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Yellowjackets handle Laker pressure 63-49

Nick Bahls hit the 20-point mark in an impressive performance helping Perham down Detroit Lakes Saturday night. Robert Williams/FOCUS2 / 2

PERHAM — Like many opponents, Detroit Lakes tried a half-court zone and pushed Perham with full-court pressure, at times, to no end, as the Yellowjackets picked up their 14th win of the season with a 63-49 victory Saturday night.

Compounding the Lakers’ troubles was Perham’s free throw shooting. In the past four years, from the state championship team to present, Perham has never been known as an excellent free throw shooting team.

That was not the case Saturday as Perham scored big from the line knocking down 20 of 22 attempts (91 percent). DL got to the line 20 times making only nine (45 percent) creating an 11-point spread on the scoreboard from the charity stripe.

“I feel like we performed well,” Hunter Salathe said.

The first five minutes of the game were relatively low scoring with Perham up 7-3. Nick Bahls went on a tear hitting a three to force a DL timeout. The Lakers defense was tight on Bahls early. Out of the break, Bahls scored again off a steal to put Perham up 12-3.

Perham went on a 19-11 run to end the first half up 31-14.

Bahls led all scorers in the first half and nearly outscored the Lakers himself with 13 points.

Christian Hedstrom nailed two big threes fresh from the locker room to get DL back within striking range and had a third opportunity for unanswered points when Bahls stole the ball from Hedstrom, dribbled behind his back before hitting an off-balance spinning shot with the foul posterizing Hedstrom to kill the Laker rally.

Bahls led all scorers with 20 points going six for 11 from the field and a perfect five for five at the line.

Perham stretched the lead to 21 points 47-26 on a pair of Jamie Hietala free throws at the eight minute mark.

The Lakers rallied with an 8-0 run to get within 13 points but the Jackets held the Lakers at bay down the stretch for the 16-point victory.

“We had a part there where we didn’t execute properly,” said Salathe. “Through it all, we focused and got the shots we wanted.”

The Laker half-court zone forced a patient Yellowjacket team to do what they do best - attack consistently and cautiously waiting for open looks. Perham handled the Laker pressure well for the majority of the game.

Salathe had 18 points shooting 64 percent (7-11) while playing on a sprained ankle.

“It cracked, but I’ve had so many sprained ankles; I’ll be fine,” said Salathe. “We have a whole week until Friday.”

Glines was in double figures with 12 points, along with a team-high eight rebounds while sinking seven of eight free throw attempts, most of which came late in the game.

Jackson Lyngaas scored 16 to pace Detroit Lakes. Ryan Cihak added 11 points.

Next Friday, Feb. 7, brings the Hawley Nuggets to Perham for a revenge game for the Yellowjackets. Of Perham’s four losses, two have been by a single point to Pelican Rapids and Battle Lake. Fergus Falls nipped Perham by three points. The defending Heart O’ Lakes Conference champions gave Perham their only bad defeat, a 63-47 win on January 7 in Hawley.

The Nuggets are in turmoil in the midst of an 8-9 season after two junior starters – forward Jordan Harms and guard Dawson Tusow – and reserve guards Chad Clute and Ben Steichen all left the team Friday, according to a report by Forum’s Chris Murphy. The shorthanded Nuggets defeated Crookston at home 63-51 on the back of Ben Ellefson’s double-double 25 points and 15 rebounds.

Hawley is the first of four HOL opponents remaining for Perham with the marquee matchup at Barnesville February 20 - Perham’s final regular season game.

The conference title could come down to that game. The Yellowjackets and Trojans are currently tied for first place in the HOL at 6-2. Pelican Rapids is a half-game back at 6-3; Hawley a game behind at 5-3.

“That’s what we play for,” Salathe said. “Got to get to the big game. We’re going to keep working every day to get better, take one game at a time and we’re going to go win it.”


DL   14 35 — 49

PER 31 32 — 63

DL: J. Lyngaas 16, Cihak 11, Hedstrom 7, Hokanson 6, Johnson 5, CHampa 3, Duncan 1.

PER: Bahls 20, Salathe 18, Glines 12, Muer 8, Kenntemich 3, Hietala 2.

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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