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Girls Basketball: Yellowjackets hang with No. 9 New London-Spicer

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PERHAM -- The Perham Yellowjackets girls basketball team (1-16) could have mailed in this season after an 0-14 start, especially against a top-ten team like New London-Spicer on Saturday.

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Even more so, after the Warriors jumped out to a 12-0 lead. The Perham girls, however, did not, sticking with NLS in a 63-53 defeat.

"The girls came to work tonight and I really couldn't be happier about the way this team is coming together," Perham Head Coach TJ Super said. "I think they are gaining the focus and mental toughness that we strive for as a team and program."

All-State guard Taylor Thunstedt was 5-7 from three and led all scorers with 27 points and a double-double with 12 rebounds.

Perham got impressive scoring contributions from Analea Erickson (19) and Emily Tobkin (16).

"I told both these girls before the game that they were going to get open looks and they were going to have to knock them down for us to be successful tonight, and they both rose to the occasion and did their job."

Take away the initial 12-0 run from the Warriors and the rest of the first half played out nearly even with NLS going into the break up 45-32.

"Giving up 45 points in a half is just way too many and was too frustrating when we play good defense for the possession and then give up second chance points."

NLS outrebounded Perham 30-23 and scored 12 second chance points that came from backside rebounding, according to Super.

"The girls made the adjustments at halftime and came out with a renewed energy and improved those two defensive areas that were lacking in the first half."

Thunstedt's opportunities from behind the arc were limited to two shots and Perham made it a point to get the ball out of her hands.

The Yellowjackets held her to just three baskets and the Warriors to only 18-second half points. In fact, Perham outscored NLS 21-18 in the second half.

"Our girls can be proud with the way they came back and defended and rebounded in the second half."

After getting their first victory on January 22, Perham lost a four-point game on the road at Park Rapids and suffered this defeat by only 10 points to the No. 9 ranked team in Class 2A.

"We've been talking a lot lately about each girl's role on the team and how each girl has to step up into her role and do her job for us to be successful. I'm excited to see how are girls are going to come out and compete against teams that we've already seen once before. It should be a fun final stretch to the season."

The stretch was scheduled to continue this evening at archrival Pelican Rapids (14-3). That game has been postponed due to inclement weather.

NLS 45 18 -- 63

PER 32 21 -- 53

Scoring:

PER: Analea Erickson 19; Emily Tobkin 16; Tina Scheidecker 5; Miranda Lockhart 4; Maria Rutten 4; Alli Smith 3; Brittany Miller 2 .

NLS: Thunstedt 27; Setterberg 11; King 7; Kieft 6; Ness 4; Fredrick 5; Thorson 2; Lothert 1; Setterberg 1.

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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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