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 Underwood Rockets hung in for a quarter of play before a swarming Yellowjacket defense and an offensive presence at the post led to a convincing, 55-39, victory to take the Pelican Rapids "Valkyrie" Tournament championship. Katrina Moenkedick led all scorers with 19 points. Lauren Guck added 12, with both post players leading the way, in spite of a half-court defensive zone designed to stop both players. "Going into this game I was interested to see how our girls would fare against a good rebounding team like Underwood," Head Coach John Gullingsrud said.
The Perham girls basketball team cruised into the championship game of the Pelican Rapids Holiday Tournament with a dominating 56-36 victory over Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. The win ups Perham's record to 7-0 and they will attempt to remain undefeated versus Underwood today, Wednesday, Dec. 29 at 5:30 p.m., at the Pelican Rapids high school gymnasium. "The girls played really well in the first half on both ends of the court and got us out to a comfortable lead at 33-16," Head Coach John Gullingsrud said. Katrina Moenkedick led all scorers with 17 points seven rebounds.
Something had to give in Tuesday's matchup between the New York Mills (0-6) girls basketball team and Ulen-Hitterdal (1-5). The Eagles came out on top, 54-44, in a game they controlled throughout. It was the first home game of the season for the Eagles. "The girls were really excited to play in this game in front of family and friends," Head Coach J.J. Weller said.
The Perham and New York Mills sports programs have provided plenty of interesting, entertaining and believe me, time consuming achievements in 2010. It's quite rare to cover school districts where every sports season a team or individual competes at the state championship level. Last spring, I was in southern Minnesota watching Kaylan Huber, Dan Cavanagh and Holly Karkela compete at the state golf tournament. Also in the Twin Cities, the track teams were at state where Maddie McClellan and Elisa Moenkedick came back to Perham with titles, while the girls team finished with a top 10 finish a
The Perham wrestling team beat a testy Border West squad, 37-25, in the opening round of Frazee's Les Kertscher Dual Tournament before dropping duals to Minneota in the championship semis, 54-15, and the third place match with rival Frazee, 60-6, for a fourth place finish. Josh Werner and Brandon Lueders had their hands full against state-ranked Border West opponents Mitch Andrews and Gus McCarthy.
The Perham girls basketball team stayed true to form this past week winning two more games, remaining unbeaten and upping their record to 6-0. On Tuesday, Perham hit the road to take on West Central Area. The Yellowjackets came out with a close 69-64 victory. It was the closest game Perham has played so far this season. "It was a pretty sloppy game plagued by turnovers from both teams," Head Coach John Gullingsrud said. "We did some nice things offensively, but our defense just didn't show up tonight.
The New York Mills Eagles girls basketball team is going into the holiday break looking for a change of momentum. The Eagles dropped three games in four days all on the road last week. New York Mills traveled to: Battle Lake Tuesday, losing 52-40, at Verndale Thursday, 56-38, and back on the road Friday at Eagle Valley for a 60-37 loss. The Eagle girls have been a few plays from changing the tide of games so far this year. "We came out playing very well taking a 8-0 early lead against Battle Lake," Head Coach J.J. Weller said.
The Perham wrestling team put a month of grappling into one week splitting a triangular at home versus United Clay-Becker and Wadena-Deer Creek, defeating Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, at home, before heading off to Grand Forks for the weekend's Grand Forks Central Sertoma tournament. Of the six matches, the highlight was Jesse Hein's pin of United Clay-Becker's heavyweight Jordan Lange. Hein bum rushed Lange after the handshake and had him at mercy 20 seconds into the match for the fall.
After opening the season with a convincing road victory at Crookston, the Perham boys basketball team backed it up with a 10-point home victory over conference foe Pelican Rapids, 62-52. Both teams traded baskets in the first half with the Yellowjackets hanging on to a five-point advantage. Jordan Cresap hit a big three-point basket in the waning seconds to stretch the lead to eight at the half.
Perham and Staples-Motley were tight at the break before the Yellowjackets pulled away in the second half to win their season opener on the road 65-49. The Cardinals closed to within 10 midway through the second half but could not make a run and Perham finished off the game easily outscoring Staples-Motley 36-23 in the second half. The score at halftime was 29-26. "It was a back and forth game between two quick and aggressive teams," Head Coach John Gullingsrud said.