Top spot in the HOL up for grabs tonight for Perham
PERHAM — The Perham boys basketball team can grab a firm hold of first place in the Heart O’ Lakes Conference tonight and control their own destiny with a victory over Hawley.
Going into Thursday night’s play, Perham was tied atop the HOL at 6-2 with Barnesville, but Breckenridge did the Yellowjackets a favor defeating the Trojans 61-49 in Breckenridge continuing a season of parity in the HOL making every game a stiff test for all teams.
Barnesville suffered shooting woes and gave up 43 points to the Cowboys in the second half after a tight first half ended 20-18 in the Trojans’ favor.
Breckendridge’s Nate Blaufuss led all scorers with 16 points. Michael Strand and Nathan Dokkebakken each scored 14 for Barnesville.
The loss drops Barnesville to 6-3 in the HOL setting up Perham to avenge their worst loss of the season Friday versus Hawley. The Nuggets gave Perham a 16-point setback 63-47 when the teams met in Hawley Jan. 7.
The Nuggets, 8-9 on the season, come in after a wild week of having four players quit last Friday. According to sources, some of those players, including starter Jordan Harms, have returned to the team.
Tonight’s game is critical for both teams. Hawley, the defending HOL champions, needs the win to stay in contention for the conference title and build some momentum for the final stretch. A Nugget win creates a three-way tie for second place at 6-3 and would vault Pelican Rapids a half-game in front of the trio at 7-3.
A Perham win solidifies them atop the standings at 7-2 with back-to-back HOL games coming up against the bottom two teams: at home versus Frazee and at D-G-F that they should win, setting up a huge game to finish the regular season at Barnesville.
Current HOL Standings
Pelican Rapids 7-3
The remaining conference games after tonight for the top four teams are:
Perham: vs. Frazee, at D-G-F and at Barnesville.
Pelican: at Hawley, vs. Breckenridge.
Barnesville: at Frazee, at D-G-F, vs. Perham.
Hawley: at D-G-F, vs. Pelican, vs. Frazee.
These games will also have a big impact on Section 8AA Southwest where home court for the playoffs will be up for grabs. 8AA uses the QRF to seed playoff teams.
Section 8AA SW standings (QRF ranking, Team, QRF score, Section Record)
No. 10 Perham (115.9) 10-2
No. 21 Barnesville (102.2) 7-3
No. 28 Pelican Rapids (97.0) 9-4
No. 44 Hawley (84.3) 7-4
No. 74 Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (65.5) 4-7
No. 77 Breckenridge (64.7) 4-6
No. 107 Frazee (42.3) 1-11
No. 118 Wadena-Deer Creek (35.0) 0-8
In one other HOL game tonight, D-G-F hosts Breckenridge.
Barnesville hosts a non-conference game versus Rothsay and Pelican Rapids begins a tough two-game stretch hosting East Grand Forks in a cross-Section 8AA matchup before facing undefeated (18-0) No. 4A Battle Lake Saturday at Concordia College in Moorhead.
East Grand Forks (2A-QRF No. 4) is 6-0 in section play atop 8AA NE and 13-5 overall.
Perham's junior varsity tips off tonight at PWMS at 6 p.m. The C-Team plays at the PACC at 6 p.m. The varsity game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tip at PWMS.
Breckenridge 61, Barnesville 49
Half: Br. 18, Ba. 20
BAR.: Martz 5, Dokkebakken 14, B. Randklev 2, Strand 14, Sauve 10, N. Randklev 2, Ishaug 2.
BRE.: Blaufuss 16, Yaggie 6, Hiedeman 2, Smith 8, Hegge 5, Christensen 11, Lorenz 13.