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Michael Strand scored 14 of his game-high 17 points in the seconde half of Barnesville's upset of Perham Tuesday night. Photo by Robert Williams/FOCUS

Barnesville bruises 'Perham Pride' 56-54

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PERHAM - The Barnesville Trojans stormed out of the halftime break and commanded the second half in a 56-54 upset of Perham in Heart O' Lakes boys basketball action Tuesday evening.

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Down 25-16, the Trojans scored the first nine second half points to tie the game at 25 and took the lead for good at the seven-minute mark 39-37 on a three-pointer by Austin Martz.

"The biggest thing we talked about at halftime was we've got to play with confidence," Barnesville Head Coach Todd Henrickson said. "This team has the ability; we've had some things that have gotten in the way of that. If we play with confidence and feel like they deserve to be here we're going to have some good results. Hopefully, they're going to take this game and learn from it and take it and run."

The ball was loose for the next 60 seconds with no scoring but Martz scored again on a second-chance opportunity with the lane empty of Yellowjackets for a 41-37 advantage.

After a Perham basket by Tyler Glines, Ben Sauve hit a three-pointer from the baseline corner and was fouled by Glines completing the rare four-point-play bumping the lead to six points, 45-39.

Barnesville took its largest lead of the game 49-42 when Michael Strand was hammered down low by Jordan Hein and sank two free throws with two minutes to play.

"We just believed that we can play with these guys and we need confidence and we came out here and attacked them and it worked." Strand said.

The Trojans let Perham back into the game with Barnesville junior forward Kyler Martz at the free throw line. Martz missed six attempts in a three-minute span.

Strand stepped in to push the lead back to five at 47-42 with a basket capping a stretch of six scoreless trips combined from both offenses.

"(Martz) is my best friend and I kind of feel bad for him but then again, we won," said Strand. "He's a good player. He won't do it again."

Forced to foul, Perham crept back to within two when Eli Beachy drove the length of the floor to cut the lead to 51-49.

Sauve and Strand made five of six free throws down the stretch to clinch the victory.

After only 16 first half points, Barnesville exploded for 40 in the second half. There were four lead changes in the latter 18 minutes.

Perham committed 21 turnovers to just a dozen by Barnesville.

Perham got off to a fast start and the Trojans struggled on offense early in the game with Perham building leads of 10-4 and 16-9.

A Hein jumper gave the Yellowjackets a 20-12 lead and Perham owned the ball the final minute of the half going into halftime with what appeared a comfortable nine-point cushion at 25-16.

Barnesville quickened the pace of the game nabbing loose balls, forcing turnovers and finding a way get to key rebounds as the game progressed.

"As a team, when things haven't gone well we've had a tendency to hang our heads and kind of feel a little bit sorry," said Henrickson. "We kind of went through a little of that but then they snapped out of it and realized they can play with these guys. They can play with a lot of teams. We just have to get past that initial woe is me type stuff and just keep playing."

Strand led all scorers with 17 points. He scored 14 in the second half and was 9-11 from the line. Sauve scored 16 going 3-5 from behind the arc. Austin Martz had 13 points.

Hein recorded a double-double scoring 13 with 13 rebounds to lead Perham. Beachy scored 11.

The upset snaps a nine-game win streak for Perham and twists the plot of the Heart O' Lakes title chase with an upcoming Friday match-up for Perham in Hawley. Entering tonight's game the Nuggets and Yellowjackets were tied atop the HOL at 7-1.

The loss gives hope to Pelican Rapids coming in to tonight at 6-2. The Vikings defeated Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 89-52 to pull into a second place tie with Perham. D-G-F led 34-31 in the first half. Pelican's Ryan Bruggeman scored his 1,000th point. The Vikings will face Hawley next Tuesday in Pelican Rapids.

The Trojans improve to 4-4 in the HOL and 10-7 overall.

Scoring:

BAR 16 40 -- 56

PER 25 29 -- 54

BAR: Strand 17, Sauve 16, A. Martz 13; K. Martz 6, Ishaug 4.

PER: Hein 13, Beachy 11, Muer 8, Glines 7, Salathe 6, Nordick 5, Anderson 4.

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Robert Williams
Robert has been the Sports Editor for the Focus since 2010 covering multiple state and national championship teams and is a mainstay at state tournaments each season covering the successful, athletic programs of Perham and New York Mills High Schools.
(218) 346-5900 x223
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