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Holiday basketball tournament previews

Hunter Salathe led Perham with 16 points in the double-overtime loss to Worthington in last year's finals. Robert Williams/FOCUS

WORTHINGTON — The Perham boys basketball team (7-2, 2A-QRF 14) will face a rematch of last season’s Worthington Tournament title game when they take on the host Trojans (3-3, 3A-QRF 50 ) in the nightcap of day one of the tournament Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Mankato West (6-2, 3A-QRF 15) takes on Sibley East (3-5, 2A-QRF 84) in the opener scheduled for 6 p.m.

The Yellowjackets will see a different brand of basketball from Worthington under new head coach Jared Keaveny. The Trojans defeated Perham in the championship game last season 79-70 in double overtime. Will Dudley and Spencer Grafing both scored 16 points in that game and return this year as seniors.

Hunter Salathe led Perham with 16 points. Tyler Glines added 14.

Perham is coming off their second defeat of the season, a one-point buzzer beater to Battle Lake. Both of Perham’s losses have been by one point and have uncommonly occurred at home. Of Perham’s nine games, only three have been on the road.

Worthington has lost two of their last three games and are 1-1 on their home floor. The Trojans lost the last time they played at home to Pipestone Area 81-76.

Worthington has averaged 71.3 points per game and has allowed 65.2. Perham has typical Yellowjacket defensive numbers having averaged 62 points per game, while allowing only 49.8.

Mankato West has lost two of their last four games after starting the season 4-0. The Scarlets were ranked No. 8 in Class 3A in the December 18 Minnesota Basketball News poll.

Sibley East lost four of their first five games, but the Wolverines come into the tournament on a two-game win streak after a 59-44 victory over New Ulm Cathedral and a 62-61 squeaker over LaSueur-Henderson, both at home. Sibley East is winless in three games away from Arlington.

Sibley East is underwater in scoring averages putting up 57 ppg while allowing 61. 

Mankato West scores 67.6 and allows 60.

A Mankato West/Perham final presents an intriguing historical match-up as Mankato West defeated Perham in the finals in 2004, ‘05 and ‘07, and in the first round in 2006. Perham’s only win in the tournament over the Scarlets came last year in the first round by a score of 68-60.

Perham finishes at the Worthington tournament:

2012 Runners-up to Worthington;

2011 Runners-up to Ellsworth;

2010 Champions - Wins over Adrian and Ellsworth;

2009 Champions - Wins over Adrian and Worthington;

2008 4th place;

2007 Runners-up to Mankato West;

2006 3rd place;

2005 Runners-up to Mankato West;

2004 Runners-up to Mankato West;

2003 3rd place;


LITTLE FALLS — The Yellowjacket girls (3-4, 2A-QRF 72) will attempt to snap a three-game losing skid after starting the season 3-1 when they take on the host Flyers (1-6, 3A-QRF 58) in the second game of the Little Falls tournament at 3:45 p.m.

Something has to give in this game as Little Falls comes in on a two-game losing streak.

Perham is the only 2A team in the tournament. Little Falls and Apollo are in the bottom five QRF rankings of the 64-team Class 3A.

North Branch is favored to win the tournament with a record of 4-1, and a 3A QRF ranking of 24. The Vikings take on a winless St. Cloud Apollo team (0-5, 3A-QRF 62) in the 2 p.m. tournament opener.

Apollo has struggled this season suffering two bombastic losses, an 80-10 defeat at Delano and an 80-19 rout at home to the talented, and undefeated, Fergus Falls Otters (6-0, 3A-QRF 4).

The 4-1 Vikings only loss was a 41-38 defeat to Class 4A Irondale (2-4, 4A-QRF 52) at home Dec. 10.

Scoring averages for the four teams: (PF, PA)

Perham 50.6, 56.6

Little Falls 39.9, 61.4

North Branch 57.2, 32.4

Apollo 27.6, 68.8.

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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