It was a battle of two teams coming off of varying results and it showed during Perham’s 62-47 girls basketball victory over the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines on Feb. 7 in Wadena.

The Yellowjackets were coming off a dud of a performance against Barnesville when they lost 66-57, while the Wolverines were coming off one of their biggest wins in program history after defeating third-ranked Henning.

“We played really well as a team coming off a tough loss from Barnesville. We were all pretty mad about it, so we came in ready to play tonight,” DeBoer said. “We were all pretty frustrated with how we played (against Barnesville) and I thought we played pretty well as a team tonight. We were all pretty excited that we had a game tonight, so we could get some redemption.”

The Yellowjackets came out angry and raced out to a 12-0 lead and never looked back as they earned the 15-point road win over the Wolverines.

Perham's Willow Thiel drives the baseline against Wadena-Deer Creek's Laura Krause as she looks for a teammate. (Jason Groth / Perham Focus)
Perham's Willow Thiel drives the baseline against Wadena-Deer Creek's Laura Krause as she looks for a teammate. (Jason Groth / Perham Focus)

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DeBoer snapped out of a slump and finished with a team-high of 15 points. She was aggressive to the hoop and set the tone in the first half for the Yellowjackets. DeBoer said her plan was to be aggressive on offense and that leads to good things. DeBoer was also tabbed with guarding Wadena-Deer Creek’s Kennedy Gravelle.

“Sometimes you see that when you put a girl on one of the other team’s best players, they kind of pick it up on both ends because their energy level needs to be higher,” Perham head coach T.J. Super said. “She did some things tonight that she hasn’t been doing the past couple of weeks. She really attacked the basket and had some really good games where she had done stuff like that. She has been in a little bit of a slump, but tonight she busted out in a big way and I’m really proud of her.”

Along with DeBoer’s 15 points, Katie Johnson finished with 12 points to help pace the Yellowjackets, who came out fast, which is part of their gameplan, according to DeBoer.

“Our keys to our game is to go fast and shoot 3’s,” DeBoer said. “I think we did that really well.”

For the second straight night, the Wolverines struggled to get out of the gates. They were able to recover against Henning and pick up the win against the Hornets, but they weren’t able to overcome the strong start for the second straight night.

Wadena-Deer Creek's Madison Carsten gets by the Perham defense and puts up a shot for two of her game-high 19 points during Wadena-Deer Creek's game with Perham. (Jason Groth / Pioneer Journal)
Wadena-Deer Creek's Madison Carsten gets by the Perham defense and puts up a shot for two of her game-high 19 points during Wadena-Deer Creek's game with Perham. (Jason Groth / Pioneer Journal)

“It was a tough start. They are a good team and took it to us right away. It was 12-0 before you could blink,” Wadena-Deer Creek head coach Jordan Cresap said. “After the start, we kind of settled in a bit and did some good things. I thought we competed a lot harder in the second half, but if you can’t put together a full game against a great team like Perham, you probably won’t find yourself on the winning end of things.”

Madison Carsten led the Wolverines with 19 points, while Gravelle finished with 14 points in the game.

The Wolverines responded to the 12-0 run with a small run to cut the lead to 18-12, but the Yellowjackets came back with free throws from Johnson, along with a pair of 3-pointers from Johnson and Mya Morris to stretch the lead back to 14. Perham led by as many as 18 points before the first half came to a close with the Yellowjackets leading 37-21.

The Wolverines responded in the second half, trimming the Perham lead down to nine at 51-42 after a basket from Gravelle. However, Perham quickly responded with a drive from Grayce Mickelson, followed by free throws from Johnson and Stella Raser, along with a basket from DeBoer to seal the win.

“I like the fight. Regardless of what happened last night, we still showed some fight and a bit of grit,” Cresap said. “We just couldn’t get over that nine point hump. Every time we would get there, they would hit a shot or drive and get to the line. We weren’t quite solid enough, weren’t quite disciplined enough defensively and they took advantage. They are a good team and have girls step up and take big shots.”

Super said he was happy to hear the Yellowjackets were unhappy after their loss to Barnesville.

Perham's Stella Raser blocks the shot attempt of Wadena-Deer Creek's Madison Carsten on her drive to the basket during Perham's victory over the Wolverines. (Jason Groth / Perham Focus)
Perham's Stella Raser blocks the shot attempt of Wadena-Deer Creek's Madison Carsten on her drive to the basket during Perham's victory over the Wolverines. (Jason Groth / Perham Focus)

“It was really fun to hear that the girls were mad about last night’s performance. It wasn’t very good when we played Barnesville,” Super said. “I was really happy that they wanted to come back and avenge that and get redemption. We came out with some fire and right from the first tip, I thought the girls played hard and played with energy, which is something we didn’t do (against Barnesville).”

The Wolverines dropped to 13-10 overall with the loss. They now take on Pillager on Feb. 11 in Pillager, before closing against Menahga on Feb. 14 and Park Rapids Area on Feb. 18. The contest against Menahga is the final regular season home game for the Wolverines.

The Yellowjackets are now 16-7 overall and have three Heart O’Lakes Conference games to close out the regular season. The Yellowjackets host Hawley on Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m., before hosting Frazee on Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. and travel to Pelican Rapids on Feb. 21.

PER 37 25--62

WDC 21 26--47

PER-Mya Morris 9, Lily DeBoer 15, Stella Raser 8, Willow Thiel 3, Sydney Anderson 7, Katie Johnson 12, Grayce Mickelson 8

3-pointers: Morris 3, Anderson, Johnson 3. Free Throws: 17-21. Team Fouls: 10. Fouled Out: None

WDC-Summer Pettit 3, Madison Carsten 19, Madison Packer 2, Kennedy Gravelle 14, MacKenzie Carsten 3, Lauryn Gravelle 4, Laura Krause 2

3-pointers: Pettit, Mad. Carsten 2, K. Gravelle 2, Mack. Carsten 1. Free Throws: 7-9. Team Fouls: 14. Fouled Out: None.