Perham runs win streak to 13 with victory over Lakers
It may not have been the style of win the Yellowjackets were hoping for, but it was the type of game they needed when they defeated the Detroit Lakes 53-45 in a non-conference boys basketball clash on Jan. 11 at the Prairie Wind Middle School.
The Lakers used their height and physicality to stick with the Yellowjackets, putting forth one of their best efforts of the season, hoping to knock off the state-ranked Yellowjackets. However, Perham gritted it out, earning the eight-point home win.
“I thought Detroit Lakes was a very good team. I have to give them a lot of credit. They are physically strong, they are long at every position and they play really good defense,” Perham head coach Dave Cresap said. “I was really impressed with them. I thought our guys were a little flat to start the game. We wanted to jump out early and we couldn’t do it. But, we battled. Those games are great for teams, you learn how to win the close ones. We battled and persevered and came away with a win.”
Martin LaFond’s ability to provide instant offense, sparked the Yellowjackets in the second half. With the Yellowjackets trailing by one, he scored eight straight points, helping give Perham the lead for good. He finished the game with 21 points, leading all scorers. He was 7 of 11 from the field and perfect from the 3-point line on a cold shooting night for Perham.
“He has that explosiveness. He is a guy, who can get in the lane and make things happen,” Cresap said. “He hit a big 3-pointers after missing two free throws. He came right down the floor and nailed it. He is a dynamic player.”
Jenson Beachy and Josh Jeziorski finished with eight points each. Jeziorski and Logan Richter led the way on the boards for Perham with eight and seven, respectively.
The Lakers entered the contest with a 2-7 mark, were looking to get a marquee win in knocking off the Yellowjackets. They started strong with a 9-5 lead and led at multiple points in the first half, yet trailed at the intermission by three.
“It was our best effort of the year, by far,” DL head coach Markus Okeson said. “I think our intensity, our enthusiasm, everyone was engaged the full 36 minutes and we did a lot of good things.”
They came out using their physicality in establishing themselves in the front court, eventually taking the lead at multiple points in the second half. Jacob Bettcher led the Lakers with 11 points, while Jackson Haire finished with eight points before fouling out of the game.
“I thought they (Detroit Lakes) played very well. They played extremely hard and rebounded the ball very well,” Cresap said. “They took advantage of things when we didn’t play very well. They are a nice team and they are going to beat someone that’s not ready to play them. I tell our kids, we started the season with a small target on our back and it got bigger and bigger, now it’s huge.”
The target comes from becoming the seventh ranked team in the most recent polls, as well as big victories over Annandale and Breckenridge early in the season. The victory moved the Yellowjackets to 13-0, which is the first time in school history the Yellowjackets have started out with a 13 game winning streak, according to Cresap.
“That’s quite an achievement for this team. We are going to get bumped along the way, but we have to know how we are going to handle it,” Cresap said. “We have to handle wins and losses the same. If we get bumped off in a loss, we bounce right back and win. These kids have a lot of good goals. One of the players, I think it was Richter, who said, ‘this was a great game for us and we need one of these games.’ He was right, we need to be challenged a bit and they answered it well.”
The Yellowjackets are back in action on Friday, Jan. 19 when they take on Pelican Rapids in Pelican Rapids.
DL 23 22--45
PER 26 27--53
DL-Tanner Doppler 6, Jackson Haire 8, Jacob Bettcher 11, Connor Froke 7, Gabe Hanninen 5, Logan Pratt 4, Jake Kerzman 4
3-pointers: Bettcher, Froke, Hanninen. Free Throws: 2-7. Team Fouls: 19. Fouled Out: Haire
PER-Jenson Beachy 8, Martin LaFond 21, Josh Jeziorski 8, Ben Winkels 2, Carter Cresap 6, Finn Diggins 5, Logan Richter 3
3-pointers: Beachy, LaFond 3, Cresap. Free Throws: 16-28. Team Fouls:13. Fouled Out: None