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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PELICAN RAPIDS--Despite trailing for much of the second half, the #6-ranked Class 2A Pelican Rapids Vikings stormed back late in the game, as Perham's shooting went cold, for a 51-48 Heart O' Lakes Conference victory. The win evens the season series between the two clubs at a game apiece and locks both teams in a tie for the top spot in the conference at 6-1. "It's a big rivalry and conference game so it means a lot since they beat us the first time and if we want any chance of winning the HOL we must get this win," Pelican Rapids Head Coach Brand Strand said. The Vikings came into the game
PERHAM -- With a tough stretch of games coming up, the Perham girls basketball team (6-10) has been playing .500 basketball winning four of their last eight, including their past two, after a 75-40 blowout victory at home over Park Rapids (1-15) Thursday night. "Our girls started strong tonight," Perham Head Coach John Gullingsrud said.
The New York Mills girls basketball team (2-6, 2-13) got up early and held onto a lead until the waning minutes of the first half when the Henning Hornets (6-1, 9-5) created chaos and turnovers breaking open a close game and cruising to a 58-35 Park Region Conference victory. A Lacey Guck basket gave the Eagles their largest lead early at 10-5. Thanks to the efforts of Eagles' standout freshman Ellie Rutten, NY Mills held a lead to 20-19. Rutten scored 21 of the Eagles 35 points and a dozen of the Eagles' 20 first half points.
The Perham girls basketball (2-4, 5-10) entered Tuesday night's Heart O' Lakes Conference game with Frazee (2-3, 7-9) in a three-way tie at the bottom of the standings but jumped ahead of Barnesville and Breckenridge by one-half game with a 65-47 victory. "We had a nice team effort tonight," Perham Head Coach John Gullingsrud said.
STAPLES-Perham heavyweight Jesse Hein exerted less than three minutes of effort winning three matches by fall, while Cody Nylander dominated the 220-pound classes winning his three matches by fall in just over four minutes total time leading the Yellowjackets to a runners-up finish at the Don Dravis Duals in Staples Saturday. After dispatching Long Prairie-Grey Eagle in the quarterfinals 61-6 and defeating Sartell-Saint Stephen, 39-23, in the semifinals, Perham met the #2-1A Kimball Area Cubs in the finals. The Cubs and Yellowjackets met at the Frazee tournament Dec.
LAKE PARK-Jeremiah Harper, Shane Novak and Noah Pesola all took individual titles in their weight class at the 33rd annual Terry Teiken Invitational tournament in Lake Park. Novak was named the tournament's outstanding wrestler for his efforts. Novak, the top-ranked 1A 113-pounder defeated Fergus Falls' Abbot Aho in the finals 7-5 to take the 113-pound title.
MENAHGA--Menahga junior Tarah Cleveland single-handedly put the NY Mills Eagles girls basketball (1-5, 1-12) team away with a lights out performance of 40 points, including shooting 7-9 from behind the arc in a 76-29 victory. "It was a match-up of two very different teams," NY Mills Head Coach JJ Weller said. "While we have height and length--they have speed and quickness. The speed and quickness won out." Menahga (4-3, 8-6) came out shooting hot and were able to make some quick threes to start off both halves.
Detroit Lakes jumped out to a 13-0 lead over Perham in wrestling Friday night and extended that lead to 20-9, but the Yellowjackets rallied to stifle and Laker scoring midway through the match going on to win handily, 41-20. Brandon Lueders was the only Perham wrestler to get on the board in the first four matches. He pinned Austin Soyring at 3:26 to cut the DL lead to 13-6. Josh Werner followed up Lueders with a 14-11 decision over Zach Baker to narrow the Laker lead even closer at 13-9. DL's Parker Jackson and Brandon Dahring got the Lakers final points of the dual.
DETROIT LAKES-- Perham gymnasts placed three of the top five all-around finishers, led by Satera Montella's runner-up score of 36.8, to defeat section rival and state-ranked Detroit Lakes by a wide margin of 144.25-140.8. "Big score in the section," Head Coach Charlie Fleck said.
The Perham girls basketball team (4-10) dropped a pair of games over the weekend, a 64-49 defeat at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Friday night and a Saturday afternoon loss to Bismarck (N.D.), 61-58. Perham fell behind by 17 in the first half at D-G-F and went into the break down 37-23. "We dug ourselves too big of a hole tonight," Head Coach John Gullingsrud said.