Robert has been the Sports Editor for the Focus since April of 2010. During that time, Williams has had the privilege of covering multiple state championship teams and is a mainstay at state tournaments each season covering the successful, athletic programs of Perham and New York Mills High Schools. For the most up to date information, more photos, and live game coverage, follow @PerhamSports on Twitter.
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Despite their highest offensive output of the year, the New York Mills girls basketball team got out-gunned in overtime by Menahga, 80-73, to keep the Lady Eagles winless in conference play. "We had a good game against a quality team that turned out to be a heart-breaker for us," Head Coach J.J. Weller said. The Eagle defense was set to stop the Braves' three-point shooting while working the ball inside to the post on offense and it worked for the most part. The Eagles led for the majority of the game, but the score was back and forth.
Despite giving up 12 points forfeiting matches at 160 pounds and heavyweight, the remainder of the New York Mills wrestling squad scored enough to squeak out a one-point victory over Perham, 34-33. "We really felt that we gave up some bonus points that we didn't have to," Perham Head Coach Robb Moser said.
The New York Mills Eagles boys basketball team won its fourth game in as many tries defeating Wadena-Deer Creek 66-57 at home Thursday night. The Eagles led by eight at the break and battled in the second half to hold the lead. Midway through the second half the Wolverines went to a full court trap that reeked havoc in the NY Mills backcourt. Turnovers on multiple trips down the floor saw the Eagle lead evaporate. The Wolverines went up 47-46 with six minutes remaining. Their lead would last less than two minutes.
Ottertail Central doubled up the New York Mills wrestlers in a conference dual Tuesday evening. Taylor Thompson got a rare start at 103 pounds and was pinned at 1:36 by OTC's Dylan Schleske. Tommy Selander, ranked 8th in Class A and normally wrestling 103, moved up to 112, the typical home of Shane Novak, who was bumped to 119. Selander won handily, a 6-0 decision over Dylan Schwartz. Novak, however, met his match in Zack Johnson, who pulled out a close 8-6 decision. "We had to move everyone up from 103 to 152 to fill our weights," Head Coach Eric Niemi said.
The Perham boys basketball team held a nine-point lead with 6:45 to go and held Hawley scoreless for the next four minutes on way to a 62-45 Heart O' Lakes conference victory. In the final seven minutes of the game, the Nuggets were limited to one basket. The win gives Perham sole possession of first place in the conference standings at 4-0. Hawley drops to 3-1. The Yellowjackets are 9-0 overall. Hawley's overall record is 5-3. Zach Gabbard stayed hot leading all scorers with 17 points, including a trio of three-pointers.
After two mismatches earlier in the week, the New York Mills girls basketball team got back on track with a five-point win at home versus Ashby. The game was only the second home game for the Eagle girls and they are undefeated in the Sports Center. The Eagles trailed in both halves and battled foul trouble. "Our girls didn't give up though," Head Coach J.J. Weller said. In the second half, Ashby was able to build the lead and get to 37-30 by driving the lane attempting to capitalize on the Eagles' foul trouble.
With a record of 2-4 and losers of three games in a row, after a first round Sebeka Holiday Tournament loss to the hosts, the season was looking a bit bleaker than expected in New York Mills. But the boys basketball team has reeled off three consecutive victories to hop back over the .500 mark to 5-4.
Detroit Lakes dominated their home pool and their own Invitational lapping up Bemidji, Park Rapids, Perham and Thief River Falls.
Shane Novak, of New York Mills and Jesse Hein, of Perham were the two local stars, both going undefeated, at the Barrel O' Fun Monsters of the Mat Invitational Tournament held in Perham over the weekend. Novak won all three of his matches on way to the top spot at 112 pounds. He was pitched against Perham's James Harlow in the semi-finals and the two wrestlers dueled each other to a 12-7 decision in Novak's favor.
The Perham boys basketball team got its eighth win in as many tries at Barnesville Friday night with a 54-26 victory. The Trojans might have left the gymnasium with acute cases of triskaidekaphobia, after only scoring 13 points in each half. Barnesville entered the game winners of four straight and Perham had come off back-to-back games against state-ranked opponents. A letdown was certainly a possibility. But Perham's defense, as it has all year, stymied the Trojans. Barnesville had been averaging over 60 points per game.