie Tormanen had layups as the Braves carried a 32-13 advantage into the intermission.

Two 3-pointers by Martha Peterson, a pair of inside baskets by Tormanen, a 3-pointer by Lela Peterson and a jumper by Amanda Lake gave Menahga a 49-25 lead. Two layups by Hendrickson, a jumper by Lake, layups by Pinoniemi and Lela Peterson, a 3-pointer by Martha Peterson, and a basket off a rebound by Timbr Berttunen capped off the scoring for the Braves.


Pinoniemi (14) and Hendrickson (10) also scored in double figures for the Braves, who forced 23 turnovers while making 9 of 31 3-pointers. Tormanen grabbed nine rebounds and Hendrickson had seven rebounds with both dishing out four assists. Pinoniemi also had four assists and led the way with five steals as Menahga improved to 4-0 on the season.

Juliana Ewald scored 12 points to lead the Huskies, who fell to 3-1 overall.

“The girls have brought a ton of energy to every practice and have continued to improve every day. It's been really fun to see their excitement to be back in the gym every day,” said Pulju. “This is the most balanced and deep team that we have had in many years. Hopefully we can continue to be healthy and continue to improve every day throughout the season.”

PILLAGER: Hopman 1 2-2 4, Ewald 5 0-0 12, Woidyla 1 1-2 4, O. Peterson 1 0-0 2, Schmit 0 3-4 3, Grimsby 1 3-4 6, Schommer 1 0-0 2. Totals: 10 for 38 (FG), 9 for 12 (FT).
MENAHGA: M. Pinoniemi 6 0-0 14, L. Peterson 2 0-0 5, Berttunen 1 0-0 2, M. Peterson 7 0-0 20, J. Tormanen 4 1-2 9, K. Hendrickson 4 2-2 10, J. Hendrickson 0 0-0 0, E. Tormanen 0 0-0 0, A. Pinoniemi 0 0-0 0, Schoon 0 0-0 0, Lake 2 1-2 5, Pfeifer 0 0-0 0, Kicker 0 0-0 0. Totals: 26 for 61 (FG), 4 for 6 (FT).
Halftime: Menahga 32, Pillager 13. Three-pointers: Ewald 2, Woidyla 1, Grimsby 1, M. Pinoniemi 2, L. Peterson 1, M. Peterson 6. Team fouls: Pillager 12, Menahga 13. Rebounds: Menahga 33 (J. Tormanen 9, K. Hendrickson 7, Lake 5, M. Peterson 3, M. Pinoniemi 3, Pfeifer 3, Berttunen 2, L. Peterson 1). Assists: Menahga 17 (K. Hendrickson 4, J. Tormanen 4, M. Pinoniemi 4, M. Peterson 2, L. Peterson 1, Berttunen 1, Pfeifer 1). Steals: Menahga 12 (M. Pinoniemi 5, K. Hendrickson 2, L. Peterson 2, J. Tormanen 1, Berttunen 1, Pfeifer 1). Blocked shots: Menahga 2 (J. Tormanen 1, Berttunen 1). Turnovers: Pillager 23, Menahga 12.

1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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