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PHS Boys Basketball: Another HOL road win

Perham picked up their second-straight big HOL road win Thursday night with a 56-52 victory at Hawley.

Head coach Dave Cresap said despite not really playing their best ball, the Jackets still only trailed by five at halftime, 31-26.

"Our guys really didn't panic or get down when we weren't playing well," Cresap said. "They really hung in there and played better in the second half and down the stretch."

The Jackets would outscore Hawley 30-21 in the second half.

Ben Bucholz scored 12 of his 23 points in the final 18 minutes and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead Perham.

Zach Gabbard scored all 10 of his points in the second half and Nick Tobkin finished with 11 points, four assists, four rebounds and three steals. Jordan Bruhn had seven points, six assists and four rebounds.

The Nuggets won both games in the series last season and had won seven of the last nine meetings overall against Perham.

Close loss in Aberdeen

The Green Swarm eventually took its toll Saturday afternoon.

The defense of Aberdeen Roncalli not only wore down the Perham Yellowjackets, it wore out the visitors from Minnesota. The Cavaliers surrendered just seven fourth-quarter points on the way to a 52-43 non-conference boys basketball win during the McDonald's Border Battle at Wachs Arena in Wahpeton, S.D. on the campus of Northern State University.

"I don't think we caused steals per se, but I think it wore them out," said Roncalli coach Todd Neuendorf of his team's trapping defense. "Give them credit. (That's) probably the best team we've seen since I've been here in four years handling our pressure. They didn't panic."

They did however, wear down under the constant run-and-jump, trapping defense of Roncalli. Although the Cavaliers pulled back into a tight man-to-man defense in the final period, the damage was already done.

"About the middle of the fourth, we hit a spot where we could hardly get up and down the floor," said Perham coach Dave Cresap. "Give them credit. They play hard defensively. They really disrupt the flow of your offense early."

Roncalli scored nine straight points to start the fourth quarter and the Cavaliers were never in trouble after that. Perham managed only one field goal and turned the ball over five times in the first 5 minutes of the final period.

Depth proved to be a key factor in that pivotal stretch of the game.

"Running up and down the court, that will kill a team," said Roncalli junior Christian Cox. "We've got guys that come in and do a great job, so they can give us breathers."

They can also give instant offense.

The Cavaliers outscored Perham 17-0 in bench points, led by Austin Bierle with 11.

Roncalli needed to push the tempo, because the Cavaliers had no real answer for 6-foot 7-inch center Ben Bucholz. The senior finished with 21 points and eight rebounds.

The Cavaliers would have likely had even more problems had Perham's starting point guard not been absent for a wedding.

As it was, Roncalli still needed the late-game surge to put the icing on its third straight win to start the season.

"They do such good jobs of finding mismatches and trying to take advantage of you," Neuendorf said of the Yellowjackets. "In our league, that team would beat a lot of teams. In the years I've been here, I don't know if there's a better team we've played. This is a good measuring stick for us."

The Roncalli boys now know what to expect when they head into the meat of their schedule.

"This was a great ball club," Cox pointed out. "This will just help us down the road. We need games like this to get better."

Perham won the J.V. game against Aberdeen Roncalli, 56-49. In the other half of the Border Battle, DeLaSalle (Mpls.) defeated Milbank (S.D.), 54-39.

The trip was sponsored by, and paid for, by the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce, so there was no expense to the Perham School District.

Worthington Tourney

After Christmas, Perham will once again spend part of their Holiday break playing in the Worthington Classic Dec. 29-30. Joining the Jackets will be the host Trojans, Adrian and Brandon-Evansville.

Perham will begin the New Year at home on Jan. 5 against Barnesville.

(Dave Vilhauer of the Aberdeen American News contributed to this story).

Thursday, December 17

Perham 56, Hawley 52

Perham 26-30--56

Hawley 31-21--52

Jackets--Ben Bucholz 23, Nick Tobkin 11, Zach Gabbard 10, Jordan Bruhn 7, Mike Wiskow 2, Sam Stratton 2, Des Duffy 1.

Nuggets--Bjornson 12, VanHavermaet 10, Olson 9, Harms 9, Regner 5, Hanson 3, Severson 2, Spaeth 2.

2-pointers--P 18/37, H 15/36; 3-pointers--P 5/16, H 2/14; Free Throws--P 5/10, H 16/27; Rebounds--P 27 (Bucholz 10), H 20; Assists--P 17 (Bruhn 6); Steals--P 8 (Tobkin 3); Turnovers--P 11, H 11; Team Fouls--P 20, H 15.

Saturday, December 19

Aberdeen Roncalli 52, Perham 43

Perham 13-10-13-7--43

Aberdeen 10-12-14-16--52

Jackets--Bucholz 21, Gabbard 9, Bruhn 6, Stratton 4, Duffy 3.

Roncalli--Buerle 11, Holmstrom 10, Drapeaux 8, Hoellein 7, Hanson 6, Cox 6, Pfeiffer 4.

2-pointers--P 16, A 12; 3-pointers--P 2, A 6; Free Throws--P 5/7, A 10/16; Rebounds--P 19 (Bucholz 8), A 24; Assists--P 10, A 16; Steals--P 6, A 9; Turnovers--P 11, A 6; Team Fouls--P 13, A 9.

Heart O' Lakes Conf. All

Perham 4-0 4-1

West Central Area 4-1 4-1

Breckenridge 3-1 4-2

Lake Park-Audubon 2-2 3-2

Hawley 2-2 3-2

Barnesville 2-2 2-2

Pelican Rapids 2-2 2-2

D-G-F 1-3 2-3

Ulen-Hitterdal 1-4 1-5

Frazee 0-4 0-6