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Staples-Motley holds off late rally by Braves

The Menahga boys basketball team never led in a 63-53 loss.

Isaiah Schultz and Sivert Klefsaas combined to hit seven 3-pointers as Staples-Motley built a 15-point lead midway through the second half before holding off a late rally by the Menahga boys basketball team for a 63-53 win at Menahga on Monday, Jan. 18.

Two 3-pointers by Schultz and a trio of 3-pointers by Klefsaas sparked the Cardinals to a 23-12 lead. Connor Korvela and Charlie Hodge countered with 3-pointers for Menahga in the early going. A layup by Hodge and back-to-back 3-pointers by Jared Tolkkinen pulled the Braves to within 28-26 at the half.

A jumper by Hodge kept the Braves within 30-28 before Staples-Motley went on a 17-4 run as 3-pointers by Klefsaas, Schultz and Chandler Braith produced a 47-32 advantage. The Cardinals led 41-36 before a pair of 3-pointers by Hodge and a 3-pointer by Nick Wurdock cut the gap to 51-47 with 5:22 to play. A layup by Tolkkinen kept the Braves within 53-49 with 3:36 to go before Adam Oberlander sealed the win by hitting a 3-pointer, scoring on a layup and making three free throws down the stretch.

Hodge (15), Andreas Aho (13) and Tolkkinen (12) hit double figures for the Braves, who went 7 for 24 on 3-point attempts. Aho dished out four assists and joined Hodge with five rebounds while Wurdock had three assists and three steals. Christian Johnson led the way with four steals as Menahga fell to 1-1 on the season.

Schultz (19), Klefsaas (17) and Overlander (13) led a balanced scoring attack for the Cardinals, who went 9 for 19 on 3-pointers in improving to 1-2 on the season.

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STAPLES-MOTLEY: Strickland 3 3-6 9, Brownell 1 0-0 2, Braith 1 0-0 3, Schultz 8 0-0 19, Klefsaas 6 1-1 17, Oberlander 5 2-6 13. Totals: 24 for 43 (FG), 6 for 13 (FT).
MENAHGA: J. Tolkkinen 5 0-0 12, Hodge 5 2-2 15, An. Aho 3 7-9 13, Litzau 0 2-2 2, Wurdock 3 0-2 7, R. Tolkkinen 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 1-2 1, Pietila 0 0-0 0, Korvela 1 0-0 3. Totals: 17 for 54 (FG), 12 for 17 (FT).
Halftime: S-M 28, Menahga 26. Three-pointers: Braith 1, Schultz 3, Klefsaas 4, Oberlander 1, J. Tolkkinen 2, Hodge 3, Wurdock 1, Korvela 1. Team fouls: S-M 15, Menahga 15. Rebounds: Menahga 20 (Hodge 5, An. Aho 5, Wurdock 3, Korvela 3, J. Tolkkinen 2, Litzau 1, R. Tolkkinen 1). Assists: Menahga 11 (An. Aho 4, Wurdock 3, J. Tolkkinen 2, Johnson 1, Litzau 1). Steals: Menahga 11 (Johnson 4, Wurdock 3, R. Tolkkinen 2, J. Tolkkinen 1, Hodge 1). Turnovers: S-M 19, Menahga 7.
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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