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Perham stifles Battle Lake

The Perham Yellowjackets used stifling defense to wear down the Battle Lake Battlers in picking up a 68-29 victory on Dec. 15 at the Prairie Wind Middle School gymnasium.

Offensively, the Yellowjackets didn’t have the same flash as they did in their 83-34 win over Frazee, but they executed and worked the ball around the floor, hitting the open shot. Perham dished out 16 assists in the win.

“It was an excellent effort coming off a game last night. Our intensity level on defense was probably the best I have seen for a whole 36 minutes,” Perham head coach Dave Cresap said. “I love this team and they are going to be really good. If we keep making strides defensively and offensively, we are really good. They (Battle Lake) were patient on offense to start the game and I knew they would be. They ran their offense well and they are well-coached. We knew we would be in a dogfight early and it was matter of wearing them down and getting things going and boy did we get things going.”

Jenson Beachy led three players in double figures. Beachy finished with 17 points, while Josh Jeziorski added 14 points and Martin LaFond finished with 11. The Yellowjackets shot the ball well, hitting on 58 percent of their shots and 52 percent of them from the 3-point line.

Defensively, the Yellowjackets made it tough on the Battlers. The Battlers hit on just 25 percent of their shots, led by Isaiah Dorn’s nine points. The Battlers hit just one of their seven 3-pointers in the game and did most of their scoring from the free throw line. The Battlers hit 14 of their 17 free throw attempts.

“I didn’t think we gave up too many wide open looks all night,” Cresap said. “When you do that, with the explosiveness we have on offense, we are going to score some points. It will start wearing them down and I think it did a little bit tonight.”

The Battlers tried to slow the pace of the game down after the Yellowjackets stormed out of the gates. Perham raced out to a 13-0 lead and a 20-3 lead in the first half. Battle Lake switched to a zone defense to slow down the pace of the game.

“They caught us off guard and we haven’t worked on it too much,” Cresap said. “We went into the locker room and made some adjustments and I thought we executed well in the second half. The kids will learn that and we will get that down. We will see more of that because it will slow the pace of the game down.”

The Yellowjackets raced out of the locker room in the second half with a 24-5 run, helping seal the 68-29 victory.

“I’m very happy with these guys,” Cresap said. “They are a great bunch of kids and I’m just proud of them.”

The Yellowjackets improve to 6-0 and return to conference action when they take on Barnesville on Thursday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the PWMS gymnasium.

BL 11 18--29

PER 34 34--68

BL-Brady VanErp 2, Nick VanErp 8, Bennet Cameron 3, Cole Brandner 2, Colton Kirschbaum 5, Isaiah Dorn 9.

3-pointers-Cameron. Free Throws: 14-17. Team Fouls: 10. Fouled Out: None

PER-Jenson Beachy 17, Martin LaFond 11, Josh Jeziorski 14, Ben Winkels 5, John LaFond 6, Seth Johnson 2, Carter Cresap 6, Logan Richter 7.

3-pointers-Beachy 3, Martin LaFond 3, Jeziorski, Winkels, Cresap 2. Free Throws: 8-10. Team Fouls: 18. Fouled Out: None

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. 

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