ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Three-point shooting sparks Menahga boys in win over Verndale

A 16-5 run beginning late in the first half was followed by a 25-6 run midway through the second half that sparked the Menahga boys basketball team to an 81-58 Park Region Conference win over Verndale at Menahga on Jan. 31.

A 16-5 run beginning late in the first half was followed by a 25-6 run midway through the second half that sparked the Menahga boys basketball team to an 81-58 Park Region Conference win over Verndale at Menahga on Jan. 31.

Three-pointers by Charlie Hodge and Victor Aho, a pair of layups by Gavin Hillukka, and a jumper by Hodge gave the Braves a 14-6 lead.

Verndale used a 3-pointer by Daryl Wellnitz and a pair of 3-pointers by Tate Bounds to cut the gap to 25-24. Jonah Howard and Wade Berttunen had two layups apiece for the Braves during that stretch.

Three-pointers by Thomas Litzau and Hodge and a jumper by Hillukka gave Menahga a 34-27 lead at the half before layups by Hillukka and Howard and a 3-pointer by Hodge at the start of the second half pushed the lead to 41-29 with 15:21 to play.

Another 3-pointer by Hodge, two layups by Berttunen, and layups by Howard and Hodge were offset by two 3-pointers by Verndale's Zach Brownlow as the Pirates stayed with 52-43.

ADVERTISEMENT

Menahga responded with a 25-6 run to put the game away. A layup by Litzau, two 3-pointers by Berttunen, a 3-pointer and a layup by Hodge, two layups by Mason Hotakainen, and a three-point play by Hillukka gave the Braves a 72-47 advantage. Two inside baskets by Howard and a 3-pointer by Berttunen extended the lead to 79-49 with 2:17 to play.

Hodge finished with five 3-pointers and 21 points while Hillukka added 16 points and five assists. Berttunen added 14 points and six assists while Howard had a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds. Aho grabbed nine rebounds while Howard and Hotakainen had four assists each as the Braves made 11 of 26 3-pointers to improve to 3-6 in the conference and 8-11 overall.

Brayden Vertina (11), Caden Elbert (10) and Brownlow (10) scored in double figures for the Pirates, who made only 6 of 34 3-pointers in falling to 1-7 in the conference and 4-11 overall. Verndale's only conference win was a 55-47 victory over Menahga on Dec. 15.

Henning tops the conference standings at 9-0 while New York Mills (7-2), Pillager (6-2) and Wadena-Deer Creek (5-4) follow. Sebeka is also 3-6 while Bertha-Hewitt rounds out the Park Region standings at 1-8.

VERNDALE: Wellnitz 1 0-0 3, Steege 2 0-0 4, Vertina 4 2-2 11, C. Elbert 4 2-2 10, Weniger 0 1-4 1, Ismil 2 0-0 4, M. Elbert 4 0-0 8, Bounds 2 1-2 7, Brownlow 4 0-2 10. Totals: 23 for 78 (FG), 6 for 12 (FT).

MENAHGA: Tolkkinen 0 0-0 0, Hodge 8 0-0 21, Litzau 2 0-0 5, Howard 6 1-2 13, Hillukka 6 3-5 16, Hotakainen 2 0-0 4, V. Aho 2 0-0 6, A. Aho 0 0-0 0, Berttunen 6 0-2 14, Treinen 1 0-0 2, Heegard 0 0-0 0, Leritz 0 0-0 0, Pietila 0 0-0 0. Totals: 33 for 61 (FG), 4 for 9 (FT).

Halftime: Menahga 34, Verndale 27. Three-pointers: Wellnitz 1, Vertina 1, Bounds 2, Brownlow 2, Litzau 1, Hodge 5, Hillukka 1, V. Aho 2, Berttunen 2. Team fouls: Verndale 10, Menahga 13. Rebounds: Menahga 45 (Howard 12, V. Aho 9, Hillukka 6, Hodge 5, Berttunen 5, Hotakainen 4, A. Aho 2, Treinen 1, Litzau 1). Assists: Menahga 25 (Berttunen 6, Hillukka 5, Hotakainen 4, Howard 4, Hodge 3, A. Aho 2, V. Aho 1). Steals: Menahga 4 (Hodge 1, Hillukka 1, Litzau 1, Berttunen 1). Blocked shots: Menahga 2 (V. Aho 2). Turnovers: Verndale 8, Menahga 18.

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
What To Read Next
The Detroit Lakes-based collective also includes players from Frazee-Vergas, Perham, New York Mills and Park Rapids.
Warm temperatures and partial sun greeted 33 drivers, crews and riders for the opening day. Plus, a huge gathering of fans looked on in the special area created for fans’ viewing pleasure.
If accepted, the school would join Barnesville, Breckenridge, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, Hawley, Frazee, Pelican Rapids and Perham in 2024-25.