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Nuggets sweep season series from Yellowjackets

Ben Ellefson defends a shot by Hunter Salathe. The Nuggets cramped the lane with defensive zones and forced Perham to find points from outside. Robert Williams/FOCUS2 / 2

PERHAM — Dillon Omberg sealed Perham’s fate from the line in the waning seconds as the Hawley Nuggets swept the season series from Perham with a 62-58 victory in Heart O’ Lakes Conference boys basketball action Friday night.

Hawley’s defensive zone forced a crucial four-minute gap in Yellowjacket scoring late in the second half and the Nuggets went on a seven-zero run to break a 44-all tied score leading 51-44 with five minutes to play.

Chris Kenntemich scored to bring Perham within two points with 13.9 seconds remaining after Ben Ellefson missed three of four free throws in the final minute.

Omberg gave Hawley a four-point cushion 60-56 with two free throws in the final 10 seconds. Tyler Glines drove the basket to make the score 60-58 and Omberg stepped up to the line with 2.8 seconds to go and sunk two more freebies to seal the game.

“I was really nervous,” Omberg said. “Just got to stay confident.”

The 1-3-1 and sagging 2-3 half court defensive zones utilized by Hawley wore out the Yellowjackets and forced the Perham offense to score from outside. It also kept Perham off the free throw line.

Perham attempted only four free throws, making all of them, compared to a combined 17-25 effort by Hawley.

Nick Bahls, Glines and Kenntemich combined for 12 three-pointers. Bahls was 7-16 scoring all 21 of his game-high points from behind the arc.

Ellefson led Hawley with 20 points; Philip Teeples added 17. Omberg had 12 and Aaron Regnier scored 10.

“It was a good team win for us,” Ellefson said. “It was a lot of hard work both offensively and defensively. We just came out to play. Down the stretch Dillon (Omberg) made some big free throws.”

“We’ve just got to stay focused, keep getting better every day in practice, work hard and come together,” said Omberg.

There were four lead changes in the second half and the score was tied three times, the final tie being at 44 points. Hawley led the final six minutes after Teeples scored and was fouled for a 47-44 lead.

Hawley did much of the same in the first half breaking a 16-all tie and holding on to the lead for a 30-29 advantage at the break.

The loss prevented Perham from sole possession of first place in the HOL. Pelican Rapids moves into the lead at 7-3. Perham, Barnesville and Hawley are all one-half game back at 6-3.

Hawley has won two games since last week’s locker room troubles and have reached the .500 mark overall at 9-9.

Three of the four Hawley players who quit the team last week were back and dressed for Friday’s game, including former starter Jordan Harms. None of the trio saw any game time and were not participating in warm-ups but were vocal and supportive in bench roles.

“It’s a team win,” said Ellefson. “It doesn’t matter who is doing what. It’s just a good team win. Hopefully, we can keep it going.”

Perham attempted 13 more shots than Hawley 46-33. Both teams made 21 field goals. Hawley shot 63.6 percent. Perham shot 45.6 percent. Perham did not shoot a free throw in the first half of play.

Hawley commited only seven team fouls in the game to 20 from Perham, added to by late in the game clock management fouls. Hawley's zone kept Nugget big man Ellefson in the free and clear. He finished the game with no fouls called on him.

Kenntemich had an impressive two-game performance for Perham scoring 17 points on five three pointers in only one half of junior varsity play, while adding 10 points with two more three-pointers in the varsity game.

The junior varsity sank 16 three-pointers as a team in their victory earlier in the evening. Christian Weis made six himself and scored a game-high 20 points. Perham put running time up on the clock against Hawley, up big early, ultimately winning the game 65-34.

HOL teams in non-conference action Friday:

Pelican Rapids defeated East Grand Forks 80-71 at home. East Grand Forks led at halftime 35-34. Travis Haugen led the Vikings with 21 points. Ryan Bruggeman scored 19. Pelican Rapids plays at Concordia today versus No. 4A Battle Lake at 5:30 p.m.  Green Wave senior guard Ty Misialek led all scorers with 26 points.

Ben Sauve and Michael Strand led Barnesville to a 83-50 win over Rothsay. Sauve scored 17; Strand had 16 points.

In a big Section 8AA matchup, No. 5AA Crosby-Ironton beat Crookston 74-48. Riley Jacobs led all scorers with 21 points.


HAW 30 32 — 62

PER  29 29 — 58

HAW: Ellefson 20, Teeples 17, Omberg 12, Regnier 10, Olson 2, Leaf 1.

PER: Bahls 21, Glines 11, Kenntemich 10, Salathe 10, Muer 6.

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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