Boys Basketball: Swanville gives tough test, but fourth-ranked Upsala passes unscathed

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Upsala received by far its most difficult test to date in Prairie Conference play in a home match-up with rival Swanville, Thursday, but came away with a 76-69 win.

The Cardinals held a slim 36-34 edge at halftime before building their lead to 13 in the second half.

Upsala remained in control with a minute to play, holding a 10-point lead, but Swanville’s trap press forced three turnovers to close within three points with 25 seconds to play.

However, the Bulldogs missed a chance to tie the score and the Cardinals sealed the win on free throws from senior Avery Smieja and junior Christian Pekarek to preserve their unbeaten record.

Pekarek led all scorers with a 31-point performance, including 12-of-13 shooting from the free-throw line.

Senior Eric Frieler hit four threes to finish with 14 points and Smieja netted 12.