By PATRICK SLACK
Senior Avery Smieja scored 24 points to spark a dominant performance in the paint by the Upsala boys basketball team, Tuesday, leading to a 82-44 season-opening victory over visiting St. John’s Prep.
Smieja also grabbed 13 rebounds to record a double-double and swatted away four shots.
Juniors Christian Pekarek and Dylan Zimmerman added 17 points apiece and senior Eric Frieler hit four three-point shots to record 12 points.
Senior Garrett Wolf had seven points, seven rebounds and six assists, senior Matt Abeler picked up three points and sophomore Aidan Guthrie chipped in two points.
Upsala hosts Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, Friday.
Upsala 82, St. John’s Prep 44
St. John’s Prep 24 20 – 44
Upsala 40 42 – 82
Upsala—Avery Smieja, 24 (13 rebounds, 4 blocks); Christian Pekarek, 17 (4 steals); Dylan Zimmerman, 17 (5 rebounds); Eric Frieler, 12; Garrett Wolf, 7 (7 rebounds, 6 assists); Matt Abeler, 3; Aidan Guthrie, 2.