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Girls Basketball: Menahga dominates early in 66-30 victory against Verndale

The Braves' defense provides the spark in the Park Region Conference victory.

AnjalieAhoVern.JPG
Anjalie Aho's 12 points and four steals help Menahga defeat Verndale in a Park Region Conference game on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise
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MENAHGA – Menahga’s defense set the tone early as the Braves built a 28-3 lead en route to a 66-30 Park Region Conference girls basketball victory over Verndale on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

The Braves forced 33 turnovers and had 18 steals in the win.

Layups by Anjalie Aho and Mackenzie Anderson and a three-point play off a steal by Aho gave Menahga a quick 7-0 lead. Three layups by Erica Tormanen, a layup off a steal and a 3-pointer by Anna Pietila, and a layup by Anderson made it 20-3 at the 11:00 mark before layups by Leah Weaver, Anderson, Joie Koll and Janelle Hendrickson provided a 28-3 cushion with 7:41 to play in the first half. The Braves carried a 38-19 advantage into the break.

A jumper and a 3-pointer by Aho, a layup by Weaver, and a three-point play by Tormanen pushed the lead to 48-23. Layups by Tormanen, Weaver and Aho and a 3-pointer by Hendrickson made it 57-27 before a layup by Tormanen, two layups by Hendrickson, and a basket off a rebound by Taija Pinoniemi pushed the lead to 65-27 with 4:06 left.

Tormanen (15), Aho (12) and Hendrickson (11) scored in double figures for the Braves. Hendrickson had seven rebounds, Anderson had seven steals, Aho had four steals, Addie Pinoniemi dished out three assists and Weaver blocked two shots as Menahga improved to 2-1 in the conference and 2-4 overall.

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Katie Blaha scored 12 points for the Pirates, who fell to 0-3 in conference play and 0-6 overall.

VERNDALE: Uselman 0 2-2 2, Johnson 2 3-6 7, Blaha 4 4-8 12, Ludovissie 3 3-5 9. Totals: 9 for 28 (FG), 12 for 21 (FT).

MENAHGA: Anderson 4 0-1 8, Aho 5 1-2 12, J. Hendrickson 4 2-2 11, Weaver 3 0-0 6, Koll 1 0-0 2, M. Hendrickson 0 0-0 0, T. Pinoniemi 2 1-2 5, Tormanen 7 1-1 15, A. Pinoniemi 0 1-2 1, N. Pinoniemi 0 0-0 0, Pietila 2 1-2 6. Totals: 28 for 52 (FG), 7 for 12 (FT).

Halftime: Menahga 38, Verndale 19. Three-pointers: Aho 1, J. Hendrickson 1, Pietila 1. Team fouls: Verndale 13, Menahga 19. Rebounds: Menahga 24 (J. Hendrickson 7, Koll 3, Tormanen 3, M. Hendrickson 2, T. Pinoniemi 2, Anderson 2, Weaver 2, Aho 1, N. Pinoniemi 1, Pietila 1). Assists: Menahga 10 (A. Pinoniemi 3, Tormanen 2, M. Hendrickson 1, Aho 1, T. Pinoniemi 1, Anderson 1, J. Hendrickson 1). Steals: Menahga 18 (Anderson 7, Aho 4, Weaver 2, J. Hendrickson 2, Pietila 2, A. Pinoniemi 1). Blocked shots: Menahga 2 (Weaver 2). Turnovers: Verndale 33, Menahga 21.

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