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Perham girls earn road win over Hawley

Perham's Janie Wunderlich drives to the basket for two of her game high 24 points, helping Perham to a 59-51 victory over Hawley. Jason Groth/FOCUS1 / 2
Perham's Serena Langen puts the defensive pressure on Hawley's Marissa Thompson in the second half of Perham's 59-51 victory over Hawley. Jason Groth/FOCUS2 / 2

Janie Wunderlich poured in 24 points and Serena Langen finished with 14, helping the Perham Yellowjacket girls basketball team to a 59-51 victory and a season sweep of the Hawley Nuggets on Feb. 10 in Hawley.

The victory gave the Yellowjackets their 15th win of the season, matching last year’s win total and their eighth in the Heart O’Lakes Conference. It’s their second consecutive season sweep this week. The Yellowjackets swept the season series from Frazee on Feb. 7.

The Yellowjackets turned in a strong first half, yet could not completely pull away from the Nuggets. Wunderlich scored 10 of her 24 points in the opening stanza, including two 3-pointers, which gave Perham a 24-13 lead. Aixa Kolofale followed with a basket, giving Perham its biggest lead of the half, 26-13. The Yellowjackets led by 12, 28-16 at the break.

Hawley used a quick run to start the second half, but was quickly answered by six straight points from Wunderlich.

Yet, the Nuggets continued to whittle the Yellowjacket lead down to single digits. Paige Thompson and Marissa Thompson finished with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Paige scored 11 of her 14 in the second half, while Marissa scored eight of her 12, before fouling out.

Hawley closed the gap to two after a drive and a foul on Paige Thompson, making it 43-41 after the made free throw.

After struggling from the free throw line in the first half and the early part of the second half, Langen and Wunderlich came up when needed at the line. Langen hit six of nine for the game, with five of the six coming in the second half, while Wunderlich hit eight of her 11 attempts in the second half. The Yellowjackets finished 15 of 31 from the line, yet hit on 13 of 21 in the second half.

After a late 3-pointer by Rianna Lilleby, Langen sealed the game with two free throws, giving Perham a 57-50 lead with under a minute to go. Despite being outscored in the second half, Perham earned the 59-51 victory on the road, securing the series sweep.

The game featured a different pace than the first matchup when Perham defeated Hawley, 37-25. Hawley caught fire from the outside in the second half, sinking five 3-pointers.

The Yellowjackets improve to 15-5 overall and 8-2 in the Heart O’Lakes conference. They will have a quick turnaround, playing in the first game of the annual Winter Lakes Classic at Alexandria on Saturday, Feb. 11. The Yellowjackets tip off at 10:30 a.m. against Eden Valley-Watkins. The Eagles enter tomorrow’s contest with an 18-3 record and are currently ranked 10th in the most recent quality results formula by Minnesota Scores.

PER 28 31--59

HAW 16 35--51

PER- Josie Beachy 4, Serena Langen 14, Jadyn Benedict 5, Gabby DeBoer 6, Janie Wunderlich 24, Sara Herrmann 4, Aixa Kolofale 2

3-point goals-Beachy, Benedict, Wunderlich 2

HAW-Rianna Lilleby 4, Shayanne Mattfeld 7, Emily Tjaden 6, Marissa Thompson 12, Grace Granni 2, Paige Thompson 14, Abigail Rux 6

3-point goals- Lilleby, Mattfeld 2, M. Thompson, Rux 2

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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