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Otter Boys Hold Off Green Wave 64-51

By Dean Nielsen, 03/10/22, 11:30PM CST


Fergus Falls held off a second-half comeback from East Grand Forks, gaining a 64-51 win Thursday night. The Otters advance in Section 8AA opening-round play and will meet Pelican Rapids, 70-40 winners over Frazee-Vergas, in quarter-final play Saturday night on the Vikings home court.

The game was a tale of two different halves. The Otters had a fast start out of the gates taking a 7-0 lead in the opening minutes and continued to increase the margin, leading 41-19 at halftime. Fergus Fall's shooting was on as they connected on 18-of-27 attempts (67%), including eight from behind the arc. Leading the way was Grant Ackerson who came off the bench to hit a trio of treys, Henry Bethel with 11 points on driving lay-ups and an NBA range 3-pointer, and 10 from Elliott Pribbenow including a pair of treys.

East Grand Forks was a cool 7-of-20 in the opening half for 35% shooting. Tanner Campos led the Green Wave with 9 points.   

Early second-half play saw the Otter lead grow to 23 (46-23) on a 3-ball from Luke Newman. Both teams struggled to find the basket. East Grand Forks went to a full-court press forcing several Fergus Falls turnovers and pulled to with seven points (57-50) at  the 3-minute mark but could get no closer. The Otters were able to get into the double-bonus foul situation in the half and knocked down 12-of-20 second-half attempts.

Pribbenow's 15 points led five Otters in double figures followed by Caden Conklin with 14, Ackerson had 13, Bethel 11, and Newman 10. The Otters finished the game 21-of-39 from the field for 54%. Newman grabbed a team high 9 rebounds, Jaydon Manteufel had 6 boards and Conklin added 6 rebounds and 4 steals.

Campos topped the Green Wave offense with 17 points and Austin Rusling added 12. East Grand Forks shot 38% (19-50) for the game.

“We got off to a great start in the first half,” observed Head Coach Matt Johnson of the Otters. “Defensively, I thought we were really dialed in and executed our game plan well, forcing contested jumpers and rebounding to finish possessions. Offensively, we made 8 first half threes, with a couple of big ones from Grant Ackerson. We didn’t have our best in the second half, but proud of how the boys fought and held on for a win. At this time of the year, any win is a great win!”