With a name like Dallas, you better put up big numbers.
Verndale’s Dallas Ehrmantraut is doing just that.
The junior point guard has lived up to the big-name billing, including dropping 17 points in one overtime frame to lead the Pirates to a 76-62 non-conference win over the Underwood Rockets Jan. 30.
“He was really efficient in that game,” said Verndale head coach Jordan Hinkle. “He basically willed it upon himself and the team decided to follow him. He was 15-of-17 from the line that night, including 13 in overtime. He scored all 17 of our points in overtime. He added eight assists and only three turnovers. He ran our offense well.”
Ehrmantraut finished with a game-high 36 points to propel Verndale to its fifth win of the season. That matches the team’s win total from last year.
“I just want to get wins,” said the three-year starter. “Last season, we ended up with five wins. We already have that and hopefully we can end the season strong and get five more wins and finish with 10. Then maybe get a couple of wins in the postseason. It’s been a while since we’ve done that.”
Ehrmantraut is averaging 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 4.6 steals a game. He does have one block to his credit, which any 5-foot-11, 140-pound point guard would be happy with. He’s hitting 79 percent of his free throws and 40 percent of his field goals.
Despite those impressive numbers, Ehrmantraut gave himself a “C” grade.
“I’m still inconsistent on my turnovers and my shot selection,” he said.
But Hinkle called his point guard one of the smartest players he’s seen.
“I trust him with my offense,” said the Verndale coach. “He runs it and has the ability to make the decisions. When I want something I’ll ask, but he commands the floor and takes the opportunities.”
Last season, Ehrmantraut finished with 12.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 4.4 assists per game alongside 1,000-point scorer Zack Meidinger.
“He scores quite a bit,” said Hinkle. “He shoots well from the free throw line, but a lot of his points come from attacking the rim. He does a good job of breaking down his defender.
“He is deceptively fast, especially with the ball. He’s a really good ballhandler. If you give him space he’ll go by a guy for the shot.”
Ehrmantraut scored 24 in the Pirates’ 58-56 Park Region Conference loss to Bertha-Hewitt Feb. 2.
“Basketball has always been my favorite sport,” Ehrmantraut said. “I’ve worked to get a lot of knowledge about the game. I love practicing and playing and working hard. It seems to be paying off. I love the sport of basketball. It’s just something I enjoy.”
Other notable performances:
Basketball: Caleb Janson, Pierz, reached 1,000 career points as he finished with 23 points and 18 rebounds against Eden Valley-Watkins.
Nathan Holm, Pine River-Backus, finished with 31 points against Park Rapids and 29 points and 11 rebounds against Menahga.
Beau Howard, Pine River-Backus, scored 28 points against Park Rapids.
Preston Weber, Pierz, reached 1,000 career points with 15 points against Holdingford.
Thomas Smith, Little Falls, scored 23 points against Zimmerman.
Nathan Ehnstrom, Aitkin, scored 23 points against Onamia.
Daniel Hudrlik, Crosby-Ironton, finished with 22 points and nine rebounds against International Falls.
Wrestling: Dillon Card and Collin Turchin, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale, won Park Region Conference championships.
Mitch Steffans, Wadena-Deer Creek, won the 133-pound weight class at the Big Ole tournament.
Blake Miller, Blake Petrich and David DeYonge, Staples-Motley, won individual titles at the Wolf Pack Invite.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5856.