Boys basketball roundup: Paynesville Bulldogs prevail over Redwood Valley Cardinals

Jan. 11—PAYNESVILLE — Paynesville padded its resume in the Section 3AA standings Thursday night.

Playing host to Redwood Valley in boys basketball, the Bulldogs held on for the victory in a high-scoring contest, 80-77.

"It's fun to see different guys step up every night and our guys are playing extremely hard," said Paynesville head coach Rick Hendrickson. "Redwood Valley is obviously one of the elite programs in the state and we knew they had great players, great shooters and a great coach. They were going to be tough."

Paynesville had a 34-33 lead at halftime. Bryce VanderBeek made sure that slim margin stood the rest of the way.

The senior forward/center scored 23 of his game-high 34 points in the second half. He hit four of his five 3-pointers after the break. VanderBeek also grabbed 11 rebounds.

"He kind of got into a flow," Hendrickson said of VanderBeek. "We didn't sub him out at all in the second half. Thankfully he was on tonight. He plays his tail off, just like all of our guys."

The Bulldogs also got a second-half lift from sophomore sharpshooter Reed Johnson. After a scoreless first half, Johnson hit four 3-pointers in a 12-point effort.

"He took good shots; he's a smart player," Hendrickson said of Johnson. "He's our best shooter.

"He had a slow stretch last week where balls were rimming in and out. Then he had six threes against ACGC on Tuesday and four tonight. We keep preaching to our players to keep on shooting."

Brayden Pung (12) and Jackson Walker (10) also finished in double figures for Paynesville.

Redwood Valley got 29 points from Isaiah Dow-Hilliard. Elway Berg scored 18 points and Lukas Means hit five 3-pointers in a 17-point effort.

The win puts Paynesville at 4-1 against section opponents while the Cardinals are 5-3 against 3AA teams. Paynesville is in the North sub-section and Redwood Valley is in the South.

Paynesville goes to Royalton at 7 p.m. Friday.

Tameron Ferguson, a 6-foot-2 senior guard, pumped in 37 points, including 23 in the second half, to lead St. Cloud Tech to the victory at Tech.

Ferguson also had 13 steals and 10 assists.

Mehki Edwards, a 6-6 senior forward, added 29 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers.

Willmar trailed Tech 43-38 at halftime.

Avery Christenesn led the Cardinals with 25 points. The sophomore guard had 20 first-half points for the Cardinals, including a 5-for-9 effort from 3-point range. Tucker Swanson added 11 points for Willmar.

The Cardinals play host to St. Cloud Apollo at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at Willmar.

Jack Gross and William Penkert pushed BOLD past Minnewaska at Glenwood.

Gross scored 22 points with six assists, four steals and a block. Penkert had 21 points, adding 10 rebounds, five assists and a block.

Marc Gruber paced the Lakers with 18 points. Tenzin Dahl tallied 15 points. BOLD plays Renville County West at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at Renville. Minnewaska plays host to Benson at 7:15 p.m. Thursday at Glenwood.

Montevideo had a chance late, but fell to West Central Area at Barrett.

The Thunder Hawks trailed by three with 12 seconds to go. They had an out-of-bounds play set up, but got a five-seconds call, turning the ball over to WCA. WCA then made 1 of 2 free throws to put it out of reach.

"I think we're being tested right now," said Montevideo head coach Derek Webb. "One thing people could say about Montevideo right now is we're resilient. We're going out there and competing."

Gannon Reidinger, a 6-foot-5 junior forward, had 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists and Griffin Epema, a freshman guard, added 13 points, five rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots.

Ben Bye had 14 points and Bryce Kjesbo scored 13 for WCA.

The Thunder Hawks play host to Dawson-Boyd at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at Montevideo.

Shaun Larson had 16 points to lead First Baptist Christian of Plymouth past Community Christian School in a Christian Athletic League game at Willmar.

Andrew Borstad had 15 points for CCS and Pablo Peñalba added five points, seven rebounds and three assists for the Eagles.

CCS plays Immanuel Lutheran at 7 p.m. Monday at Mankato.