Robert has been the Sports Editor for the Focus since 2010 covering multiple state and national championship teams and is a mainstay at state tournaments each season covering the successful, athletic programs of Perham and New York Mills High Schools.
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Late pins by Tyler Patron and Max Carlson pulled out a come-from-behind Prairie Conference wrestling victory for New York Mills over United North Central Tuesday night by a score of 36-29. The lead changed five times up to Patron's match at 220 pounds.
Preseason talk speculated on whether or not this was the year Detroit Lakes would supersede their Highway 10 rivals and knock off Perham at the section level. This season Perham seeks its 10th consecutive section title and trip to the state meet. Prospects on the Yellowjacket-Laker matchup were evened out after the second meeting of the two teams, as Perham put up 142 points to 136.15 for the Lakers Tuesday evening in Perham. Perham senior Satera Montella dominated the meet winning all four events for her second all-around title of the season and the same number in two weeks. Montella won
Battle Lake took a tight three-game lead at halftime and fired up a big second half outscoring New York Mills 30-12 en route to a 53-32 Section 6A victory in Battle Lake. "We've started our last few games out really well, and this one was no different," Eagles Head Coach JJ Weller said. "We had an early lead due to some good passes, shots, and running the floor. We were playing up-tempo and with confidence and things were working for us." The game was back and forth in the first half.
The Perham victory train kept rolling to a 25th consecutive victory, this time on the road at Breckenridge. While each opponent comes in pumped up to face the undefeated, top-ranked AA Yellowjackets, and arguably, the best team in Minnesota, the Cowboys were out of it early, as Perham ran away with a 71-44 win in Breckenridge. Jordan Bruhn reignited the scoring touch he had in the first two games of the season scoring a game-high 25 points. Bruhn doled out eight assists and had seven rebounds.
Perham senior Satera Montella won the all-around competition at the St. Cloud Tech Team Pride Invitational Saturday with a score of 36.75. Individual awards are not granted at this particular meet. Teams receive accolades, which range to an assortment of different awards, based on the cumulative score of the team in each event. Regardless, Montella's leadership helped Perham to a share of the team title. Perham, the eight-time defending state Class A champions and St.
The New York Mills girls basketball team dropped to 1-4 after a 59-36 defeat to the Bertha-Hewitt Bears (4-2), in Bertha. The Bears ended a six-game home stand to start their season. The Eagles came out with a lot of energy and confidence and shot the ball well against the Bears' 2-3 zone. The Eagles hit from long range nailing six three-point field goals in the contest, but struggled taking care of the ball.
The New York Mills wrestling team continues to bide time until their full lineup is healthy and on the mat. They finished in a tie for 19th place at the 32-team Big Bear Tournament in Cass Lake Friday and Saturday. Shane Novak led the way and continued to back up his No. 1, Class A ranking at 113 pounds. After wrestling at 120 earlier this season, Novak returned to 113 and defeated Abbot Aho, of Fergus Falls, in the finals to take the 113-pound title in overtime. Aho is ranked No.
The Perham boys swimming team swept all 11 swimming events to blow Morris Area out of the water 125-49. Morris did pick up a win in diving, as there are no Yellowjacket divers. "We saw some significant time drops since Saturday," Head Coach Sheri Ressler said. The largest differential in any top event finish was Jayden Cullen's time of 5:33.74 in the 500-freestyle, which was over seven seconds better than his previous time of 5:40.88.
Something had to give between the #1-2A Pelican Rapids Vikings averaging 82 points per game and the #2 Perham Yellowjackets allowing only 40 points per contest. Perham (4-0) controlled the tempo and played Yellowjacket ball control en route to a 51-42 victory at home. The up-tempo Vikings (3-1) found themselves in a defensive struggle playing a half-court game rather than running and gunning. "That was one of our objectives," Perham Head Coach Dave Cresap said.
Seeking their first victory of the season, the New York Mills Eagles (0-4) hung with the Waubun Bombers (1-1) to the halftime break only down eight, 31-23. The Bombers put up a dozen more points than the Eagles in the second half cruising to a 63-43 victory. The Bombers were led by Jason Hanks' 17 points in a showboat performance that had Hanks on the bench as much as the floor. Hanks got a rise out of the Eagle faithful at the halftime buzzer. After dunking a ball early in the first half, he charged the basket with time winding down to the break looking for another easy bucket.