The Perham Yellowjackets came up with the timely stop when they needed it and had just enough offense when they knocked off the sixth-ranked Annandale Cardinals 45-40 during the Grand8 Holiday Classic Championship game in Perham on Dec. 28.
“The intensity level was there again. Defensively, we were really, really sharp,” Perham head coach Dave Cresap said. “They took some things away from use offensively and they are really, really good on defense, too. We got stagnant for awhile, but we gritted it out and found a way to win.”
With the Cardinals trying to amass a late second half comeback, Perham’s Logan Richter tipped the ball away from a driving guard, forcing the game’s final turnover, preserving the the four point lead at the time.
“Our defense was really good. I thought Martin and Jenson guarded their guards really well,” Perham’s Josh Jeziorski said. “Logan (Richter) and our key players off the bench really stepped up and played really good defense.”
It was those little things that stood out in helping the Yellowjackets pick up their ninth win of the season. Jeziorski finished the game with 19 points, leading all Perham scorers. He attacked the glass, coming up with 12 rebounds, including four timely offensive boards. He hit four 3-pointers as well for Perham. One of them came in the second half when the Cardinals were storming back, cutting the Perham lead down to 3-points. He answered, stretching it back to six, 39-33.
“That was a really exciting play,” Jeziorski said. ”I was feeling it at the top of the key or over at the side in the corner. I felt good out of my hand and it went in.”
Jeziorski’s 3-pointer was one of the many key shots the Yellowjackets would hit in a tight, defensive battle between two top-10 teams. Jenson Beachy added a key 3-pointer early in the second half when Annandale opened with a small run at Perham.
“We made big shots when we needed it,” Cresap said. “They were making that hard run and we had to do something. They weren’t giving us many easy looks. They were trapping our ball screen hard and stretching us out a bit, but we made the plays when we had too and to come away with a win against the fifth ranked team in the state, we will take it.”
The victory spoiled a big night from Annandale’s AJ Hinz. He finished with 29 points on 10 of 18 shooting. He finished with eight rebounds as well. Hinz was the only player in double figures for Annandale in the low scoring, defensive battle.
“He (Hinz) is an animal, really, really good. He is so good out on the perimeter. He can go outside, shoot the 3-pointer, post up really hard and he takes the ball on the dribble,” Cresap said. “He is just an overall good player. I thought he kept them in the game, because we guarded everyone else pretty well.”
Martin LaFond added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Yellowjackets, while Beachy finished with seven points.
The Yellowjackets improve to 9-0 on the season. They return to action the road with a trip to Thief River Falls on Jan. 4, beginning at 7:30 p.m. They return home for a contest with the Hawley Nuggets on Friday, Jan. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Prairie Wind Middle School.
Annandale 17 23--40
Perham 27 18--45
ANN-Leo Healy 5, Trenton Peterson 3, Trent Peper 3, AJ Hinz 29
3-pointers: Peterson, Hinz 2. Free Throws: 9-14. Fouls: 16. Fouled Out: None
PER-Jenson Beachy 7, Martin LaFond 12, Josh Jeziorski 19, Carter Cresap 3, Finn Diggins 2, Logan Richter 2.
3-pointers: Beachy, LaFond, Jeziorski 4, Cresap. Free Throws: 10-14. Fouls: 15. Fouled Out: None
Anoka 57, Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 33
The Anoka Tornadoes used a big first half from Jake Phipps and a strong second half from Addison Ostendorf to pick up a 57-33 victory over Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta in the third place game of the Grand8 Holiday Classic.
Phipps controlled the paint in the first half, finishing with 19 points, 14 of them coming in the first half. Ostendorf took over in the second half, finishing with a game high of 20 points. He scored 13 of his 20 points in the dominant second half for the Tornadoes.
The Tornadoes took control of the game with an 18-5 run midway through the first half. The Tigers struggled to get much going in the first half, only getting six of their field goal attempts to drop in the half. Jaret Johnson led the way for the Tigers. He finished with a team high of 18 points. He scored 10 of the team’s 15 points in the opening half. Jackson Loge added 10 points for the Tigers in the loss.
The Tornadoes continued to build on their lead in the second half with Ostendorf taking control. He connected for three 3-pointers, helping build the lead up. The Tornadoes outscored the Tigers 27-18 in the second half.
Anoka 30 27--57
Morris 15 18--33
Anoka-Addison Ostendorf 20, Mac Wieczorek 3, Cody Lindenberg 3, Micah Madyun 4, Levi Cooper 1, Jake Phipps 19, Joseph Lombard 7
3-pointers: Ostendorf 4, Wieczorek. Free Throws: 8-13. Team Fouls: 16. Fouled Out: None
Morris-Camden Arndt 2, Connor Koebernik 1, Jackson Loge 10, Tate Nelson 3, Jaret Johnson 18
3-pointers: Johnson 2. Free Throws: 8-14. Team Fouls: 10. Fouled Out: None