Boys basketball: Thompson becomes Perham's fifth boys player to reach 1,000 points in big win over DGF
Perham's Micah Thompson scored his 1,000th point in Friday's 72-50 win over DGF. Thompson became the fifth member of Perham's 1,000-point club in the Jackets' victory in a crucial HOL and 8AA game.
PERHAM – When Micah Thompson scored his 17th point on Friday night, he looked into the stands filled with family members. Of the many there to watch a pivotal Heart O'Lakes Conference and Section 8AA game against Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, one flashed six fingers as Perham's standout senior guard got back on defense.
The Thompson brigade witnessed the fifth member of the Perham boys basketball program earn his place in the 1,000-point club. Thompson got it in fitting fashion, grabbing three offensive rebounds before throwing up a fourth-chance shot with 6:02 left in regulation.
Micah Thompson becomes the fifth member of Perham’s 1,000 point club. He did it in the most Micah Thompson way possible. @BoysPerham pic.twitter.com/wvMiyFrcvs— Jared Rubado (@DLtribSports) February 18, 2023
"A little bit," Thompson said with a laugh when asked if he counted his points. "One of my family members gave me a little notice by throwing up six fingers when I was six points away. I looked at the clock, and we had like 14 minutes left. That's when I kind of knew this was the night."
Thompson needed 23 points to join the exclusive list of Yellowjackets. He finished with 25, a team-high in a 72-50 win over the Rebels (17-6, 10-1 HOL). It's a win that put Perham's (17-4, 8-1 HOL) conference and section seeding fates in its own hands.
"Every guy from Soren (Anderson) to Judd (Soule) at the end of the bench stepped up tonight," Thompson said. "It's contagious, and it shows we're all focused on that one goal."
Thompson's 1,000th point was the exclamation point on a much-needed night for the Yellowjackets. Head coach Dave Cresap was wary of how Perham would come out on Friday riding a three-game losing streak.
"We really needed it because of the grueling schedule we played in the three games before," he said. "It's not like we played poorly in those three games. Our effort was fantastic. We won every stat category but the final score in those games. I wasn't too disappointed, but I wasn't sure if those games were going to grind us down. … I tell you what, after the first three minutes, we were really special tonight."
Perham trailed early before taking a 25-12 lead with an 18-5 run. Alex Ohm hit back-to-back 3-pointers before Anderson gave the Yellowjackets their biggest lead of the first half with a hard-earned bucket.
DGF clawed its way back within six points at halftime on the shoulders of Owen Leach, who finished with a game-high 27 points. The University of Minnesota-Duluth commit's offensive prowess kept the Rebels within striking distance in the first half.
Perham got a spark in the form of Ashton Detloff, a sophomore forward off the bench. He scored six points early in the second half and cleaned up rebounds on the glass. It helped the Yellowjackets regain their double-digit lead.
"Huge for a sophomore coming in," Cresap said of Detloff. "He's been showing us he's capable in these moments lately. He's been shining in practice. He's been working his tail off. We wanted to get him in tonight in what was basically a playoff game. Get him acclimated and see how he does. He gave us some great minutes, and he was on the boards."
The ball had a way of finding Thompson in the second half.
"Obviously, this was a very very big game," Thompson said. "We needed to win, and that came first and foremost. In the second half, there was a little stretch where I was getting the ball, and we were scoring, so that was helping us win. It wasn't about being close to 1,000 or whatever. I was either scoring when the ball came to me, or they'd triple (team) me, and I'd kick it to somebody else to score."
Perham has no shortage of convincing wins this season, but this one was arguably its most important so far. Cresap related it to last year's 66-59 victory in Bemidji, which started a five-game winning streak.
"I hope this is the game like we got last year in Bemidji," Cresap said. "We did this last year, and it carried us into the state tournament. I hope this is a building block for us and we can keep the momentum going in the right direction. We need to peak at the right time, and this might be the game that gets us to it. This was a big win, especially for the HOL and the Section 8 chances."
'The program wouldn't be what it is without him'
Kids like Thompson don't grow on trees. From a literal perspective, he's a 6-foot, 5-inch guard who will play all 36 minutes every night, barring fouls. From an emotional standpoint, he's everything the Yellowjackets need as a leader.
"He's a special young man," Cresap said of Thompson. "I could probably talk about him for a half hour without stopping. All you have to do is come to the gym and watch him play. If you're not impressed by the attitude, the effort and the overall play of that young man, I don't know what you're watching. He gives every ounce of himself to his team. He never stops working. He's a guy we're really going to miss in our program because of his leadership. I love that kid. He's going to be successful in whatever he does in life. I appreciate him, and the program wouldn't be what it is without him."
Thompson transferred to Perham High School before his freshman year. He grew up in the New London-Spicer area before making his way to the small town off Highway 10. Four years later, the community that embraced his family rose to its feet with 6:02 left in the second half, celebrating his contributions to a beloved basketball program.
"The community support up here is amazing," Thompson said. "Two years ago, I was a sophomore, and I was playing a lot of minutes on varsity. I would be around town, and random people would come up to me and tell me, 'good game.' I was at Zorbaz one time, and this random person came up to me and told me I was doing a great job. That's when I kind of realized this community feels a little different. Perham loves basketball. Perham will give you energy, and they love when you give it back. Show them you love them, and you'll have the time of your life."
After Thompson reached the scoring milestone, Cresap called a timeout. Thompson rushed to his family section on the opposite end of the court, sharing the moment with a bevy of loved ones.
"It's baffling how much support I have," Thompson said. "It's crazy to look at the stands and see so many people you love here for you. I love them, and it was really nice to get it in front of them. One of my friends drove from Aberdeen, SD, and had to drive back tonight. He played with my brother and I in AAU. It's that stuff that makes me happy I could make his trip worth it."
On Jan. 26, Anderson became the fourth Perham boys basketball player to reach 1,000 points in a 74-51 win over Barnesville. He and Thompson form a lockstep duo that hopes to add another state berth to a pair of storied high school careers.
"He's great. I love him to death," Thompson said of Anderson. "Ever since I moved here before my freshman year, Soren and I have clicked. We have a nice brotherhood that we built up. It meant a lot that he was one of the happiest in the gym."
Thompson and Anderson's impact on the boys basketball program will last longer than their senior seasons.
"What they've done is they've set the bar for the next group," Cresap said. "Those two guys are special with young people. They're leaders. They're role models. They treat people the right way. They have high character, and they do the right thing. They make mistakes, but they respond to me and the coaches in ways that you want a kid to respond. It's an unbelievable twosome to have in the program at the same time. If you don't come watch them play, you're crazy because those two can put on a show. They're two young men I wouldn't trade for anybody."
DGF 25 25 – 50
PHS 31 41 – 72
PERHAM- Alex Ohm 10 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, 1 block; Micah Thompson 25 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal; Evan Kovash 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal; Soren Anderson 16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block; Jacob Daniels 6 points, 2 rebounds; Noah Thompson 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal; Blaiz Schmidt 4 points, 1 assist, 1 steal; Gage Aanenson 1 assist; Mason Happel 1 rebound; Connor Colliton 3 points; Ashton Detloff 6 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists; Noah Novotny 1 rebound
DGF SCORING- Karson Steichen 4, Drew Sheeley 7, Owen Leach 27, Austin Anderson 2, Grant Anderson 7, Cayson Bergee 3