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Late run sparks Perham in conference clash

Perham's Martin LaFond drives to the hoop and gets the lay-up with the left-hand for two of his 27 points against Hawley. Jason Groth/FOCUS

The game’s biggest run came late and helped the Perham Yellowjackets pull away for a hard-fought 80-69 victory over the Hawley Nuggets in a Heart O’Lakes Conference boys basketball game in Perham on Jan. 5.

“It was one of those games where I thought our kids were playing really hard, but Hawley was really good,” Perham head coach Dave Cresap said. “They hit every open shot they got and they hit some very tough shots. You have to give them credit because they were ready to go and they played as hard as we did. They are No. 1 in the north in the QRF for a reason. Overall, it was one of those games where you just battle and see if you can get a win and we did.”

Josh Jeziorski hits the reverse lay-up.

The Yellowjackets used a 14-0 run to take control of the game late. Hawley cut the lead to one, 60-59, before Perham’s defense sparked the run. Martin LaFond and Jenson Beachy had five points each during the run, while Finn Diggins and Logan Richter added a pair.

LaFond led all scorers in the game. He finished with 27 points, hitting five 3-pointers in the game. Beachy finished with 24 points, connecting on six 3-pointers. Josh Jeziorski finished in double figures, ending with 18 points and eight rebounds.

“I thought it was a good game. They came out hard and shot the ball well,” Martin LaFond said. “We didn’t play very well defensively to begin, but we came back and answered the call. I thought we played better in the second half.”

LaFond caught fire, hitting 10 of his 17 shots and connecting on five of his eight 3-point attempts. He showed his speed and ability to beat guys off of the dribble, while opening up lanes for his teammates with his passing ability as well.

“It feels really good. My team was finding me when I was open,” LaFond said. “I can assist them and any way I can help is good.”

The 14-0 second half run was sparked on the defensive side of the floor, which lead to some transition baskets as well as the key 3-pointers by Beachy and LaFond.

Jenson Beachy comes off a screen.

“We had four possessions in about six that we made them turn it over and it led to some easy shots for us,” Cresap said. “We guarded pretty hard, but they were so athletic. They beat us off the dribble a little bit and caused some rotations where we didn’t get to the shooters. It was a great game. It was nice to come out on top.”

Jayden Carlisle led the Nuggets with 16 points, while Noah Glad finished with 13 points. Donnie Loegering ended with 12 points. Gunnar Lawson added 10.

The victory improves the Yellowjackets to 11-0 on the season. They return home for a contest with Park Rapids Area on Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m.

HAW 34 35--69

PER 35 45--80

HAW-Mason Klevgaard 3, Gunnar Lawson 10, Jayden Carlisle 16, Chase Libak 8, Donnie Loegering 12, Clay Rasmussen 4, Carter Justesen 3, Noah Glad 13

3-pointers: Klevgaard, Carlisle 3, Loegering, Justesen, Glad. Free Throws: 12-15. Team Fouls: 12. Fouled Out:None

PER-Jenson Beachy 24, Martin LaFond 27, Josh Jeziorski 18, Carter Cresap 5, Finn Diggins 3, Logan Richter 3

3-pointers: Beachy 6, LaFond 5, Cresap. Free Throws: 10-16. Team Fouls: 10. Fouled Out: None

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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