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Robert Williams / Forum News Service, Published December 13 2013

Bruggeman, Pelican Rapids edge Perham

PERHAM, Minn. – Friday the 13th jinxes were in full effect as Class 2A No. 5-ranked Pelican Rapids hung on for a 56-55 victory at top-ranked Perham Friday night in Heart O’ Lakes boys basketball.

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 1 of 2 to give Pelican a four-point advantage, and Perham’s Eli Beachy sunk a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the final margin.

Bruggeman led all scorers with 28 points, but allowed Perham back into the game late missing 4 of 7 free throws in the waning seconds.

“He had a great first half,” Vikings 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 scored 16 of his points in the first half to lead the Vikings to a 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 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. Tyler Glines and Sam Muer had their biggest outputs of the season for Perham, scoring 19 and 17 points, respectively.

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 on Jan. 24.

Half: PR 25, P 15

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

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

Williams writes for the Perham Focus