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Bruggeman scores 28; Pelican Rapids upsets Perham

Ryan Bruggeman scored a game-high 28 points to lead the No. 5AA Pelican Rapids Vikings to a 56-55 upset at No. 1 Perham. Robert Williams/FOCUS

PERHAM — Friday the 13th jinxes were in full effect as the No.5AA Pelican Rapids Vikings hung on for a 56-55 victory at top-ranked Perham Friday night in Heart O’ Lakes boys basketball action.

Pelican Rapids led 53-46 with less than a minute remaining, but Perham rallied to within three points with 10 seconds to go sending Pelican’s Ryan Bruggeman to the line to push the lead to two possessions.

Bruggeman made one of two to give Pelican a four-point advantage and Perham’s Eli Beachy sunk a three-pointer at the buzzer for the 56-55 final.

Bruggeman led all scorers with 28 points, but allowed Perham back into the game late missing four of seven free throws in the waning seconds.

“He had a great first half,” Head Coach Doug Bruggeman said. “They did a great job of guarding him in the second half. He needs to make his free throws. A kid like that has to make free throws.”

Ryan Bruggeman

Bruggeman scored 16 of his points in the first half to lead the Vikings to a low-scoring 25-15 advantage at halftime.

Defense was the name of the game in the first half and the iron was unkind to both teams. Neither team scored for the first six minutes. Bruggeman made two free throws to end the drought at 11:58.

“Our plan was to just kind of try to shut down the offense as much as we can,” Coach Bruggeman said. “They’re so good at what they do. We worked hard defensively and I feel good about this. This is a good game for us.”

Ryan Bruggeman’s only free throw misses were late in the game. He made six of his 10 attempts.

Pelican Rapids never trailed in the game after three ties early at two, four and six points each.

Travis Haugen scored 15 points for Pelican Rapids. The Vikings held Perham’s leading scorer Hunter Salathe to seven points and 13 rebounds. Tyler Glines and Sam Muer had their biggest outputs of the season for Perham scoring 19 and 17 points, respectively.

Sam Muer

The win snaps a streak of home team victories between the two schools since the 2008-09 season when Pelican Rapids ran the table for the state championship and a record of 33-0.

Perham had won four of the last six meetings, including knocking the Vikings out of the playoffs the past two seasons.

The two teams will meet again in Pelican Rapids Friday, Jan. 24.

“It’s not going to be Friday the 13th when they come to Pelican, so just try to win that one,” said Coach Bruggeman. “It’s definitely a big win.”

Pelican Rapids improves to 5-0 and 2-0 in the HOL. Perham falls to 5-1 and 0-1 in conference play.

PEL 25 31 - 56

PER 15 40 - 55

PEL: Bruggeman 28, Haugen 15, Honrud, 6, Gorton 5, Sillerud 2.

PER: Glines 19, Muer 17, Salathe 7, Beachy 7, Bahls 5.

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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