The Pelican Rapids boys basketball team won their first round game over DGF by the score of 70 to 50 but the cost of victory may have been steep as Tucker Forsgren went down early in the second half with an injury to the knee that kept him off the court for the rest of the game.
The Vikings had built up a 13 point half time lead going into half time with Forsgren only scoring on two free throws as the Rebels were sagging in to take away the Vikings’ big man’s opportunities to score. “I challenged Tucker at half time to get more aggressive on the defensive side of the court more so than the offensive side as he is so key to our defensive pressure,” commented Head Coach Doug Bruggeman. “He accepted the challenge and was really playing hard in the second when a Rebel player appeared to fall onto his leg in the second half.” Stepping up to fill the void for the Vikings was Travis Haugen. Haugen has had a very solid year and his season high 20 points came at a great time for the Vikings.
The second half saw a spirited effort by the Rebels to get back into the game but even with a three of the Viking starters taking turns sitting on the bench with three fouls and Forsgren going down they never got the lead into single digits and the Vikings finished strong both offensively and defensively to secure the win. “I am really proud of this group of players,” added Bruggeman. “They have faced the challenges of losing a really good graduating class along with their long time coach, responded to tough back to back losses at the end of January to Hawley and Perham and improved because of it and then battled through the loss of Ryan and now Tucker in this game… Really can’t say enough about the toughness they have shown this year.”
Point guard Ryan Bruggeman, who is still nursing the ankle injury that kept him out of the line-up for three weeks, scored a team high 24 points while Devin Schell added 14 points towards the total.
The Vikings advance to the second round of the play-offs where they will face off against Perham at Concordia Field House in Moorhead. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30pm Saturday and will follow the first game of the evening that pits Barnesville against the number one rated Hawley Nuggets.