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Balanced attack leads Perham in to the 8AA finals

Perham's Martin LaFond drives the ball to the hoop against Osakis during the Section 8AA semifinals at Moorhead on March. 12. Dave Samson/Forum News Service

The Perham Yellowjackets used a dominant defensive effort and a balanced offensive attack, advancing into the Section 8AA Championship game for the third straight year. The Yellowjackets took control early in the second half, pulling away for a 62-39 victory over the Osakis Silverstreaks at Moorhead High School on March 12.

“Overall, it was a superior effort by the boys. They came focused and ready to go,” Perham head coach Dave Cresap said. “Our defense was solid. Jenson Beachy set the tone on Dan Savageau early and got after him. But, our team defense was so good. Everybody played and everybody contributed and it was a total team effort.”

The Yellowjackets showcased that balance, spreading the ball around and finding the open look again. It’s the third straight playoff game for Perham in which they have outscored their opposition by more than 20 points.

The Yellowjackets had four players in double figures with Logan Richter leading the way with 14 points. Martin LaFond added 13, while Jenson Beachy poured in 12 and Josh Jeziorski added 11.

“We got off on another quick run, which I think really helped us,” Richter said. “We got the momentum going from the crowd and the bench, and us on the floor. That was really good to see and we got the job done.”

Richter said the team has a trust in every player that comes into the game. Richter finished with nine rebounds. He was efficient in shooting the ball, hitting on five of his six attempts.

The Yellowjackets seized control of the game in the second half, behind strong shooting from the outside. Ben Winkels hit a 3-pointer which was followed by a pair of triples from Richter. It was part of an 11-1 run.

“Winkels had a heckuva game. He made some big plays. They were huge plays,” Cresap said. “He had a couple of nice passes in the low post and he was a big asset tonight. He had some great moments in that game.”

Osakis was led by sophomore Daniel Savageau, who finished with 22 points.

“He would hit a couple of bombs, but we would come back and answer his baskets,” Cresap said. “He is a heckuva player and they are a good team. They are really well-coached. Our kids were really focused defensively and we took it to them.”

At one point in the second half, Savageau was the only Silverstreak player to score. He scored the first 14 points until a free throw by Carter Rost broke that run. During that time, the Yellowjackets outscored the Silverstreaks, 22-14. After the Rost free throws, Perham used an 11-2 run to put the game away.

The Yellowjackets continued to shoot the ball well and attacking the interior. The Yellowjackets were 63.4 percent from the field and 70.4 percent from inside the arc. The balanced offense and strong defense, forcing several tough shots, continued a playoff trend for the Yellowjackets. Osakis shot 35.1 percent from the field and held the Silverstreaks to 25 percent from the 3-point line.

Perham improved its season mark to 29-0 and will play Breckenridge in the Section 8AA Championship on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Concordia College in Moorhead.

OSA 16 23--39

PER 25 37--62

OSA: Luke Imdieke 2, Dan Savageau 22, Josh Peterka 4, Phil Matthews 3, Kobie Lara 2, Carter Rost 2, Reid DeWenter 4,

3-pointers: Savageau 3, Matthews. Free Throws: 9-13. Team Fouls: 9. Fouled Out: None

PER: Jenson Beachy 12, Martin LaFond 13, Josh Jeziorski 11, Ben Winkels 6, Carter Cresap 4, Finn Diggins 2, Logan Richter 14

3-pointers: Cresap, LaFond, Richter 3, Winkels 2. Free Throws: 3-5. Team Fouls: 12. 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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