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Eric Peterson, Published March 15 2013

Yellowjackets win Class 2A, Section 8 title to earn third straight trip to state

MOORHEAD – Perham senior Jordan Hein had a smile on his face as he said the team’s motto Friday night at Memorial Auditorium.

“New team, same dream,” Hein said.

Hein scored a team-high 15 points and grabbed six rebounds to help make the dream a reality. His effort helped lift the Yellowjackets to a 50-42 victory against Crosby-Ironton to win the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 boys basketball championship.

“It’s very, very special,” Perham coach Dave Cresap said. “This team was all new.”

Perham (23-7) earned its third consecutive trip to the Minnesota Class 2A state tournament with a team that returned two players that saw court time last season. Those two players played a combined 17 minutes.

“No one thought we could do it so it’s kind of nice to be back at the top again,” said Hein, who missed last season due to injury. “As a team, we believed in each other and coach Cresap and the community kind of rallied with us.”

Perham led by as many as 14 points in the second half before it held off a spirited Crosby-Ironton rally. The Rangers, who had a 16-game winning streak snapped, cut the Perham lead to three points twice in the final three minutes of the second half.

“I thought our kids battled hard and never quit,” said Crosby-Ironton coach David Galovich. “I take my hat off to our guys. I thank them for their effort, their hard work and their overall team play.”

Perham looked like it was going to pull away for a comfortable victory with string of seven consecutive points. That run started midway through the second half. Hein capped the rally with an inside basket that gave the Yellowjackets a 39-25 lead with 7 minutes, 15 seconds remaining.

Crosby-Ironton, however, didn’t go quietly. The Rangers answered with the next 11 points, holding Perham scoreless for more than four minutes. Sophomore center Daniel Hudrlik sparked the rally with five points. Senior guard Caleb Baker scored an inside basket to trim the Perham lead to 39-36 with 3:51 remaining.

The Rangers had a chance to get closer moments later, but the 6-foot-4 Hudrlik was called for a charging foul with 3:23 remaining to foul out. He finished with a team-high 19 points.

“That was tough because he is our inside threat,” Galovich said. “That’s part of the game. You’ve just got to keep playing.”

Hein ended the Crosby-Ironton run, scoring on a baseline drive to give Perham a 41-36 lead with 3:02 remaining.

The Yellowjackets sank 7 of 8 free throws in the final minute to help seal the victory.

“I think it’s even more satisfying because we were picked about fifth in our section,” Cresap said. “I’m just proud of these kids.”

CI (24-5): Goodwin 3 0-0 7, Van Horn 0 0-0 0, Baker 4 5-6 14, Jacobs 0 0-0 0, Hudrlik 7 3-4 19, Tesdahl 0 2-2 2. Totals 14 10-12 42.

PERHAM (23-7): Beachy 0 1-2 1, Salathe 5 2-3 12, Glines 2 4-4 8, Hein 7 1-2 15, Nordick 5 2-2 14, Formanek 0 0-0 0, Anderson 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 10-13 50.

Half: PHS 23, CI 17. 3-point goals: Goodwin, Baker, Hudrlik 2, Nordick 2. Total fouls: CI 15, PHS 8. Fouled out: Hudrlik. Rebounds: CI 24 (Hudrlik 5, Tesdahl 5), PHS 18 (Hein 6). Turnovers: CI 14, PHS 9.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com