It was an old fashioned Heart O’Lakes Conference boys basketball game when the Hawley Nuggets defeated the Breckenridge Cowboys 58-53 in the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 quarterfinals Monday, March 11, at Concordia's Memorial Auditorium.
Jayden Carlisle finished with 20 points, while Jacob Vetter finished with 18 points, ensuring Class 2A, Section 8 would have a new champion. Jonah Christensen finished with 16 points, while Noah Christensen finished with 10 for Breckenridge.
“That’s an HOL/8AA basketball game,” Hawley head coach Nathan Stoa said. “A lot of credit to coach (Arly) Ohm, because they rode a bit of a roller coaster this year and he had those guys firing on all cylinders. When you play Breckenridge, you have to grind out wins, talent is irrelevant. You have to grind out wins because that’s a team in his image. They proved tonight, they are ready for anyone at any time.”
Ohm echoed the sentiment from Stoa about it being a well-played game and tipped his cap to the Nuggets for the win.
“You have to give credit to both teams. I thought both teams competed really hard,” Breckenridge head coach Arly Ohm said. “We just didn’t execute down the stretch like we needed to. Tip your hat to Hawley, because they are very well coached, they have a senior dominated team and it’s going to be a good section before it’s all said and done.”
Breckenridge opened the second half with a 9-3 run, grabbing its first lead of the game since early in the first half. However, Jonah Christensen picked up his fourth personal foul and had to go to the bench. Hawley was able to capitalize and take control of the second half. Hawley went on a 9-2 run with the younger Christensen on the bench. After a quiet first half, Vetter took control in the second half, with 17 of his 18 coming in the half, before he fouled out.
“We had a lot of matchups that we thought we could take advantage of and some of the foul trouble for them made some of the matchups more apparent,” Stoa said. “The kid (Vetter) has done nothing but grind to get back and put a ton of work into his body. For him to have moments like this and it’s great to keep a run like that going for him. It’s been a lot of fun to have him back and he makes a huge difference for us defensively.”
The first half was a battle between Jonah Christensen and Jayden Carlisle. Carlisle had 18 of his 20 points in the first half.
“There is a reason people have been keying on him lately,” Stoa said. “He is probably on the top of most markerboards in the league for all the reasons he has put in time in this game. It’s really paying off for him. He came out ready to go.”
Jonah Christensen had 12 of his 16 in the opening half. Stoa said Jonah is a player that will keep him up at night in the future.
“For a sophomore he has tremendous footwork,” Stoa said. “If he grows a little more into his body and finds the weight room even more, he is just going to be a horse we will have to deal with. Tonight, he came out and showed us that great footwork. Tonight, we did a horrible job on the boards early and both Christensens took advantage of that.”
Hawley improved to 22-5 with the victory, while Breckenridge ends a run at the top of the section with a 15-12 record.
“You have to tip your hat, it’s really hard to do what we have done,” Ohm said. “It’s a tribute to those kids. They are probably the all-time winningest senior groups that we have had in the history of Cowboy basketball. That says a lot.”
Half: Hawley 27, Breckenridge 25
BRK: Adam Olson 3, Noah Christensen 10, Caden McGough 3, Cooper Yaggie 9, Max Johnson 5, Hunter Feigum 5, Sam Bakken 2, Jonah Christensen 16.
HAW: Gunnar Lawson 8, Jayden Carlisle 20, Jacob Vetter 18, Hayden Granni 2, Noah Glad 10.
The Perham Yellowjackets came out and set the tone early as they cruised to an 82-41 victory over Roseau in the section quarterfinals at Concordia’s Memorial Auditorium on March 11.
The top-seeded Yellowjackets ran its winning streak to 26 games with a dynamic all-around performance.
“We were ready. The kids were ready to go and the intensity was high,” Perham head coach Dave Cresap said. “We shot the ball well like I was hoping we would do and we came out with the guns a blazing. Our defense was really, really solid and made it hard for them to score. I’m really proud of their effort.”
The Yellowjackets had three players in double figures and hit on 13 of their 24 3-pointers. Josh Jeziorski led the way with 23 points, while Jenson Beachy added 22 and Carter Cresap finished with 13 points.
Perham came out hitting from the 3-point line and made its first five 3-pointers, helping it build an early 10-point lead. Perham continued to attack and closed out with a 16-6 run in the closing minutes of the first half.
Perham continued its pressure in the second half when it rushed out with a 10-0 lead in the second half and carried it through as the Yellowjackets outscored the Rams 41-20 in the second half.
Perham improved to 27-1 overall on the season, while Roseau has its season come to an end with a 21-7 mark.
Perham will take on Barnesville in the section semifinals on Wednesday, March 13 at 6 p.m. at Concordia.
Half: Perham 41, Roseau 20
ROS: Taylor Fluey 3, Nic Johnson 2, Jeremiah Bender 2, Eric Hoffer 10, Jace Hulst 2, Jack Hirst 9, Nathan O’Connor 7, Jacob Lindeman 6.
PER: Jenson Beachy 22, Charlie Rasmussen 5, Josh Jeziorski 23, Carter Mulcahy 2, Finn Diggins 4, Anthony Reese 4, Carter Cresap 13, Elijah Schmidt 3, Elijah Morris 6.