Boys Basketball: Eighth-ranked Upsala dominates Sauk Centre, flies to 4-0

By PATRICK SLACK
Sports Editor
patrick.slack@mcrecord.com

Upsala’s Avery Smieja (11), Nick Frieler (24), Garrett Wolf (23), and Christian Pekarek (5) battle for a rebound with Sauk Centre’s Austin Landkammer (15) and Josh Buschette (23) in the Cardinals' 68-55 victory Tuesday over the Mainstreeters in Upsala. (Photo courtesy of Bill Abeler)

Upsala’s Avery Smieja (11), Nick Frieler (24), Garrett Wolf (23), and Christian Pekarek (5) battle for a rebound with Sauk Centre’s Austin Landkammer (15) and Josh Buschette (23) in the Cardinals’ 68-55 victory Tuesday over the Mainstreeters in Upsala. (Photo courtesy of Bill Abeler)

It wasn’t a 62-point margin like its previous win, but it was another lopsided win nonetheless, as Upsala moved to 4-0 with a 68-55 victory over visiting Sauk Centre, Tuesday.

Junior Christian Pekarek scored 20 points and distributed six assists to again serve as the spark plug for the Cardinals’ offense.

Senior Eric Frieler followed in double figures with 17 points and junior Dylan Zimmerman recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Seniors Garrett Wolf and Avery Smieja teamed up for 18 rebounds, with Wolf scoring seven points and Smieja netting four, with seniors Matt Abeler (3) and Nick Frieler (2) also scoring.

“We don’t anticipate any scores or results because so much of the game is out of our control,” Upsala head coach Vern Capelle said. “What we focus on is how we execute our offense and how we defend our opponents.  Both of these factors must be effective for us to be successful.

“We will continue to work to improve, both offensively and defensively,” he said. “I think for this point in the season we are playing pretty well, but we will continue to work hard to become the best team that we are capable of becoming.”

“Our offensive performance has been about what we anticipated from this team so far,” Capelle said. “Our players have been playing in this system for a number of seasons and have put a considerable amount of time in during the off-season playing together.”

“We have a great blend of talent and depth which allows us to rotate players without disrupting our offense,” he said.

Upsala hosts Browerville, Friday, in a rematch of last year’s Section 5A semifinals.

 

Upsala 68, Sauk Centre 55

Sauk Centre 29 26 – 55

Upsala 38 30 – 68

Upsala—Christian Pekarek, 20 (6 assists, 3 steals); Eric Frieler, 17; Dylan Zimmerman, 15 (11 rebounds); Garrett Wolf, 7 (8 rebounds); Avery Smieja, 4 (10 rebounds, 3 blocks); Matt Abeler, 3; Nick Frieler, 2.

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