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Late free throw lifts DGF over Perham

Perham's Josie Beachy focuses in when she gets ready to launch a 3-pointer during the first half of their Section 8AA Quarterfinal with Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton. Jason Groth/FOCUS

Jena Jacobson’s free throw with .4 seconds left lifted the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Rebels to a 49-48 victory over the Perham Yellowjackets in the Section 8AA quarterfinals at the University of Minnesota-Crookston’s Lysaker Gymnasium on March 4.

The Yellowjackets held a two point lead and Jacobson found herself with the ball inside the 3-point line. As she launched, she was fouled and sunk the free throw after a pair of timeouts.

It was another classic in what has grown into an intense rivalry the past few years. The Yellowjackets won the regular season series by a combined six points, while the Rebels picked up the win in the playoffs.

“It was a classic DGF-Perham game. All three games were pretty much the same all year. It was a game of runs,” Perham head coach T.J. Super said. “One would get up and the other team would come storming back and fight. This was a game where we made a lot of really big plays to take the lead and in the last minute and a half, a lot of breaks went to DGF. I thought they got a couple of breaks and eventually hit the last shot. It felt like the team who had the ball at the end was going to win that game. Win or lose, it doesn’t matter, you are really proud of what the girls have done.”

Jacobson finished with 13 points, none more important than her final three points of the game. Grace Steichen added 14 points for the Rebels in the win.

Josie Beachy led the way for the Yellowjackets. She finished with 13 points, including three 3-pointers for the Yellowjackets. Janie Wunderlich added 11 points for the Yellowjackets.

It was a typical back and forth affair as well. The Yellowjackets started strong building up a 17-10 lead, behind a pair of 3-pointers from Serena Langen and one from Beachy.

However, the Rebels answered back with a 13-0 run, which was capped off by a 3-pointer by Katlyn Brenna.

The two teams settled in after that point and the Yellowjackets trailed 26-21 at the break, but the Rebels quickly stretched the lead to eight, starting the second half, before Perham would make its run back.

Jadyn Benedict hit an inside basket, while Beachy hit a 3-pointer and Gabby DeBoer hit a pair of free throws. Perham eventually took the lead on a 6-0 run behind four points from Wunderlich and two from Herrmann.

Herrmann and Beachy combined on a pair of 3-pointers, giving Perham a 41-38 lead with more than five minutes to go. Perham maintained that lead until Steichen connected inside, making 47-46. The Yellowjackets missed two of their final three free throw attempts and could not stretch the lead to more than two points. It set up the Rebels with the final shot and Jacobson hit from the side, tying the game and sealing the game at the line.

Grace Steichen was a force inside for the Rebels, finishing with 14 points. She helped open the lane for Natalie Steichen, who finished with 11 points.

“DGF did a good job of taking away the drive, which is obviously our strength. We adjusted, but we went through some lulls just like DGF did. We went on a run and girls stepped up and big made plays,” Super said. “I was really happy we made a couple of big stops and got the rebound. We weren’t really able to capitalize on the other end in the last minute. That hurts at the end of the game, you have to finish offensive possessions. Tonight, we had a couple too many turnovers and too many missed shots. Either way, girls stepped up and made big plays. We are just proud of them for that.”

Gabby DeBoer added nine points for Perham, while Herrmann added seven points.

The Rebels improve their mark to 19-9 overall on the season and will face the state’s No. 1 ranked team in the Roseau Rams on Tuesday, March 7 at 6 p.m. in Crookston.

The Yellowjackets finish the season with a 19-9 mark and graduate seven seniors who left their imprint on the program.

“I am so proud of what these girls have done. I’ll say it anytime I can about how proud I am of these seven seniors,” Super said. “They all have different roles and have all become superstars in their roles. They have all found ways to sacrifice. Whether it’s a girl who plays 36 minutes or one that doesn’t, it doesn’t matter. Each girl is sacrificing and giving something. I told the girls in the locker room when it hurts this much, that means you have given yourself to it, your heart to it, your soul to it and you are committed to it. When you do that and attack something with passion, it’s bound to hurt. These seven seniors hurt right now. I’m proud of them and it’s sad to see them go.”

DGF 26 23--49

PER 21 27--48

DGF-Jena Jacobson 13, Natalie Steichen 11, Katlyn Brenna 3, Grace Steichen 14, Shelby Mullikin 6, Allie Critchley 2

3-point goals-Brenna

PER- Josie Beachy 13, Serena Langen 6, Jadyn Benedict 2, Gabby DeBoer 9, Janie Wunderlich 11, Sara Herrmann 7

3-point goals- Beachy 3, Langen 2, Herrman

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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