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Becky Stoll drained this three-point basket, one of two on the night, on her way to a game-high 23 points. Bob Williams/FOCUS

Girls Basketball: Patriots come back to stun Yellowjackets at buzzer

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The Perham girls basketball team suffered another buzzer beater loss Thursday evening, this time to Pequot Lakes 62-60.

The Patriots rallied to tie the game at 60, after trailing Perham from the 8:16 mark of the second half when sophomore guard Katie White knotted the score at 48.

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"Pequot Lakes made some big shots and capitalized on our mistakes," Perham Head Coach John Gullingsrud.

Becky Stoll, who led all scorers with 23 points, missed a shot underneath the basket, stole the ball from Mattie Lueck and drew a foul on a put-back attempt.

Stoll made one of two shots to put Perham up 49-48, followed by a bucket by Lexy Karvonen to push the lead to three, 51-48.

Patriot guard Kayla Miller added a bucket and Perham's Katrina Moenkedick made two free throws to bump the score to 53-50 and a near three-minute scoring drought saw balls in the cylinder but not falling.

Lueck, the star returning senior from Pequot Lakes, was victimized most by the Perham rims shooting only 2-12 on the night, scoring only six points.

"We have to know where she is at, at all times," Gullingsrud told Perham Radio Announcer Mike Peterson in a pre-game interview on Lakes 99.5. "She's not a traditional post player; she can shoot from outside, so whoever is guarding her has to know where she is, at all times."

While Lueck struggled to get shots to go down, she was a presence on both ends of the floor. She pulled in 10 rebounds, had six assists and blocked five shots.

Megan Hogen picked up the scoring slack with a team-high 19 points; Kayla Miller scored 16 and White had 10.

No shots were more important than White's two final buckets.

She tied the score at 60 with a three-point bucket as the clock wound to 10 seconds remaining.

Karvonen missed the front end of bonus free throws and White streaked down the court with the ball sinking a running jumper just outside the left side of the lane.

The ball bounced twice on the rim before falling through with 1.6 seconds on the clock.

"We just couldn't make some free throws and get some stops on defense to close out the game."

Time expired before Perham could get the ball in play.

"It was a disappointing loss for us tonight as we were in control of the game late but just couldn't finish it off at the end."

Moenkedick had 18 points in a physical ball game down low. She added five rebounds and four steals. With those 18 points, Moenkedick's career total is 1,269, moving her into sole possession of second place all-time in Perham girls basketball career scoring. Her sister Elisa, who totaled 1,555 in her career, remains atop the list.

To become Perham's all-time leading scorer in the 15 remaining regular season games, Moenkedick needs to average nearly 20 points per game to make up the 286 points to tie.

However, the star on the court Thursday evening was Stoll, who made a living with spin pivots in the lane for easy baskets and drawing the ire of Patriot defenders.

She was also a calming presence handling the ball, as the Yellowjackets were forced to contend with the Patriots' full-court press much of the first half. The pace of the game picked up after halftime.

"(Stoll) played very well offensively, which we need her to do," Gullingsrud said. "When she is aggressive and going to the basket it not only opens up things for her but her teammates, as well. It also opens up space for her outside shot, which has been looking much better recently. Hopefully she continues to build on it and improve even more."

Karvonen stepped up with 11 points putting three Yellowjackets in double figures. Much of the offensive load has fallen upon Stoll and Moenkedick and for Perham to turn games around there will need to be more points from other starters, especially seniors.

Karvonen, a senior guard, has scored 20 points in her past two games. She picked her spots against the Patriots shooting 4-8 with a three-pointer.

Perham falls to 3-7 on the season, while Pequot Lakes improves to 5-7.

The Jackets travel to Crookston (4-5) Monday, before returning home to face #6-ranked Hawley (7-1) on next Thursday, Jan. 12.

Perham results

Pequot Lakes at Perham, Thursday, Jan. 5.

Patriots 33 29 -- 62

Jackets 34 26 -- 60

Scoring stats (2-3-ftm-fta-pts) --PER: Tobkin 2-0-0-0-4; Stoll 8-2-1-5-23; Erickson 1-0-0-0-2; Karvonen 4-1-0-1-11; Moenkedick 5-1-5-5-18; Coleman 1-0-0-2-4. Team: 21-4-6-13-60.

PEQ: Bzdok 1-0-0-2-2; Lueck 2-0-2-2-6; Kreitz 0-0-1-2-1; Mott 3-0-0-0-6; White 3-1-1-2-10; Hogen 9-0-1-3-19; Miller 8-0-0-1-16; Palmer 1-0-0-0-2. Team: 27-1-5-12-62.

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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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