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Perham busts out to 3-0 start

Nick Bahls is one of four starters averaging double figures per game in Perham's 3-0 start to the season. Robert Williams/FOCUS

COON RAPIDS — The Perham boys basketball team is off to a 3-0 start after wins over Staples-Motley, Breck and Wadena-Deer Creek.

The Yellowjackets have been ranked as high as No. 1 in a number of preseason polls. Three straight state tournament appearances, including a championship, will do that.

While the victories over Staples-Motley (74-43) and Wadena-Deer Creek (83-53) were expected cake walks at home, the victory at the Anoka-Ramsey showcase over Breck (55-52) is indicative of a team deserving of a top 10 distinction.

Yellowjacket success has created small rivalries with metro schools like Minnehaha Academy and others and Perham has played impressive ball in the metro against those teams on big courts.

Perham took the ball to the iron to defeat the Mustangs making 20 of 22 shots from inside the paint.

Hunter Salathe (17) and Sam Muer (16) led Perham in scoring from down low.

Salathe was 7-9 from the field. Muer was six of 10.

Point guard Eli Beachy was the third player in double figures scoring 10 points on four of five shooting.

Both teams made first half scoring runs. Perham led 14-5 in the first five minutes and 36-25 at the half.

Perham held a 10-point lead to the midway point of the second half before a 9-0 Breck run cut Perham’s lead to a three-point advantage as time waned. A three-pointer by the Mustangs’ Mo Lawal made it a one-possession game late.

Lawal led all scorers with 24 points, the only Mustang in double figures.

Kevin Linehan had a last heave at the basket for the tie.

Perham held on for the 55-52 victory shooting 65 percent as a team from the field. The Jackets were 10-15 from the line and outrebounded Breck 21-13.

Perham (2-0) vs. Breck (0-3)

PER   36 19 — 55

BRE   25 27 — 52

PER: Salathe 17, Muer 16, Beachy 10, Bahls 9, Glines 3.

BRE: Lawal 24, Culliton 8, Linehan 5, Bodom 3, Cousineau 3, Kulick 3, Chiaokhiao-Bowman 2, N/A 2.

PERHAM — The Jackets improved to 3-0 with a thumping of Wadena-Deer Creek Monday evening.

Nick Bahls was lights out from three making seven of 11 attempts from the arc scoring a game-high 25 points.

Like the past few years, Perham is a many-headed monster on offense. With Salathe and Muer capable of winning games down low, Bahls, Tyler Glines and Beachy are equally as dangerous from outside and slashing into the paint.

As a team, Perham shot 39 percent from long range making 12-31. Chris Kenntemich (2), Christian Weis (1) and Jaden Anderson (2) complimented Bahls’ seven threes.

Salathe scored 14 points and is averaging 18 ppg in three contests.

Bahls is averaging 14 ppg; Beachy scores 10.6 points per game; Muer 10.3.

Glines is a point away from making it all five starters in double figures per game with an average of nine points per game in two games played.

Kenntemich added 13 points in the blowout, as nine Yellowjacket shooters marked up the scoresheet.

Perham outscored the Wolverines by 22 points, nearly doubling their opponents’ output in the first half to a 46-24 lead at the break.

More of the same in the second half with Perham outscoring Wadena-Deer Creek 37-29 for the 83-53 final.

Wadena-Deer Creek (1-3) at Perham (3-0)

WDC  24  29 — 53

PER   46  37 — 83

S-M: Hofmann 10, Borders 9, Schimpp 9, Auger 6  Holub 5, Lund 2, Paskewitz 1,  Waverek 1.

PER: Bahls 25, Salathe 14, Kenntemich 13, Beachy 8, Weis 7, Anderson 6, Muer 6, Moberg 2, Hietala 2.

PERHAM — The Perham Yellowjackets boys basketball team built a 25 point lead in the first half and kept adding to it in a 74-43 season-opening victory Tuesday evening over the Staples-Motley Cardinals.

Hunter Salathe scored 17 first half points nearly matching the Cardinals as Perham led 41-22 at the break.

Perham took charge early with buckets by Tyler Glines, a four-pack of points from Salathe and Sam Muer putting up an 8-0 lead before Tyler Holub drained a three at 15:20 to get the Cardinals on the board at 8-3.

That five-point deficit was as close as Staples-Motley would come as Salathe made consecutive baskets followed up by a deuce from Nick Bahls and the lead was quickly 14-3 before the Cardinals scored again four minutes later. The Yellowjackets displayed the frustrating defense that has pushed Perham to three state trips to the state tournament.

"We came out and had a very good first game," Head Coach Dave Cresap said. "Our defensive intensity was really good for the first 13 minutes of the first half. Our bench really did a good job for the first time on a varsity floor. I see this team really developing as the season goes along."

Perham led 36-11 with five minutes remaining in the first half and led by 35 points up 70-35 with five minutes to go in the game causing running time on the clock.

Glines and Eli Beachy scored in double figures with 15 and 14 points respectively. Glines made five of six attempts.

Muer scored nine, Bahls had eight.

Salathe led all scorers with 23 points as the starting five scored 69 of Perham’s 74 points. Salathe was 10 of 15 shooting from the field and was one rebound away from recording a double-double. Beachy, Glines and Bahls each had a three-point basket.

Zack Hofmann led Staples-Motley with 10 points.

Perham outrebounded the Cardinals 36-13.

The Perham junior varsity and C-team won their games making it a sweep for Perham.

Other Heart O' Lakes Conference teams in action: Barnesville defeated Ashby 64-53; Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton defeated Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal 52-37; Breckenridge lost at home to Fergus Falls 79-54.

Perham will play Saturday against Breck in the Anoka-Ramsey Showcase at 12:30 p.m. at the Performance Gym on the Coon Rapids campus of Anoka-Ramsey Community College. The Yellowjackets next home game will be Monday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. versus Wadena-Deer Creek.

Perham student Megan Leslie organized a halftime fundraiser and three-point shooting competition for members of the crowd as part of the “End Polio Now: Make History Today” campaign, which has been spearheaded by the Perham Rotary Club. For more information visit and

For extended coverage of Perham basketball, especially info on junior varsity and C-team games, visit

Forum’s Chris Murphy keeps tabs on local hoops at

For more photos and stats from games, stop by @PerhamSports and @PerhamHoops on Twitter,

Staples-Motley (0-1) at Perham (1-0)

S-M   22  21 — 43

PER   41  33 — 74

S-M: Hofmann 10, Borders 9, Schimpp 9, Auger 6  Holub 5, Lund 2, Paskewitz 1,  Waverek 1.

PER: Salathe 23, Glines 15, Beachy 14, Muer 9, Bahls 8, Moberg 2, Anderson 2, Weis 1.

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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