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Yellowjackets sweep a pair of HOL contests

Perham's Josh Jeziorski gets inside the defense and lays it up for two of his 20 points against Pelican Rapids. Photo courtesy of Kristen McMartin Photography1 / 3
Perham's Finn Diggins works his way to the basket for the lay-in during Perham's road victory over Pelican Rapids. Photo courtesy of Kristen McMartin Photography2 / 3
Perham's Charlie Rasmussen fires up a shot along the baseline as Pelican Rapids' Eli Sytsma tries to defend. Photo courtesy of Kristen McMartin Photography3 / 3

The third-ranked Perham boys basketball team clamped down in the second half and picked up its 13th straight win with a 67-53 victory over Pelican Rapids on Jan. 24 in Pelican Rapids.

The victory improved the Yellowjackets to 14-1 overall on the season and 7-0 in the Heart O'Lakes Conference.

The Yellowjackets used a big second half to pull away from Pelican Rapids. The Yellowjackets held a slim 2-point edge at the break, but outscored Pelican Rapids 35-23 in the second half.

Jenson Beachy finished with 21 points to lead all scorers. Josh Jeziorski finished with 20 points, while Finn Diggins added 14 points.

Beachy worked his way to the free throw line in the contest and hit seven of his eight attempts at the line. He also dished out a team high eight assists. The Yellowjackets finished with 18 assists in the game, Diggins had seven as well.

Jeziorski recorded a double-double for Perham. He finished with 15 rebounds, 13 of them on the defensive glass. It helped the Yellowjackets hold an edge on the boards as they grabbed 34 rebounds to Pelican Rapids' 26.

The Yellowjackets continued their strong trend of valuing the basketball. Perham committed just eight turnovers and forced 10 from Pelican Rapids.

Hayden Christensen finished with 18 points for Pelican Rapids, while McHale Korf ended with 10.

The Yellowjackets hope to extend their lead on the HOL conference when they travel to Breckenridge on Friday, Feb. 1. The Yellowjackets sit on top at 7-0, with Hawley on their heels at 5-1. Breckenridge is third at 3-2. The Yellowjackets will have a short turnaround as they take on Oak Grove Lutheran on Feb. 2 at Concordia-Moorhead at 7:30 p.m.

PER 32 35--67

PLR 30 23--53

PER-Jenson Beachy 21, Charlie Rasmussen 2, Josh Jeziorski 20, Finn Diggins 14, John LaFond 2, Carter Cresap 5, Elijah Morris 3

3-pointers: Jeziorski 2, Cresap, Morris. Free Throws: 13-19. Team Fouls: 8. Fouled Out: None

PLR-McHale Korf 10, Hayden Christensen 18, Eli Sytsma 2, Logan Fahje 6, Liam Sytsma 8, Jayden Rutherford 9

3-pointers: Korf, Christensen 2, Fahje 2, Rutherford. Free Throws: 1-3. Team Fouls: 13. Fouled Out: None.

Perham vs. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton

Despite a sluggish start, the Perham Yellowjackets continued its blistering pace on the scoreboard as they earned a 92-60 victory over the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Rebels on Jan. 22 at the Perham Hive.

"Overall, I thought it was pretty good. Offensively, we are really good. We scored 92 points and 199 points in two games," Perham head coach Dave Cresap said. "It was one of those games that we had to grind a little bit and get through some adversity, which is good for our team to see that."

The Yellowjackets had five players finish in double figures. Jenson Beachy finished with 26 points to lead all scorers. Josh Jeziorski added 22, while Finn Diggins came in with 14 points. Charlie Rasmussen added 11 and Carter Cresap finished with 10 points.

The Yellowjackets led 15-13 before they broke the game open in the first half. They used an 18-2 run to take command of the first half and pushed the lead to 45-27 at the break.

Nathan Leitner tried his hardest to keep the Rebels in the game. He finished with 24 points, many of them in the second half as he worked to help cut the Perham lead to 10 points.

Cresap said he didn't think they were in the right position to guard Leitner and when that happens, he makes you pay.

"When we guarded him the right way, things were good," Cresap said. "Some of that we have to show the kids how to do it. We will get ready for the high pick and roll, which kind of hurt us a bit, and we will correct that and show them how to guard that a little better. Other than that, I'm pretty pleased."

However, Perham made a key adjustment after DGF cut the lead to 10 at 61-51 and the offense took back off, outscoring the Rebels 31-9 in the remainder of the second half.

"We were just getting ready to make a substitution and put a shooter in that slot, but we adjusted. Finn (Diggins), Josh (Jeziorski) and John (LaFond) did on their own after we told them what to do. Jenson Beachy was outstanding offensively, he took it at them and controlled that game offensively."

DGF 27 33--60

PER 45 47--92

DGF-Drew Coalwell 11, Owen Leach 10, Aiden Leach 8, Jacob Strand 7, Nathan Leitner 24

3-pointers: O. Leach 2, A. Leach 2, Strand, Leitner. Free Throws: 10-15. Team Fouls: 17. Fouled Out: Tanner Tahran.

PER-Jenson Beachy 26, Charlie Rasmussen 11, Josh Jeziorski 22, Finn Diggins 14, John LaFond 5, Carter Cresap 10, Elijah Morris 4.

3-pointers: Beachy, Jeziorski 3, Cresap 2. Free Throws: 14-18. Team Fouls: 11. 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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