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Pelican Rapids comeback knocks off #2 Perham (VIDEO)

Luke Halbakken scores over Perham center Mark Schumacher. Bob Williams/FOCUS2 / 4
Luke Halbakken stuffs Perham's Jordan Anderson. Bob Williams/FOCUS3 / 4
Jordan Cresap led all scorers with 17 points. Bob Williams/FOCUS4 / 4

PELICAN RAPIDS--Despite trailing for much of the second half, the #6-ranked Class 2A Pelican Rapids Vikings stormed back late in the game, as Perham's shooting went cold, for a 51-48 Heart O' Lakes Conference victory.

The win evens the season series between the two clubs at a game apiece and locks both teams in a tie for the top spot in the conference at 6-1.

"It's a big rivalry and conference game so it means a lot since they beat us the first time and if we want any chance of winning the HOL we must get this win," Pelican Rapids Head Coach Brand Strand said.

The Vikings came into the game with minimal preparation for the defending state champions, having beaten a strong Barnesville (4-3, 11-5) club 77-70 on Tuesday night.

"We played on Tuesday so we only had one practice working to prepare for Perham," Strand said.

It showed as the game was played more at the pace preferred by the Yellowjackets, a methodical defensive affair.

The Vikings average scoring over 75 points per game but in two contests with Perham they have averaged 46.5 points per game, one point over Perham's season average points allowed.

Pelican Rapids grabbed the lead for the first time, in the second half, 46-45, with 2:44 remaining on a bucket down low by Tucker Forsgren.

Perham would not regain the lead the remainder of the way.

Casey Bruggeman sank two free throws with under 30 seconds to go to bump the lead to four, 49-45.

On the ensuing possession, Perham's Jordan Anderson hit a leaning three-pointer to cut the lead to one point, 49-48, with 15 ticks left on the clock.

Ryan Bruggeman put two more free throws in leading to another three-point attempt by Anderson at the buzzer that struck the front of the iron to end the game.

Perham guard Jordan Cresap led all scorers with 17 points. Anderson had 12.

Only five Vikings scored on the night.

Casey Bruggeman and Luke Halbakken paced the Vikings with 13 points each. Ryan Bruggeman had 11. Tucker Forsgren scored 10. Ryan Huseby had four points.

Halbakken kept Pelican Rapids close in the first half scoring 11 of his points early.

Perham led by three at the break, 29-26. There were seven lead changes in the first half, only one in the second half.

Perham led by as many as eight points, up 36-28, as Cresap came out of halftime with a hot touch scoring seven of Perham's first nine points in the latter frame.

The Vikings shut Cresap down allowing him only one more field goal the rest of the way.

The game had a similar feel to last season when the two teams met in Pelican Rapids. Perham led most of the 2011 game and saw a lead slip away late before Pelican Rapids came back to win in overtime.

Perham falls to 14-2 overall. Pelican Rapids improves to 13-3.

Half: P 29, PR 26

P: Cresap 17, Anderson 12, Schumacher 8, Bruhn 5, Nordick 4, Cavanagh 2.

PR: Halbakken 13, C. Bruggeman 13, R. Bruggeman 11, Forsgren 10, Huseby 4.

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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