Cloquet vs. Pelican Rapids Recap
Returning 12 seniors, the Pelican Rapids Vikings looked comfortable in the confines of an NBA arena. To kick off the Shootout festivities at 10 AM, the Target Center hosted a contest between Pelican and Cloquet. The Vikings jumped out early and never relinquished the lead to cruise to an 87-56 victory on Saturday morning.
"It's a great opportunity for us to play on the Target Center floor," Pelican Rapids head coach Brad Strand said. "Hopefully, I told the kids, let's get two more games on this floor, that's the goal. We know the history of this tournament, our kids came down to watch when Kevin Love played [in 2007 with Lake Oswego (Ore.)]. We're not a metro school, we're 200 miles away, and it's a special deal to play here."
Pelican Rapids featured a one-two scoring punch with guard Tydan Storrusten and forward Eric Shulstad combining for 56 points in the victory. Just about every defensive set was ineffective for Cloquet against Storrusten. The 6-foot-2 senior scored 18 of his 27 points in the first half. Shulstad made a living in the paint by shooting 10-16 from the field. An added burst was provided by Jan-Erik Lindberg from the 3-point line as the senior contributed nine points from deep range and 11 in the game.
Cloquet decided to utilize its height coming out of the locker room to battle back from a 24-point deficit at halftime. Head coach Steve Battaglia started 6-foot-10 center Chad Calcaterra along side Ben Schultz, who is also listed as 6-foot-10. The tactical move provided an immediate spark for the Lumberjacks with a 6-0 run to start the second half.
"We had matchup problems," Battaglia said. "[The Vikings] moved well without the ball on offense, and they are a senior dominated team."
Calcaterra displayed the type of talent that has garnered interest from Minnesota, Colorado, and Colorado State. The big man in the middle for the Lumberjacks rattled the rim for four dunks in the second half. Calcaterra finished the game with 21 points to lead Cloquet in scoring.
The Lumberjacks played a spirited second half and was only outscored 38-31. Unfortunately for Cloquet, Pelican Rapids featured a roster with several scorers and a relentless defensive attack.
With pressure defense and half-court traps, the Vikings forced 23 turnovers by Cloquet. Pelican Rapids also defended the 3-point line with the Lumberjacks only hitting 1-for-11 in the game. The size of Calcaterra and Schultz gave Cloquet a chance to compete on the boards as both big-men combined for 15 rebounds.