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Published March 21 2012

Top-seeded Perham survives scare at state boys basketball tournament

MINNEAPOLIS – If you’re aiming for the king, it’s best not to miss.

And if you’re the king, just know you’re also a target, even if it is your second state tournament appearance.

The Perham boys basketball team survived a second-half scare with a 51-47 win over Worthington on Wednesday in the Class 2A quarterfinals of the Minnesota state boys basketball tournament at the Target Center.

“Once you have a little time, you can look at the tapes,” said Perham point guard Jordan Bruhn, who scored 21 points. “They looked at the scouting report and they played us really hard. They played us with a lot of emotion.”

Perham (28-2), the defending Class 2A champ, advances to the semifinals on Friday.

Worthington (21-7) lost to Perham by 12 back in December but appeared to have a better grasp of what to expect this time.

The Trojans start five players 6-foot-2 and taller, which helped in the paint. Worthington held a 26-23 rebounding edge over Perham, 17-11 in the first half.

“Coach called out me and Mike (Wiskow) telling us we had to be better,” said Perham center Mark Schumacher, who finished with eight points and eight rebounds. “He told us we’ve been here before, we know what to do and we shouldn’t be afraid.”

Schumacher and Perham became more aggressive as the game wore on, limiting Worthington’s second-chance put-backs.

Perham also suppressed the inside feeds the Trojans gobbled up earlier in the game.

All of this benefitted Bruhn. He set up back-to-back feeds where he found open men in the paint for easy baskets, though his piece de resistance was an 18-foot jumper he nailed with 2:01 left for a 48-42 lead.

Bruhn’s shot capped what was an impressive night for the senior who went 8 of 14 from the field, 2 of 3 from 3-point range and 3 of 4 at the free-throw line, making up for a 7-for-14 performance at the line he had against Pelican Rapids in the sub-section final.

He also had seven assists and two steals.

“I thought they did begin to wear down a little bit,” said Perham coach Dave Cresap. “We told our kids that around that four- or five-minute mark is when teams tend to get tired and they did.”

WORTHINGTON: Vorwald 1-4 0-0 2 Henning 3-7 0-0 9 Wetering 0-1 0-0 0 Traylor 3-9 0-0 6 Weg 11-16 2-4 24 Verdoorn 0-1 0-0 0 Potter 1-2 0-0 2 Grafting 1-3 0-0 2 Reller 1-2 0-0 2 TOTALS: 21-45 2-4 47

PERHAM: Schumacher 3-9 2-3 8 Bruhn 21 8-14 3-4 21 Wiskow 2-3 0-0 4 Anderson 1-6 3-4 5 Cresap 6-9 1-4 13 Nordick 0-0 0-0 0 Cavanagh 0-0 0-0 0 TOTALS: 20-41 8-12 51

HALF: W 24, P 22. FOULS: W 16, P 9. 3-Pointers: W, Henning 3. P, Bruhn 2, Cresap 1. REBOUNDS: W, 26 P, 23

Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548.

Clark’s Force blog can be found at slightlychilled.areavoices.com