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Posted On: 03/1/18 10:40 AM
The Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines have clawed their way to a 13-12 record with one game remaining this season on Friday at Bagley. In the conference, they have posted a respectable 10-4 record, which puts them in third place (via tiebreaker) behind Pillager and Henning in the Park Region Conference standings.
Senior guard Noah Ross and sophomore point guard Bereket Loer have gotten the majority of the headlines this season, as they have led the way in the scoring column for the Wolverines, however, it is another senior that has been equally valuable on the other end of the court, Jonathan Pantages.
“He is one of our best defenders. Jon is often times asked to shut down the opposing team’s best offensive player and he usually accomplishes this task” says head coach Kevin Tumberg. The senior wing Pantages is well-aware of his role and fully embraces it, saying “My strengths as a player are being able to defend a team’s best player and lock him up.”
On the offensive end, Pantages has made contributions as well, averaging 7.1 PPG to go along with 5.6 REB, 1.4 AST and 1.3 STL per contest.
“Jon is a solid shooter and can finish at the rim” says Tumberg, adding that “He is someone that we will rely on to lock people down and he will need to contribute in the scoring column for us to be able to compete.” Pantages agrees with his coach, saying that “I’ve also been working on being more of a point scorer, getting some more points on the board for my team.”
Pantages possesses superior athleticism that allows him to be a premier on-ball defender and rebounder and has proven that he can slash to the rim and finish and knock down an open jumper.
The 6’1” senior is a tremendous overall athlete, competing as a high-jumper and runner for the W-DC Track and Field team. He has been in contact with a number of NSIC and UMAC schools regarding continuing his track and field career but has not been approached for basketball.
He is planning on majoring in a very specific field, as a result, he will be very particular when choosing a school. “What I’m looking for in a college is that they have my major, I want to go into film production. If a college doesn’t have that then I can’t go there.”
In a very tough Section 8AA field, the Wolverines will be in the middle to bottom half of the seeds and will likely have to go through some tough teams (Hawley, EGF, Breckenridge, Perham) early if they want to make a deep run.
With a roster full of seniors, the Wolverines are not ready to be done and are hungry for playoff success. If Noah Ross gets hot at the right time and Jonathan Pantages can put the clamps on the opposing team’s star, W-DC could make some noise in Section 8AA.
****Photo Credit: Wadena Pioneer Journal***