Depleted Yellowjackets advance in overtime
A depleted Perham boys basketball team narrowly escaped being upset by the Hawley Nuggets in the 8AA South Sub-Section semifinals Saturday night. Perham controlled the overtime period of four minutes sealing the game from the free throw line in a 65-59 victory.
Jordan Hein nailed a key 12-foot jump shot to open scoring in the extra frame putting Perham up 56-54. Both teams traded free throws to a tie at 57. Jordan Anderson nailed a jumper from the top of the key to give Perham a two-point lead, 59-57, with 90 seconds remaining. Two free throws from Jordan Cresap bumped the Perham lead to four with 34 ticks left on the clock.
Three attempts at three-pointers from Hawley shooters went awry and Anderson would seal the victory from the charity stripe.
Anderson played some important minutes due to Jordan Bruhn missing the game with a slight case of pneumonia. Jordan Hein filled Bruhn's spot in the starting rotation and played aggressively in Bruhn's absence.
An even game in the early minutes stayed that way for much of the first half. Perham took a five-point lead into the locker room at the break, 27-22.
"We wanted to get the tempo going in our favor," Head Coach Dave Cresap said.
The Yellowjackets came out in the second half and did exactly that stretching their lead to 11 points, 40-29, on three-pointers from Cresap and Anderson and a nice put back by Mike Wiskow following a Cresap miss.
Hawley's Devon Pekas led a charge back into the ballgame to a tie at 48 with 2:12 remaining in regulation.
Mark Schumacher hit a huge three-pointer to give Perham a 51-48 advantage and Anderson stole the ball on Hawley's next possession forcing the Nuggets to foul as the clock winded down to one minute.
Hein hit one free throw to bump the lead to four, 52-48. Hawley forward Kevin Olson matched one freebie. Mike Wiskow slipped behind the defense and got an easy lay-up giving Perham what appeared a safe five-point lead with 44 seconds remaining.
Brett Severson hit a three-pointer cutting Perham's lead to a deuce and the Nuggets sent Anderson to the line with a chance to clinch the game. Anderson missed the front end of a one and one and Severson sprinted up the court tying the game with a lay-up and getting fouled with a chance to give Hawley the lead with 15 seconds remaining. Severson missed the free throw and neither team got a good look at the basket in the waning seconds.
Pekas led the Nuggets with 24 points. Severson scored 12.
Hein led the Yellowjackets with 16 points. Cresap scored 14, including four three-pointers. Nick Tobkin had 11.
Tobkin picked up his fourth foul with 14:23 remaining in the second half and saw limited playing time. He fouled out at the 3:52 mark. Tobkin came into the game Perham's leading scorer down the stretch of the regular season.
The Yellowjackets overcame Bruhn's absence, Tobkin's limited play, the ever-present absence of Zach Gabbard and beat the Nuggets for the third time this year, a feat that often fails.
"I never believed in that," Coach Cresap said. "If you come in and execute your offense and do the things you need to do you'll be alright."
The Yellowjackets, ranked #6 in state AA rankings, sporting a record of 26-1 are all right and head to the 8AA South Sub-Section Final to face the #4 state-ranked Pequot Lakes Patriots (24-4). The Patriots defeated Pelican Rapids 70-65 to advance. The Pequot Lakes/Perham game will be played on a neutral court, Tuesday, Mar. 15, at 7 p.m., in Park Rapids at the Middle School. The location of the game has been confirmed. Perham defeated Pequot Lakes 64-60, in Perham, back on January 4.
The 26th victory by the Yellowjackets extends their school record for wins in a season.
In the north subsection of 8AA, top-seeded Bagley advanced defeating East Grand Forks 54-47. Bagley sports a record of 27-2. The Flyers will face Thief River Falls, who defeated Crookston 55-44 to advance.
Devon Pekas 24, Brett Severson 12, Luke VanHavermaet 9, Kevin Olson 8, Johnson 4, Keifer Hinrichs 2.
2's--14/46; 3's--6/19; FT's--13/23.
Rebounds--38; Turnovers--16; Fouls--18.
Perham--Jordan Hein 16, Jordan Cresap 14, Nick Tobkin 11, Mark Schumacher 7, Jordan Anderson 7, Mike Wiskow 7, Sam Stratton 3.
2's--10/39; 3's--10/20; FT's--15/22; Fouls--18.
Rebounds--30; Steals--11; Assists--14; Turnovers--13.