Big return for a big Rebel: Forthun has solidified Southland’s front line

Published 9:38 pm Monday, January 18, 2021

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ADAMS – It’s been a long wait to get back on the basketball court for Ethan Forthun, and he was more than ready for the Rebels, helping Southland blow past LeRoy-Ostrander 74-37 Monday night.

Forthun was diving to the court for loose balls well after the game had been decided and he made a living in the paint throughout the night, finishing with 24 points, nine rebounds, three steals and one block. The senior forward was able to get in a little bit of work in a shed outside of Dexter during the shutdown, but it had been two years since he had played for the Rebels (2-0 overall, 2-0 SEC).

“I’m ready to keep going,” Forthun said. “It’s good to be back and we have some key players back. We’re ready to take on everybody.”

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Forthun helped open up a lot of offense for fellow senior Dan Boe, who put up a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Boe and Forthun give the Rebels a formidable front line that will give them some toughness up front all year.

“Ethan is aggressive around the basket and that’s huge for us to have another guy like that,” Southland head coach Matt Weber said. “Dan was our inside player last year and Dan hasn’t let up this year. We were really rusty the other night, but tonight I thought we came out a lot better. We pushed the ball a lot better in transition tonight and that’s a big part of our game.”

Southland also received a boost from junior guard Eli Wolff, who got the offense on the run with 12 points, six assists, six rebounds and three steals. Wolff scored all of his points in the first half and then switched to the role of a playmaker in the second frame.

“We had to make sure our mindset was the same in the second half. Our motto is to play every half like we’re down 20 and we came out fast right away,” Wolff said. “We’ve had to work very hard in practice to get to where we are right now. It’s nice to have big guys to look down to and feed them the ball.”

Southland opened the game on a 12-3 run.

Tanner Olson led the Cardinals (0-2 overall, 0-2 SEC) with 11 points.

L-O 23  14  —  37

Southland 44  33  —  74

Southland scoring: Ethan Forthun, 24; Dan Boe, 14; Eli Wolff, 12; Harrison Hanna, 8; Dawson Sorenson, 4; Isaac Mullenbach, 2; Noah Bauer, 2; Christian Hjelman, 2; Connor Edland, 2; Nick Boy, 2; free throws: 50 percent (2-for-4); rebounds: 39 (Dan Boe, 11); turnovers: 9

L-O scoring: Tanner Olson, 11; Levi Royston, 9; Isaac Collier, 5; Tristan Lewison, 5; Chase Johnson, 4; Malyk Schaefer, 1; rebounds: 30 (Andrew Lohuis, 7); free throws: 38 percent (5-for-13)