With Pelican Rapids defeating Barnesville handily 74-43 and deadlocking the Vikings and Perham Yellowjackets at the top of the Heart O' Lakes Conference, both top teams will wrap up their regular seasons with non-conference opponents.
Pelican Rapids, (22-3) which has not been tested since a 51-48 victory over Perham in Pelican Rapids Jan. 27, will face the undefeated No. 3-1A Battle Lake Battlers (23-0) in Pelican Rapids tonight, Friday, March 2.
The Vikings have won 15 straight games. In the nine games since the rematch with Perham none of those games have been close, aside from a 75-62 victory over Ulen-Hitterdal.
Perham will travel tonight to Concordia College in Moorhead to face Wadena-Deer Creek (9-15) at 7 p.m., before returning home to wrap up regular season play against Ulen-Hitterdal (20-5) Saturday, March 3 at 2:30 p.m.
The Yellowjackets have won seven straight games but in different fashion than the high-scoring Vikings. While three of those victories have been in double-digit fashion, the remaining four wins were with scores separated by 11 points or less, three by single digit margins, including a two-point victory over Detroit Lakes and a four-point win over Barnesville.
Perham and Pelican Rapids are separated by less than one point in the latest QRF rankings 134.0 to 133.3, Perham in the top spot. Two wins to end the season should give them the top seed in Section 8AA, but it could come down to mathematics with the teams so close. Pelican Rapids is facing a ranked opponent from Class 1A.
The ranking will have little effect on court proceedings should both teams reach the Section final, as expected. They will meet at Bemidji State University on a neutral floor to settle the debate of two teams who both defeated the other on their home courts.
It should be an exciting build-up to the state tournament.