Nugget zone foils Yellowjackets 63-47
HAWLEY — The Hawley Nuggets’ zone defense kept the Perham Yellowjackets at bay as the Nuggets improved to 4-6 overall 3-1 in the Heart O’ Lakes Conference with a 63-47 victory in Minnesota boys basketball action Tuesday evening.
“It was big for us to get a win in the new year,” Hawley junior forward Jordan Harms said. “We’re trying to get a spark. Get some wins. Get some momentum for March.”
Perham took command out of the halftime break down 24-19 with an 11-3 run to lead 30-27 on three-point baskets by Eli Beachy and a pair from Tyler Glines.
From a tie at 30, Hawley made a run of their own forcing turnovers from Perham in a 1-3-1 defensive zone that gave the Yellowjackets fits all game.
“We try to use our length to our advantage,” Head Coach Jed Carlson said . “They’re so good at man-to-man defense. It’s not that we don’t want to play it. They just kind of force your hand because they’re so good at running their man offense. They’ll be ready for us next time.”
Hawley used three-point scores the hard way going up by 12 points 49-37 after Dawson Tusow hit a runner and a foul shot, followed by Dalton Leaf slashing the lane twice, being awarded a foul shot on each drive to complete three straight possessions and nine points with seven minutes to play.
The Nuggets scored 10 unanswered points, including another and-one from Leaf to build their largest lead at 59-39. Leaf led all scorers with 16 points and was 6-6 from the line. Ben Ellefson scored 13 points and Jordan Harms added 12 for Hawley.
Glines and Bahls each had three baskets from the arc and 11 points as Perham was forced to shoot from outside. Hunter Salathe scored 10 points.
“We feel like we had to win this one, at home, and with the way things are going with our team,” Carlson said. “It’s going to be a big confidence builder for us moving into Pelican on Friday. We’ve got a chance, as bad as the record might look and all that stuff. We’ve got a chance to be where we want to be and that’s atop the Heart O’ Lakes Conference at the end of the week.”
Pelican Rapids (8-1) was idle in confernce play Tuesday and sit atop the HOL at 3-1 with the Nuggets heading into a showdown for first place Friday, Jan. 10 at Pelican Rapids. Perham is a game back at 2-2, 8-4 overall. Pelican Rapids defeated Ada-Borup 79-53 in non-conference play. Barnesville improved to 6-3 and 3-2 with a 52-28 victory over Frazee at home.