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Forum staff reports , Published March 29 2009

Pelican Rapids caps undefeated season with Class 2A boys basketball championship

MINNEAPOLIS – Pelican Rapids really knows how to celebrate a 25th anniversary.

Tydan Storrusten led another balanced effort as the Vikings throttled St. Bernard’s 80-68 for the Class 2A state boys basketball title on Saturday to cap an undefeated season.

It was Pelican Rapids’ second state title and first since 1984.

“We got off to a good start and just kept the throttle down,” said Storrusten, who finished with 34 points and seven assists.

Jan-Erik Lindberg added 18 points – including 13 in the first half. He hit four 3-pointers on Saturday, and hit 12 from long range in the tournament.

“Lindberg was the X-factor for the entire tournament,” Vikings coach Brad Strand said. “We know we’re going to get points from Ty and (Eric Shulstad), but Jan kept hitting 3s.

“Without him, we don’t even get out of round one.”

Shulstad has his third double-double of the tournament, racking up 10 points and 12 rebounds.

While the 1984 team won its three tournament games by a combined total of five points, fans of this year’s Vikings never came close to even a nibble on their fingernails.

Pelican Rapids rolled through its three games at the 2009 tourney, winning by an average of 18.3 points per game.

“We talked about playing our game, and we played our game really, really well,” Storrusten said.

The top-ranked Vikings (33-0) never trailed in the game, and used a 14-3 run midway through the first half that helped set up a 32-23 lead at the half.

The Vikings defense was also sharp. Lindberg had seven steals to lead a defense that forced 18 turnovers by St. Bernard’s (28-4).

“To hold that team to 23 points at halftime was unbelievable,” Strand said. “We felt like we had to do our thing, and we did.”

The Vikings defense held St. Bernard’s star Jordair Jett scoreless in the first half. He finished with 20 points to lead the Bulldogs, but was just 7-for-23 (30.4 percent) from the floor and 0-f.or-7 from 3-point land.

He wasn’t the only St. Bernard’s player struggling from long range, as the Bulldogs hit just 1 of 17 tries (5.9 percent) from 3-point land.

Strand said a state title was the lone goal for the 12 seniors on the roster. In football, basketball and baseball, that group had lost seven section title games before breaking into the state hoops tournament this year.

“It’s hard for me to describe what this means to this group,” Storrusten said. “It’s a special group, and we live in a special community.

“It was great to do something special down here.”

ST. BERNARD’S: Sandifer 3 0-0 7, Jett 6-10 20, Davis 2 1-1 5, Duncan 6 2-2 14, Weah 4 2-2 10, Zych 1 0-0 2, S. Taylor 2 0-0 4, Wallrick 1 0-0 2, A. Taylor 1 0-0 2, Heras 0 2-2 2. Totals 27 13-17 68.

PELICAN RAPIDS: Haugen 2 0-0 4, Storrusten 11 10-15 34, Skow-Anderson 3 1-2 7, Shulstad 3 4-4 10, Lindberg 6 2-4 18, Ripley 0 0-2 0, Guler 3 1-2 7. Totals 28 18-29 80.

Half: PR 32, SB 23. 3-pointers: Sandifer, Lindberg 4, Storrusten 2. Total fouls: SB 25, PR 13. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: SB 45 (Duncan 12). PR 36 (Shulstad 12). Assists: SB 5 (Jett 5). PR 15 (Storrusten 7). Turnovers: SB 18. PR 15. Blocks: SB 1 (Jett 1). PR 4 (Skow-Anderson 2). Steals: SB 4 (Duncan 3). PR 8 (Lindberg 7).