Things run afoul for Aggies
PR-F-L fight for respect in loss to Polar Bears
The new regulations for “hands off” in high school basketball came home to roost here Monday night as the Park River-Fordville-Lankin (PR-F-L) Aggies found themselves in big time foul trouble but still battled District 3 power Larimore down to the wire.
The Aggies had three players foul out, two more with four fouls, and a host of other things go wrong as they dropped a 85-72 decision to the Polar Bears in a game that was much closer than the final score indicated.
The Aggies found themselves behind early, although it could have been the other way had some early scoring chances not rimmed out on PR-F-L. The Aggies had open shots that just wouldn’t fall in the game’s first three minutes and Larimore took advantage, running out to a 11-2 lead. The Aggies’ Esten Beneda had left the game early after scoring his only basket. He went to the locker room with a rib injury suffered in a collision near the basket. Beneda did not return to action the rest of the night. Coach Larry Omdahl was then faced with the decision of going to the bench when foul troubles for starters set in not long after.
The Aggies were down by as much as 12 in the first quarter before their offense hit. Andrew Hylden and Jordan Johnson started the roll with nine straight Aggies points in the last two minutes of the quarter. Hylden hit a long 3-pointer and Johnson also hit a long trey and then a 3-point play to close the gap 19-13.
In the second quarter the Aggies managed to stay close despite three starters sitting out. Freshmen Elijah Hylden and Jordan Omlie both came in and had quality minutes during the heat of this one. Hylden would score twice inside, his first on a drive and scoop for two. Omlie would later score inside to keep the Aggies close. Jordan Johnson then scored 10 of his game high 25 poimts in the quarter. The Aggies trailed 38-33 at the half.
The second half saw a shootout between the Polar Bears’ Jacob Peterson (26 points) and the Aggies long range gunners. Peterson, a junior guard took over for the Bears, scoring all but three of his team’s 19 third quarter points.
Meanwhile it was Andrew Hylden hitting on two treys and Spencer Rehovsky draining a 3-point shot of his own. Rehovsky added a big basket inside when he followed his shot and had the put-back to close the quarter at 57-52 in favor of the Bears.
Rehovsky would continue his barrage in the fourth quarter. The sophomore forward went inside and outside, scoring seven points in the first two minutes. His basket with 5:50 to play had pulled the Aggies even at 61-61. It was the first time since the opening tip the Aggies were even up with Larimore, but that would be it for the Aggies. As they began losing three more players to fouls, the Polar Bears were too much for the depleted Aggies bench and started turning foul shots into points and steadily put the game away. The Bears outscored the Aggies 23-11 over the last 5:30 of the game.
Overall coach Omdahl was pleased with his team’s efforts. “We played very hard and all the kids did a good job out there for us tonight,” he said, “It was a tough loss but I think we showed we can go deep on our bench and I think we took a big step forward with this team tonight.”
Leading the scoring for the Aggies was Jordan Johnson with 25, Rehovsky 12, Andrew Hylden 11, Matt Dobmeier 7, Elijah Hylden 6, Jordan Omlie 5, and Cadyn Hunter, Levi Johnson, Josh Ruzicka and Esten Beneda each had 2.
Jacob Peterson led all scorers with 26 for Larimore. Trevor Verkuehlen had 19 and Aaron Sletten 16. Blake Yahna had 13, Braydon Hofer 9 and Hunter Trosen 2.
The Aggies open district play on Friday night in Park River against Drayton-Valley-Edinburg.