Boys Basketball: Upsala pulls away from Swanville 83-67 in sub-section quarterfinals

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Swanville freshman Jordan Sales, left, gets a hand in the face of Upsala sophomore Dylan Zimmerman, but Zimmerman still managed to hit the shot in the first half of Thursday’s sub-section game. Zimmerman and Upsala topped the Bulldogs 83-67.

The neighboring rivals Upsala and Swanville split a pair of regular season meetings, meaning the season series and a spot in the section quarterfinals were on the line Thursday.

Both teams came out fast offensively, lighting up the scoreboard early and often.

Upsala built a 31-18 lead, but Swanville went on a 10-2 run to pull within five late in the first half.

After taking a 42-34 edge into halftime, the Cardinals heated up even more from the perimeter, thwarting any chances of another Bulldogs rally to pick up an 83-67 victory.

Sophomore Christian Pekarek was the instigator offensively for Upsala, racking up 24 points and five steals.

Junior Matt Abeler provided a spark off the bench with 15 points and junior Garrett Wolf scored 11 to join Pekarek in double figures.

Swanville junior Austin Mollner led the Bulldogs with 16 points.

Upsala is scheduled to take on Eagle Valley at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, Saturday at 7:45 p.m.

Swanville finished the season with a record of 9-16.

Seniors on this year’s team for Swanville included Tyler Becker, Derek Pfeiffer and Cody Novak.

Swanville junior Austin Mollner, left, watches as Upsala sophomore Christian Pekarek goes up for a layup in the first half of Thursday’s 83-67 Upsala win in the Section 5A playoffs.
Swanville junior Austin Mollner posts up in the paint in the first half of Thursday's game. Mollner led Swanville with 16 points.