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Shut down defense helps Perham to convincing road win

The Perham Yellowjackets used a dominant performance on defense as they cruised to an 80-34 victory over Little Falls on Dec. 5. The Yellowjackets held the Flyers to just 13 points in the second half of its non-conference boys basketball game.

“Our intensity from the opening tip until almost the end of the game was really, really good,” Perham head coach Dave Cresap said. “We played hard for 36 minutes and the results really show.”

The Yellowjackets had three players finish in double digits with Jenson Beachy leading the way with 22 points. Josh Jeziorski added 17 points while Carter Cresap added 14. In all, 11 Yellowjackets recorded points in the victory.

“That’s pretty good balance. I thought we moved the ball really well team wise,” Cresap said. “We passed the ball around the perimeter and hit the open guys tonight and we were knocking them down.”

Cresap was happy with the Yellowjackets’ defensive effort in the win. He said it was really sound and said they got after it. He said the shots Little Falls did make were contested and they got into passing lanes. The Yellowjackets owned the glass as well, holding a 41-12 rebounding edge on the Flyers. Jeziorski recorded a double-double with 15 rebounds to go with his 17 points.

“If you hit that 40 mark in high school, you have got a lot of rebounds,” Cresap said. “We had some offensive rebounds to keep some balls alive. That was a big key, when we get to the boards you can get out and run and get easy shots. On the offensive end, you can maybe get an easy shot once in awhile.”

The Yellowjackets led by 20 at the halftime break and continued to stretch the lead out in the second half with suffocating defense. They held the Flyers to just 13 points in the second half, cruising to their second straight victory to start the season.

The Yellowjackets open conference play with a big test early when they take on the defending Section 8AA Champions, Breckenridge, on Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. The Cowboys are coming off a 63-60 defeat to Hawley in its conference opener.

“We have quite the stretch coming up on Friday and Saturday with Breckenridge and the Breck School,” Cresap said. “We are looking forward to it and the kids are excited about going to Breckenridge and seeing what we can do. That was a big upset tonight with Hawley beating Breckenridge at Hawley, so they are going to be hungry, so we have to be hungrier on their court.”

The Yellowjackets will turn around and head to Hopkins on Saturday, Dec. 9 when they play the Breck School at 10:30 a.m. in the Minnesota Breakdown Classic.

PER 41 39--80

LF 21 13--34

PER-Tanner Knutson 3, Jenson Beachy 22, Josh Jeziorski 17, Ben Winkels 6, John LaFond 4, Seth Johnson 3, Carter Cresap 14, Charlie Rasmussen 2, Dawson Stevens 2, Finn Diggins 4, Logan Richter 3

3-point goals-Knutson, Beachy 4, Jeziorski, Winkels 2, Cresap 2

LF-Joe Alholm 8, Caleb Strack 8, Noah Nordlie 11, Travis Wenzel 4, Mason Wickstrom 3

3-point goals-Wickstrom, Alholm, Strack, Nordlie

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

(218) 346-5900 x223
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