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Late run lifts Yellowjackets to home win

Perham's Kolbey Bormann follows through on a 3-pointer. Bormann, Lisa Meader and Rachel Muer hit key second half 3-pointers, helping the Yellowjackets to a 46-43 victory over Pelican Rapids. Kim Brasel/FOCUS

The Perham Yellowjackets lead for just three minutes and 16 seconds, but it was the final three minutes and 16 seconds when they earned a 46-43 victory over Pelican Rapids at the Prairie Wind Middle School gymnasium.

Rachel Muer hit a key 3-pointer, tying the game at 43 and Lacy Richter sank a free throw, giving the Yellowjackets their first lead of the game. Mesa Schultz added the game’s final basket and the Yellowjackets stymied the Vikings into a tough shot in the closing seconds, holding on for the win.

“I thought we played really well as a team. Not all the shots were falling, but together we worked hard, outplayed them and did our best,” Muer said of the victory over Pelican Rapids.

Mesa Schultz lines up a shot for Perham.

Muer has continued her strong shooting from the outside. She followed up her 11 point second half performance against New York Mills with 15 against Pelican Rapids.

“It felt pretty good. It helped a lot having the support from the teammates,” Muer said. “All of your hard work is paying of and you are doing your job to the team. You owe it to them, because they work just as hard as you do.”

The Yellowjackets struggled a bit in the first half getting their shots to drop and trying to contain Pelican Rapids’ forward Adriana Torres. Torres finished the game with 14 points.

“She (Torres) is so hard to contain. She scores so much, she rebounds and she is a really good passer,” Perham head coach TJ Super said. “She is a complete player.”

Super said they struggled with her when they were running their zone defense, due to lack of communication. The Yellowjackets switched to a man-to-man defense, putting Mesa Schultz on Torres and she helped slow her down late in the game.

“She did a great job and Aixa (Kolofale) was in their helping,” Super said. “I thought we did a good job when we went man and that can be said for all the girls. I thought our defense was pretty good tonight.”

The Yellowjackets trailed for much of the contest, but started to catch fire in the second half, chipping away at a 10 point Pelican Rapids’ lead.

Muer, Kolbey Bormann and Lisa Meader hit key 3-pointers in the comeback. Muer’s fifth 3-pointer of the game tied it, setting up Richter’s free throw, which gave the Yellowjackets their first and only lead of the night.

“It was a nice win. Pelican Rapids has a nice team and they only have lost a couple of games for a reason,” Super said. “They kind of took it to us in the first half, but I thought we played pretty well. The shots were not falling and when we missed shots, we didn’t do a good job of getting back.”

Perham's Grayce Mickelson drives against Sarah Thompson.

Perham’s Gabby DeBoer added 10 points, while Mesa Schultz ended the game with six. Maddie Guler and Greta Tollefson added seven points each for Pelican Rapids.

The Yellowjackets improve their season mark to 8-4 overall, while Pelican Rapids sits at 6-3 overall. The Yellowjackets are now 3-2 in conference play, while the Vikings are now 2-1.

The Yellowjackets return to the court on Tuesday, Jan. 16 when they host the Park Rapids Area Panthers at 7:30 p.m.

PLR 26 17--43

PER 21 25--46

PLR-Maddie Guler 7, Sarah Thompson 6, Rachel Gottenborg 2, Kaylie Isamen 5, Greta Tollefson 7, Adriana Torres 14

3-pointers:Guler, Isaman, Torres. Free Throws: 6-8. Team Fouls: 14. Fouled Out: None

PER-Kolbey Bormann 3, Lacy Richter 4, Lisa Meader 3, Gabby DeBoer 10, Mesa Schultz 6, Aixa Kolofale 2, Rachel Muer 15, Grayce Mickelson 1

3-pointers: Bormann, Richter, Meader, Muer 5. Free Throws: 4-12. Team Fouls: 7. 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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