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Crowd of 1,500 watches as Yellowjackets defeat Lakers 60-50 in boys' basketball game Saturday

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Crowd of 1,500 watches as Yellowjackets defeat Lakers 60-50 in boys' basketball game Saturday
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

The Perham boys' basketball team ruined Detroit Lakes' plans early on in the Yellowjackets 60-50 victory over the Lakers inside a jam-packed Ralph Anderson Gym Saturday evening.

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Playing in front of 1,500-plus fans who gathered in support of Perham junior Zach Gabbard, the Yellowjackets struck from the outside early to help build an 8-0 lead, which pulled the Lakers out of their zone defense.

Perham junior guard Jordan Cresap sunk two treys from the left side of the arc, which propelled the visiting 'Jackets to the early lead.

"We started playing them zone, but we couldn't find their shooters early and they hit their shots," said junior forward Brian Labat, who finished with eight points and four rebounds. "They are just a patient team and we couldn't dig out from that hole early on."

The quick start from the perimeter also keyed Perham's transition game, as well as opening up the middle for their post players.

"A lot of teams try to play us with a zone defense, but we usually shoot them out of it," said Perham junior post Mark Schumacher. "When we have a lead, we can hold onto to well."

The Lakers (13-5) were able to trim the first-half deficit to 23-17 behind the aggressive play of senior forward Josh Stalberger, who finished with a game-high 21 points, but Perham had an answer to every DL thrust.

A second half rally coming out of halftime upped the Yellowjacket lead to 37-27, on Schumacher's lay-in off a steal by junior guard Jordan Bruhn.

DL would not get closer than seven points from there on out, as the well-rounded and versatile No. 9 Class 2A ranked Yellowjackets improved to 16-1 on the season.

"We were forced to go man-to-man after Cresap's three's, that's when they really can attack your defense," said DL head coach Robb Flint. "We also missed too many close shots, we just didn't capitalize on our opportunities when we had them.

"They are a very good team. They aren't 16-1 without a reason."

Perham had some spread out scoring, as well, which resulted by some stellar passing, which effectively broke down DL's defense -- which has been as solid as can be all season long.

Six different players scored, while four of them went for double digits. They were led by Nick Tobkin, who had a trio of three's to key his 18 points.

Cresap finished with 14 points, while Schumacher had 11 and Jordan Hein 10. Perham had seven three pointers total.

The Yellowjackets did show weakness in one area, though, after going 14-31 from the free throw line.

"We were fouling them later in the game and hoped they missed their free throws to extend the game," Flint added. "But I thought our defense still played pretty well against their offense. Our goal was to hold them to 58 points, they got 60. We just didn't put the ball in the hole."

The Lakers will now focus on their section standing, with two huge games coming up against No. 4 Class 3A ranked Bemidji (15-2) Feb. 15, in DL, and March 4 on the Lumberjack home court.

The Lakers are in the hunt for a top three seed and with a sweep of the Lumberjacks, that would easily come to fruition.

"Carey Woods is a very good guard on their team and he averages around 20 to 25 points per game," Flint said. "We'll have to handle their pressure and defend them, because they average nearly 80 points per game."

The Lakers will be in action at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (8-7) Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. start.

Laker results

Perham at Detroit Lakes, Saturday, Feb. 5.

Yellowjackets 30 30 - 60

Lakers 23 27 - 50

Scoring (2-3-ftm-fta-pts) -- DL: Josh Stalberger 10-0-1-1-21; Joe Mollberg 5-1-2-2-15; Brian Labat 2-0-4-5-8; Connor McLeod 1-0-0-0-2; Kirk McLeod 1-0-0-0-2. TEAM: 18-2-7-10-50.

Perh: Mark Schumacher 5-0-1-3-11; Jordan Bruhn 1-0-4-10-6; Jordan Cresap 2-2-4-6-14; Nick Tobkin 2-3-5-8-18; Jordan Hein 2-2-0-0-10; Sam Stratton 1-0-0-4-2. TEAM: 13-7-14-31-60.

Detroit Lakes at Wadena-Deer Creek, Friday, Feb. 4.

Lakers 50

Wolverines 36

Scoring -- DL: Mollberg 5-1-3-5-16; Labat 3-0-4-8-10; Rick Hutchinson 2-1-1-2-8; Stalberger 2-0-1-2-5; Connor Hedstrom 0-1-1-2-4; Connor McLeod 0-1-0-0-3; Jon Gilson 0-0-2-2-2; Tyler Baukol 0-0-0-2-0; Kyle Singer 0-0-0-2-0. TEAM: 12-4-12-25-48.

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Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN. 
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