PINE RIVER -- Adam Nelson and Joe Bueckers must have forgotten the football season had ended as they connected on several plays to help the Pine River-Backus Tigers double up the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines 76-34 in boys' basketball Tuesday night.
Nelson, who played quarterback for the Tigers, set up Bueckers, who played wide receiver, five times in the first half, helping the 5-foot-7 guard score 23 points in the first two periods.
"It's really nice having a guy you can depend on all the time," Adam Nelson said. "A guy might have an off-night every once in a while but he doesn't have very many of them. It's just like in football. You throw a pass, he's going to go up and get it. In basketball you throw him a pass you can just about guarantee a score."
Nelson only scored four points but did everything else to make sure a hot Bueckers had the ball in his hands.
"Everything was just going in for me, it was nice," said Bueckers. "It's nice to play with Adam because we've been playing since we were little. He knows when to give me the ball and where to give it to me. It's really good to have him as a point guard."
The Wolverines managed to keep the game close for the first part of the opening quarter until the Tigers went on a 14-point run to end the quarter 27-12. Bueckers accounted for 14 of the 27 Tiger points.
In the second quarter PR-B's defense smothered the Wolverines, holding them to just three points.
"I was real happy with the way they came out and played defense," Tigers head coach Bob Nelson said. "We just put pressure on them. Starting the game they scored a lot of points in a short time and I was kind of worried but they got worn down with our pressure."
The three W-DC points came from Kip Johnson who finished with eight.
"They were just so athletic," said Wolverines coach Tom Van Erp. "They're quick. Bueckers is probably the best guard we'll see all season. He's so quick. We just didn't have the people to match up.
"A game like this I've forgotten about it already. I hope my guys have too. The ride home they can think about it but tomorrow I hope they forget it."
In the second half the Tigers went to the bench but found much of the same defensive success that led to easy baskets.
"It's nice that we have enough guys on our bench to give the starters a rest," said Adam Nelson. "We got guys coming off the bench and playing the same style of defense. That's our main thing. If we play defense we can win no matter what. We can always have an off-night with shooting but you can't have an off-night on defense."
The 10th-ranked Tigers were playing defense but also shooting well, not missing a free throw until late in the fourth quarter and finishing 18 for 23.
The Tigers had 12 players score. Justin Kelley had 17. The Wolverines were led by Matt Schiller's 12 and Charley Speed's 11.
The Tigers have won five in a row and play Pequot Lakes Thursday.
Wadena-DC 12 3 10 9 -- 34
PR-Backus 27 16 14 19 -- 76
WADENA-DEER CREEK (34)
Charley Speed 11, Jayme George 3, Matt Schiller 12, Kip Johnson 8. Team totals: FG 13, FT 3-8 (38 percent). Conference -- 2-2. Overall --6-7. Next game:vs. Detroit Lakes Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
PINE RIVER-BACKUS (76)
Joe Bueckers 23, Cory Anderson 7, Adam Nelson 4, Micah Johnson 6, Ross Kleiner 6, Landon Hamilton 1, Justin Kelley 17, Jesse Johnson 2, Cole Peterson 3, Nick Keefe 3, Garrett Anderson 2, Brandon Schwegel 2. Team totals: FG 27, FT 18-23 (78 percent). Conference -- 2-0. Overall -- 11-2. Next game: vs. Pequot Lakes Thursday 7:30 p.m.
3-point baskets -- PRB-2 (Bueckers, Anderson); WDC-5 (Speed 3, Schiller 2). Total fouls -- PRB-16; WDC-21. Fouled out -- WDC-Luke Joyce.
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