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Second half surge lifts DGF over Perham

Perham's Mesa Schultz splits the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton defense on the way to the basket during the first half against the Rebels. Kim Brasel/FOCUS1 / 2
Perham's Katie Johnson drives for a shot while Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's Allie Critchley defends. Kim Brasel/FOCUS2 / 2

The Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Rebels used an early second half run, which allowed them to pull away from the Perham Yellowjackets and close the season with a 68-54 victory on Feb. 22 in Perham.

While the loss was the fifth straight for the Yellowjackets, they came away with several positives getting ready for the Section 8AA playoffs.

“I’m really happy with how the girls came out and competed. Things have been difficult for us down the stretch and the one thing is the girls came out with positive energy and they are playing well with each other,” Perham head coach TJ Super said of the game.

Aixa Kolofale battles for a shot against DGF's Peyton Wilson.

The Yellowjackets were dealt a tough blow during warmups when starting guard Lacy Richter went down to an injury. She was unable to play and then moments into the first half, Gabby DeBoer took an elbow to the face and had to miss some early minutes. However, the team battled through the early adversity, trailing by one at the half.

However, Natalie Steichen and Allie Critchley started to take control early in the second half. Steichen finished with 24 points, 14 of them in the second half, while Critchley ended with 18 points, 13 of them in the second half. Katlyn Brenna added 11, while Grace Steichen finished with 10 for the Rebels.

“Natalie Steichen is really, really good and that’s how they get things going,” Super said. “They hit some 3’s and then they hit a bank when you are making a run, which is kind of deflating. For the most part, we had good shots and the girls were much more composed than the first time we played them. We were really composed and had really good shots, we just didn’t shoot very well tonight. That happens sometimes, but the girls did a really great job.”

The Rebels used a 21-6 run after Kolbey Bormann hit a 3-pointer, giving Perham a 32-30 lead. Steichen was key during the run, scoring nine of the 21 points.

The Yellowjackets cut the lead down to seven on back-to-back 3-pointers by Rachel Muer, but could not get any closer in the second half. After taking a first half elbow, DeBoer led the way for the Yellowjackets. The senior was strong attacking the hoop, finishing with 21 points. She was 7 of 10 from the free throw line as well.

Gabby DeBoer rises up for a bucket against DGF.

Super said he feels better about his team heading into the playoffs compared to a week ago where they struggled in games with Pelican Rapids and Crookston.

“The have really strung together some good practices and put together some good stretches,” Super said. “This was the best 36 minutes, complete game that we played. It was 14, but it sure didn’t feel like it. When you walk into the locker room, the energy didn’t feel like a 14-point loss. I’m excited going into the playoffs.”

The Yellowjackets enter the postseason with a 13-13 record and will most likely host a first round game. The official seeds are announced on Feb. 24 and they are based on the Minnesota-Scores Quality Ratings Formula. The Rebels closed out the season with a 22-4 record overall.

The Section 8AA playoffs begin with the first round on Thursday, March 1 at various home sites throughout the section. The quarter finals take place on Saturday, March 3 at Concordia-Moorhead.

DGF 30 38--68

PER 29 25--54

DGF: Natalie Steichen 24, Katlyn Brenna 11, Ally Freier 2, Rae Critchley 3, Grace Steichen 10, Allie Critchley 18

3-pointers: N. Steichen, Brenna, R. Critchley, A. Critchley 2. Free Throws: 13-18. Fouls: 16. Fouled Out: None.

PER: Kolbey Bormann 8, Lisa Meader 3, Gabby DeBoer 21, Mesa Schultz 5, Aixa Kolofale 9, Rachel Muer 6, Katie Johnson 2.

3-pointers: Bormann 2, Meader, Muer 2. Free Throws: 11-19. Fouls: 15. 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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