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Jordan Hein scored a game-high 14 points and helped Perham off to a quick start and a victory over No. 6-2A Pelican Rapids. Photo by Robert Williams/FOCUS

Perham exacts revenge on No. 6 Pelican Rapids

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PERHAM -- Jordan Hein scored a game-high 14 points and the Perham Yellowjackets (12-4) dictated play in a 53-40 victory over No. 6-2A Pelican Rapids (11-4) Friday night in Heart O' Lakes boys basketball action.

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The final score was identical to the previous game between the two clubs won by Pelican Rapids.

"As a team we had to get payback," Hein said. "They kind of took it to us at Pelican. We weren't really ready and I think we took it and hit 'em in the mouth tonight."

The Perham defense managed to keep Vikings' stars Tucker Forsgren and Ryan Bruggeman in foul trouble limiting the duo's effectiveness on the court.

"It was a great turnaround and the thing about it I liked was the last game was 53-40 but it was slow and methodical," Perham head coach Dave Cresap said. "We were up-tempo and even though the score was lowered we really controlled. I thought we took care of their pressure and the biggest thing was we shared the ball. We gave the ball to the open guy."

Perham found open looks under the basket by passing the ball over the Vikings' defense in the offensive end. Pelican Rapids' zone stymied Perham in their first meeting.

"They zoned us the whole first game," Cresap said. "They knew we'd be ready and more prepared this time."

Hein was 7-9 from the field scoring most of his buckets in the paint.

"They took stuff away and we just had to make plays," said Hein. "We passed the ball well and that's the thing about this team - anyone can score at anytime."

Hunter Salathe added a dozen points for Perham, 10 in the second half. Bruggeman and Forsgren each tallied 11 for the Vikings.

Home court advantage continues to be a factor in each of the match-ups between Perham, Pelican Rapids and No. 4-2A Hawley. The home team has won each of the four games the teams have played against each other.

"The big three, Hawley, Pelican and us, we're all pretty tough to beat at home," Hein said. "The crowd was awesome. They kept us in the game."

After three lead changes early in the game, Perham busted out to a 23-16 lead at the half led by 10 first half points from Hein. Forsgren sat out the waning minutes with two fouls and Perham took advantage of his absence.

Perham's Josh Nordick left the game in the first half after taking an elbow on a Forsgren charging foul. According to Cresap, he sustained a concussion and did not return.

Nick Bahls and Sam Muer filled in for the Perham senior.

"Nick Bahls, Sam Muer really stepped up," said Cresap. "We hope to get (Nordick) back. We'll see how he is tomorrow. We'll just have to have our other guards step up and play."

Pelican Rapids struggled to set up their offense and saw a number of shots meet an unfriendly rim in the Perham gym.

Bruggeman played the final eight minutes of the game with four fouls.

"I thought our defense was really good," said Cresap. "Eli Beachy did a heck of a job on Bruggeman," said Cresap.

Perham led by as much as 16 points in the second half. Pelican Rapids closed to within six points, down 41-35, after a three-point basket by Blaine Gorton with 5:15 remaining. Perham outscored the Vikings 12-5 down the stretch sealing the game from the free throw line.

Perham now sits tied atop the Heart O' Lakes conference with Hawley at 6-1. The Nuggets were idle Friday. Pelican Rapids drops to 5-2. Hawley will meet both teams the second week of February in what should decide the conference title with two big games in four days.

"It's something about the Pelican game that's different than all the other ones," said Hein. "The atmosphere and everything seems so much bigger than a different conference game."

Scoring:

PEL 16 24 -- 40

PER 23 30 -- 53

PEL: Ryan Bruggeman 11; Tucker Forsgren 11; Blaine Gorton 10; Nathan Sillerud 4; Devon Hensch 2; Travis Haugen 2.

PER: Jordan Hein 14; Hunter Salathe 12; Eli Beachy 9; Tyler Glines 7; Jake Anderson 5; Nick Bahls 2; Josh Nordick 2; Sam Muer 2.

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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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