Section 5A Boys Basketball: Top-ranked BBE stops Swanville, Kimball Area upsets Upsala

Swanville and Upsala saw their seasons end in back-to-back fashion in the Sub-Section 5A North semifinals held at Little Falls, March 1.

In the opening game of the evening, top-seeded and No. 1 ranked Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (BBE) flexed its muscle with a convincing 95-39 victory over fourth-seeded Swanville.

Junior Jordan Sales was 7-of-13 from the floor to lead Swanville with 15 points, followed by junior Tyler Evans with nine and junior Austin Johnson with six.

Evans added six assists and senior Cody Mollner grabbed six rebounds.

In the late night game, third-seeded Kimball Area upended second-seeded Upsala 88-67 to reach the sub-section finals.

The Cubs started strong, building a 44-29 halftime lead, then kept the Cardinals at bay down the stretch.

Upsala pulled within single digits at 72-63 on a three-pointer by senior Christian Pekarek with less than three minutes to play, but couldn’t get any closer.

Pekarek finished with 25 points, while senior Dylan Zimmerman netted 13 and senior Nathan Ehrenberg put in 11.

Zimmerman crossed the 1,000-point mark for his career in the contest.


Sub-section quarterfinals

Swanville won a thrilling 59-56 contest over visiting fifth-seeded Isle in the sub-section quarterfinals, Feb. 27, sealed by a dunk by Sales with 30 seconds to go.

Sales provided the Bulldogs with 27 points and 11 rebounds on the night, while Evans tallied 16 points and six assists.

Mollner contributed six points and senior Aaron Miller had five.

Upsala won its playoff opener over visiting seventh-seeded East Central 87-69, Feb. 27.

Pekarek had 30 points, Zimmerman scored 26 and junior Jeremy Halverson sank 18 for the Cardinals.

Zimmerman also grabbed 13 rebounds to post a double-double, Pekarek recorded eight steals and junior Jeffrey Halverson made three blocks.

Eighth-seeded Royalton fell 84-29 at BBE in the quarterfinals, Feb. 27.

Sophomore Ben Borash scored nine points to lead the Royals, with sophomore Tyler Hellickson scoring seven, sophomore Matt Daleiden picking up five and senior Kasey Stevens and sophomore Shane Vannurden each adding four.

Stevens and Hellickson also grabbed six rebounds apiece.

Upsala finished the season with a record of 24-3, winning the Prairie Conference.

Seniors on this year’s team for the Cardinals included Ehrenberg, Pekarek, Zimmerman, Russell Janssen, Erik Kiley and Shawn Pohlmann.

Swanville closed the year with a record of 14-11.

Seniors on this year’s team for the Bulldogs included Mollner, Miller and Ben Ehrenberg.

Royalton finished with a record of 3-22.

Kasey Stevens was the lone senior for the Royals.