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Published January 14 2011

Girls basketball: Perham posts win over Hawley

HAWLEY, Minn. – What’s become a common theme for the Hawley girls basketball team is what led to its demise.

Steals, pressure in the paint, shadowing a ball handler. Doesn’t matter. The Perham girls basketball team did it all, forcing 17 turnovers in a 59-48 upset over No. 5 Hawley on Thursday to snap the Nuggets’ 25-game home winning streak and

37-game regular season winning streak.

“The main focus for the game was on the defensive end,” said Perham coach John Gullingsrud. “We can score, but defensively the goal was keeping the guards guarding the basket and make them take shots. We know they can shoot, but we wanted them to take those longer shots.”

What’s weird about this is Hawley (7-1) finds itself where Perham (11-1) was nearly a week ago by suffering its first loss of the season among other things.

Gullingsrud said Perham’s 63-37 loss to No. 9 Pequot Lakes did more for the team than just a loss.

He said it made the team refocus and re-adjust its priorities. No one else benefitted from that lesson more than Katrina Moenkedick, who had three points in the loss the Pequot Lakes, the lowest since her freshman year.

Moenkedick scored 21 points, but 14 of them came off steals.

What she did was pretty simple. She always stayed near the top of the key just waiting for a pass. Once a pass was made she’d take off, grab the ball and make every open lay-up she got.

“Defense before offense was the main goal tonight,” the junior forward said. “We just worked really hard together and made sure we had everything covered.”

Perham started by taking away Hawley’s inside presence by blanketing and handcuffing 6-1 Drew Sannes when she got the pall in the post.

It worked for a bit with Perham fighting off a 9-4 hole going on a 16-3 run for a 20-12 lead.

An eight-point margin was the closest Hawley got at any point during the game with Perham always finding ways to keep a large lead.

Hawley hadn’t lost at home for exactly two years when it lost to West Central Area on Jan. 13, 2009.

With that in mind, it’s safe to say Hawley’s not going to have any love when it travels to Perham on Valentine’s Day on a rematch.

“I think we really don’t ever talk about the records but I am sure the kids do,” said Hawley coach Bill Gottenborg.

“They are going to come back determined. They’re good kids, they work hard in practice and they’re going to learn from this game.”

Half: P 38, H 25

P, Meehl 3, Miller 4, Huber 7, Stoll 14, Karvonen 7, Moenkedick 21.

H, Noreen 8, Lura 2, Olson 2, Peterman 4, Amann 6, D. Sannes 10, A. Sannes 14.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548