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Boys basketball: Minneota trims W-WG in Candy Cane final

OKABENA --- Undefeated Minneota (7-0) held off a gallant second-half rally by Westbrook-Walnut Grove Saturday afternoon to win the championship of the 11th annual Candy Cane Classic high school boys' basketball tournament.

OKABENA --- Undefeated Minneota (7-0) held off a gallant second-half rally by Westbrook-Walnut Grove Saturday afternoon to win the championship of the 11th annual Candy Cane Classic high school boys’ basketball tournament.

The Vikings snapped a late-game 84-84 tie by making four free throws -- two each by Nolan Boerboom and Jacob Hennen -- in the last 30 seconds to earn a high-scoring 88-84 victory.

After leading much of the game, Minneota opened up a 61-47 lead with just under 10 minutes remaining in the fast-paced contest. The Chargers, who connected on 12 three-pointers in the game, rifled in eight long-range shots in a span of less than four minutes -- scoring 24 of their next 28 points from behind the arc -- and claimed a 75-73 edge.

The Vikings responded and the contest remained close (either tied or one team with a small lead) the rest of the way. W-WG’s senior guard Anthony Ross, who finished with a game-high 30 points, tied the score at 84-all with a nifty three-point play with less than a minute on the clock.

Minneota, which has outscored its seven opponents by a spread of 555-348, was able to keep the Chargers from scoring down the final stretch.

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Four players scored in double figures for the Vikings, who won the Class A state football championship a month ago. Thomas Hennen (six three-pointers) led Minneota with 26 points, while freshman Jacob Hennen (17) and sophomores Logan Sussner (16) and Boerboom (15) combined for 48 more points for the Vikings.

Tyson Elzenga (four second-half three pointers, five for the game) scored 20 points for the Chargers and Matt DePrez (13 points in the first half) tallied 15, joining Ross in double figures for W-WG, which shot 80 percent (16-of-20) at the free throw line.

The loss ended a four-game winning streak for the Chargers (4-3) who are off until a game at Fulda on Jan. 2.

W-WG 43   84Minneota 50 88  Lakeview 72, HL-O 34 In the third place game, the tall Lakeview Lakers stretched a 32-19 halftime lead into a decisive victory over hosting Heron Lake-Okabena.

Tate Varpness, a 6-5 guard senior guard who had scored 21 points for the Lakers in their opening-round 66-60 loss to W-WG, netted a game-high 24 points Saturday, leading 11 Lakeview players in the scoring column. Jared Goepferich, a 6-7 senior forward, scored 12 points for the Lakers who improved to 4-4.

Junior center Lee Gunther scored 19 points (12 in the first half) to lead HL-O, while senior forward Ben Sheldahl contributed eight points (six in the second half).

The Wildcats (1-6) play Tracy-Milroy-Balaton (1-6) in the first round of the Windom Holiday Tournament Friday, Dec. 29.

Varpness, Sheldahl, Sussner, Thomas Hennen, Anthony Ross and W-WG’s Andrew Quade were selected to the six-player All-Tournament team.

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Lakeview 32  72HL-O 19 34 

Related Topics: BOYS BASKETBALL
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