Boys Basketball: Rian Struss scores 1,000 points as Pine River-Backus tops Laporte

The 26-point win was the Tigers' fifth straight

Thumbs up to his fans 2023-02-07 1876-copy.jpg
PR-B's Rian Struss gives a thumbs up to the home crowd after scoring his 1,000th career point on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.
Lena Richards / Echo Journal Correspondent

PINE RIVER — Pine River-Backus’ Rian Struss tallied 14 points to help the Tigers to a 76-40 Northland Conference victory over the Laporte Wildcats Tuesday, Feb. 7.

“I thought they played really well,” head coach Jordan Ackerman said. “They really shared the ball well, took what was available and didn't force the issue. I was really happy with that. Defensively, they played really hard and executed both our man and zone defenses.”

Struss’ efforts were made sweeter by him scoring his 1,000th career point.

“He has put in a lot of time,” Ackerman said. “He is just super committed. It is really cool to see that pay off for him because he has put in that time in the offseason … It was fun to see him get his 1,000 points and all the fans excited for him because he is a great student, a great athlete and a good person.”

Irvin Tulenchik led the Tigers with 21 points and Jared Hamilton scored 18 as PR-B won its fifth consecutive game and seventh in the past nine.


“Everybody is striving for the same mission, which is at the end of the day to win basketball games,” Ackerman said. “They're playing really unselfish and taking what the defense gives them … They're all just playing as a team and are really committed to the process of winning, so it's really coming together.”

Laporte 17 23 – 40

Pine River-Backus 40 36 – 76


Irvin Tulenchik 21, Burke Netland 4, Jared Hamilton 18, Andrew Bueckers 12, Rian Struss 14, Carson Travis 1, Kayden Witt 2, James Maine 2. FT 4-8 (50%). Conference: 5-3. Overall: 13-6.

Cass Lake-Bena 67, Pine River-Backus 56

CASS LAKE — Hamilton scored 26 points as the Tigers lost 67-56 to the Class 1A’s top-ranked Cass Lake-Bena Panthers in a Northland Conference game Thursday, Feb. 9.

Struss finished with 13 points for the TIgers while Carson Travis added 10.

Cass Lake-Bena 30 37 – 67

Pine River-Backus 34 22 – 56


Kingsly Whitebird 14, Kaydin Lee 9, Dominic Staples-Fairbanks 24, Aiden White 10, TrayVaughn Lee , Cole Coss 8, Tateyn Boswell 2. FT 4-7 (57.1%).


Irvin Tulenchik 4, Jared Hamilton 26, Andrew Bueckers 3, Rian Struss 13, Carson Travis 10. FT 9-13 (69.2%). Conference: 5-4. Overall: 13-7.

Pine River-Backus 85, Sebeka 27

PINE RIVER — Hamilton scored a game-high 21 points as the Tigers defeated the Sebeka Trojans 85-27 Monday, Feb. 6.

Struss finished with 18 points and Andrew Bueckers tallied 16 as PR-B won for the fourth-straight game.

Sebeka 16 11 -- 27

Pine River-Backus 47 38 -- 85


Christian Berg 7, Gunnar Ament 5, Teagan Lee 2, Max Lake 13. FT 1-4 (25%).


Irvin Tulenchik 10, Ethan Burns 3, Tate Norman 6, Burke Netland 2, Jared Hamilton 21, Andrew Bueckers 16, Rian Struss 18, Kayden Witt 5, Koal Oberfell 2. FT 4-6 (67%).


What's on the schedule for PR-B sports?

Dan Determan, sports writer/staff writer, may be reached at 218-855-5879 or . Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at .

More PR-B Tigers Boys Basketball
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James Maine clocked in against Laporte and managed to score, much to the delight of the team and crowd
The Tigers also fell to Crosby-Ironton
The team faced Pillager in the house of the Timberwolves
Participants can choose which athlete they want in the tank

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