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Hawley avenges previous loss with win over Perham

Ben Ellefson led all scorers with 24 points. Photo by Robert Williams/FOCUS1 / 4
Devon Pekas scored 15 of his 16 points in the first half matching Perham's total first half output. Photo by Robert Williams/FOCUS2 / 4
Jordan Hein scores two of his team-high 13 points over Pekas and Jacob Crompton (44). Photo by Robert Williams/FOCUS3 / 4
Tyler Glines scored a dozen for Perham in a Heart O' Lakes loss at Hawley Friday evening. Photo by Robert Williams/FOCUS4 / 4

HAWLEY -- The first time Hawley and Perham met in boys hoops this season, it was a dogfight, ending in a 69-67 double-overtime loss for the Nuggets. That was their only loss of the season.

In Friday's rematch, the No. 3-ranked team in Class 2A brought their boxing gloves and delivered a knockout punch early, as the Nuggets rolled the Yellowjackets 68-50 to stay atop the Heart O'Lakes Conference.

"We came out all cylinders rolling, and we punched them in the mouth, and they couldn't recover from it," said Hawley forward Devon Pekas, who netted 15 of his 16 points in the first half. "We're still improving. We have a long way to go. Even though we beat them by 18, there isn't anyone who thinks it was a perfect performance."

Hawley (17-1, 8-1) opened the game on a 15-0 run behind nine points from Pekas during the spurt. The closest Perham (14-6, 7-3) got was nine from there on out.

"The intensity was a lot better from the start of this game than it was at Perham," said Hawley forward Ben Ellefson, who had a team-high 24 points to go along with 11 rebounds. "We just played better because of the intensity. We wanted to come out and make them meet our intensity. That hit them in the mouth a little bit."

A free throw from Jordan Hein cut the Hawley lead to

18-6 with 8 minutes, 32 seconds to go in the first half. After a timeout, the Nuggets came out with a 1-3-1 defense that left Perham scoreless for five minutes until Jacob Anderson hit a 3-pointer to make it a 22-9 Hawley lead. If not for a 3-pointer at the buzzer of the first half from Josh Nordick, the Yellowjackets would have had more turnovers than points in the first frame.

"Their size really affects us in that 1-3-1 (zone)," Perham coach Dave Cresap said. "We didn't play with a lot of heart. They are the cream of the crop. They are starting to work together, and people are starting to get involved besides Ellefson and Pekas. We have work to do, but don't count us out in March when we get things going."

After ending the first half up 32-15, Hawley opened the second half with a 14-6 run, with 10 of those points coming from Ellefson. In the second half, Ellefson scored 18 points and hauled in six rebounds.

"I just told myself I had to play where I played best and that was down low, getting rebounds and the shots would follow," Ellefson said.

Different weapons emerge each game for Hawley to go along with Petras and Ellefson's stat sheet. Even though he played with foul trouble almost the entire game, Jordan Harms chipped in 14 points and Jacob Crompton added seven.

"It's scary because we can be pretty good when we do the right things," Hawley coach Jed Carlson said. "We have to keep building until March. That's the ultimate goal."

H (17-1, 8-1): Leaf 1 0-0 2, Ellefson 8 5-6 24, Harms 6 0-0 14, Crompton 3 1-3 7, Pekas 6 2-3 16, Stoa 1 0-0 2, Sellin 1 0-0 2, Teeples 0 1-4 1.

P (14-6, 7-3): Salathe 1 1-3 3, Beachy 1 1-2 4, Hein 5 1-2 13, Glines 5 0-1 12, Nordick 1 0-0 3, Muer 1 0-0 2, Anderson 2 0-0 6, Bahls 3 0-0 7.

Half: H 32, P 17. 3-point goals: Pekas 2, Glines 2, Anderson 2, Nordick 1, Ellefson 3, Harms 2, Beachy 1, Hein 2, Bahls 1. Total fouls: H 17, P 16. Rebounds: H 29 (Ellefson 11, Crompton 6), P 12 (Hein 4). Turnovers: H 20, P 22.