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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The Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Buccaneers (29-2), from section 2, stand in the way of the Perham Yellowjackets' (29-1) first ever trip to the AA state championship basketball game. The semifinal game will be played at Target Center, in downtown Minneapolis, Friday, March 25, at 8 p.m. The Buccaneers are making their first trip to the state tournament since 2002. This is their third appearance. Ranked #7, just behind Perham at #6, the Bucs defeated their opponents by an average of 30 points this season.
MINNEAPOLIS - Zach Gabbard made an appearance and was announced with the team at the beginning of Perham's state quarterfinal game versus Virginia at Williams Arena. Watching in his wheelchair, Gabbard was shown, in person, exactly how the Yellowjackets have been playing in his absence as Perham won big 57-40, the team's first-ever state tournament victory. Jordan Cresap and Nick Tobkin were both hot from the field in the first half. Perham took command early, led by Jordan Bruhn who scored the game's first bucket 45 seconds in.
MOORHEAD--Perham pride and Jacket fever rippled through Concordia College's Memorial Auditorium as the Yellowjackets boys basketball team (28-1) counted down the final seconds to a 55-44 Section 8AA championship victory and the school's first ever trip to the state tournament. Led by monster efforts from Mark Schumacher and Jordan Bruhn, the Yellowjackets controlled a tightly contested ball game seeing an early 20-8 lead dissipate as the Thief River Falls Prowlers (21-8) hung tight with the inspired Yellowjackets. Season success and the fulfillment of a year-long goal hung in the balance of
Perham (27-1) will see a similar foe in the Thief River Falls Prowlers (21-7) Friday night, at 6:30 p.m., inside Memorial Auditorium on the campus of Concordia College. The teams will battle for the Section 8AA title and a trip to the state tournament. The Prowlers mirror the Yellowjackets in playing a stingy defense and on offense will look to get the ball inside to senior center Jonathan Milks. Earlier in the season, the main duty of guarding the paint was that of Perham center Mark Schumacher.
After missing the 8AA sub-section semifinal with a bout of pneumonia, Perham guard Jordan Bruhn returned with a Herculean effort to lead the #6 ranked Perham Yellowjackets to a 64-48 sub-section final victory over #4 ranked Pequot Lakes in Park Rapids. Bruhn scored 20 points, but more importantly, ran the Perham offense and controlled the ball making the Patriot's full-court pressure a non-factor in the game. "He's a gamer," said Perham Head Coach Dave Cresap. Bruhn would have no talking about his condition or any accolades about his play.
Sub-Section Finals Tales of the Tape 8AA South #1-Perham Yellowjackets versus 8AA South #2-Pequot Lakes Patriots At Park Rapids Middle School, Tuesday, March 15, 7 p.m. Overall records Perham 26-1 Pequot Lakes 24-4 Conference records Perham 11-1, Heart O' Lakes Co-Champions with Pelican Rapids Pequot Lakes 9-1, Mid-State Co-Champions with Detroit Lakes Section 8AA records: Perham 14-1 Pequot Lakes 11-1 Tuesday night records Perham 11-0 Pequot Lakes 6-2 Points for: Perham 66.1 Pequot Lakes 68.7 Points against: Perham 39.1 Pequot Lakes 50.0 Streak: Perham Won 14 Pequot La
A depleted Perham boys basketball team narrowly escaped being upset by the Hawley Nuggets in the 8AA South Sub-Section semifinals Saturday night. Perham controlled the overtime period of four minutes sealing the game from the free throw line in a 65-59 victory. Jordan Hein nailed a key 12-foot jump shot to open scoring in the extra frame putting Perham up 56-54. Both teams traded free throws to a tie at 57. Jordan Anderson nailed a jumper from the top of the key to give Perham a two-point lead, 59-57, with 90 seconds remaining.
N1 Bagley Flyers (26-2). Lost to Ulen-Hitterdal 65-60, Ada-Borup 80-74, 3OT. Won 23 straight games. Home record: 14-0. Section record: 8-0. Defeated East Grand Forks 61-51, Mar. 4. vs N4 East Grand Forks Green Wave (14-13). Have not won more than two games in a row all season. Away record: (5-5). Section record: (5-7). Lost to Bagley 61-51. N2 Thief River Falls Prowlers (19-7). Swept two games from 3A Detroit Lakes. Swept both games with Crookston, 59-53 and 47-28. Home record: (11-4). Section record: (11-3). vs N3 Crookston Pirates (15-12). Winners of five straight.
Ulen-Hitterdal 59, New York Mills 56 The New York Mills Eagles boys basketball team (18-7) saw their season come to an end at Ulen-Hitterdal (18-9), 59-56, in Section 6A action. The Eagles led by as much as 12 early in the first half, but six 3-pointers from Spartan sophomore Landon Schultz and a big game from junior forward Troy Peterson led the Spartans to a big second half comeback. The Eagles led by four at the break, 32-28, but Peterson scored and drew a foul early in the second frame.
St. Paul -- Sophomore Shane Novak came one point from a Class A state individual championship, but Jacob Braaten of Minnewaska Area escaped, quite literally, with Novak's title. Novak scored a takedown 23 seconds into the match to gain an early 2-0 lead and would allow Braaten an escape for one point. Braaten (39-3) had control of Novak but a quick reversal gave Novak a 4-1 advantage.