No. 4 Pelican Rapids scored the first nine points and recorded the program’s first state tournament victory behind a 28-point performance by junior Greta Tollefson to defeat Concordia Academy - Roseville 59-45 Thursday, March 12 at Concordia University in St. Paul.
Unlike Wednesday’s quarterfinal loss where Pelican Rapids shot only 20 percent from the field, the Vikings came out and shot 55.6 percent in the first half leading by as many as 11 points en route to a 32-22 lead at halftime.
Tollefson and fellow junior Anna Stephenson contributed 23 of those points as next year’s senior one-two-punch led the way. Tollefson had 13 first half points, Stephenson 10.
The Deacons rallied after starting the game cold, cutting into the Pelican lead to trail by just five points 21-16 on a three-pointer by Ivane Tensale.
Senior Ryley Paulson got to the line in response and made one of two and Pelican Rapids matched their point total from the quarterfinal game at 22 points with six minutes left in the half.
The Vikings ended the half on a 10-6 run, six by Paulson, including the final bucket of the opening 18 minutes.
Senior Abby Syverson and Tollefson hit back-to-back threes to get the Vikings going in the second half. Pelican led by as many as 18 points on consecutive Tollefson field goals.
The Deacons cut the lead to single digits late but head coach Brian Korf had a comfortable lead as time wound down to give his three seniors Syverson, Paulson and Maddie Guler a planned exit to an appreciative ovation.
The Vikings were strong on the boards out rebounding the Deacons 36-23. Pelican shot 46% from the field (18-39) and 40% from the arc (4-10).
Tollefson was dominant leading all scorers. She was 8-13 from the field with three makes from the arc and 9-11 at the line to finish with 28 points and eight rebounds.
Stephenson recorded a double-double with 15 points and 12 boards.
Paulson was in double figures with 11 points to go with seven rebounds.
Tensale had 13 points to pace the Deacons (20-11).
The Vikings finish the season with a program record 30 wins against only one loss. Pelican Rapids is 56-3 the past two years.
The season concluded early when the remainder of the consolation portion of the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19.
Class A State Girls Basketball Consolation
No. 4 Pelican Rapids 59, Concordia Academy 45
CAR 22 23 - 45
PEL 30 29 - 59
CAR - Ivane Tensale 13, Grace Landvik 12, Sydney Pelzer 8, Sydney Hackett 6, Grace Coultas 4, Angela Siglin 2.
PEL -Greta Tollefson 28, Anna Stephenson 15, Ryley Paulson 11, Abby Syverson 3. Maddie Guler 2, Allie Haiby 1.