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Big second half lifts Perham over Hawley in Section 8AA tournament

Perham's Jordan Bruhn drives past Hawley's Keifer Hinrichs on Saturday at Concordia College in Moorhead. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

MOORHEAD - Jordan Bruhn got going and so continues the season for the defending Minnesota Class 2A champions.

Perham, holding a four-point halftime lead, turned to its senior guard and he responded by scoring the first nine points of the second half. It lifted the Yellowjackets to a 55-38 victory over Hawley in the Section 8 boys basketball quarterfinals at Concordia's Memorial Auditorium.

"I was sitting out some in the first half and while watching, I just thought this could be my last game," Bruhn said. "I had to get going."

He also admitted he had to get going defensively, too.

The Nuggets hung tough in the first half with forwards Ben Ellefson and Devon Pekas splitting the entire Hawley production in a 22-18 intermission deficit. Bruhn said he and forward Mike Wiskow were responsible for guarding the Hawley duo.

"I just turned to Mike and said 'that's me and you,'" Bruhn said. "We have to shut them down."

They made good on their promise, limiting them to just two Ellefson free throws in the first eight minutes.

By then, Perham led 39-23.

"The kids defended hard the first seven minutes," said Perham head coach Dave Cresap.

Bruhn had 15 of his 18 points in the second half. "When he gets in the open court, he's pretty hard to guard," Cresap said.

It sets up a semifinal clash between two area Class 2A heavyweights: Perham and Pelican Rapids. They split two games during the regular season.

Cresap calls them two teams with different styles who are evenly matched.

"We're going to have to have some toughness," he said.

Bruhn agreed, calling it another rivalry game with some spice.

"There's not much you can say," he said. "It's going to be a bloodbath."

Meanwhile, the excitement was already building for Pelican Rapids on Saturday night.

"It will be huge Tuesday," said Vikings head coach Brad Strand. "Everybody has been predicting this huge showdown. To me, they're all like conference games and that's what makes it hard because it's so hard to beat each other."

HAWLEY: Hinrichs 0 2-2 2, Crompton 1 1-1 3, Pekas 4 3-4 11, Ellefson 5 6-6 18. Totals: 11 12-13 38.

PERHAM: Cresap 3 0-1 8, Anderson 3 0-0 8, Schumacher 5 3-3 13, Wiskow 3 0-0 6, Bruhn 6 4-7 18. Totals: 20 7-11 55.

Halftime: Perham 22, Hawley 18. Total fouls: Hawley 15, Perham 12. Fouled out: none. 3-point goals: Ellefson 3, Cresap 2, Anderson 2, Bruhn 2.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.