Seventh-seeded Barnesville led 23-20 at the half and maintained their advantage throughout the second half as they ended up eliminating second-seeded Perham 48-43 at ‘The Hive’ on Monday night, advancing to the semifinal round of the Section 8AA playoffs with the victory.
“Wow, what a game,” exclaimed Barnesville Head Coach Matt Askegaard. “We jumped out of the gate right away and grabbed a 7-0. Perham came back, which we knew they would, took a small lead, and after that it was a tightly contested 1st half. We were able to go into the break with a 24-21 lead after Tate Inniger had a nice play near the basket.”
Gannon Bolgrean (14 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks) registered a double-double and Tate Inniger had a game high 18 points for the Trojans and added 7 boards. Barnesville shot 45% (17-37) of their field goal attempts and made 8-of-19 (42%) of their 3-pointers.
“After halftime we didn't give the lead back,” noted Coach Askegaard. “We built it to as much as 7, but Perham would answer and close the gap. Overall, we had really good possessions on offense. A few times we settled and didn't take a good shot, but a lot of that has to do with kids wanting to make plays. Sure, there are times when we have to reel them back in, but they are getting a better understanding of what it takes to be successful. Making free throws (6/14) would help that cause, but we did what we needed to do. I know it's only the quarterfinal game, but these are all big games right now, win or go home. I am so proud to be able to lead a group of guys that have bought into everything we have asked them to do. We are really excited for Wednesday and having another chance against DGF.”
The Barnesville defense held an outstanding Perham team to just 33% (15-45) shooting on the night and didn’t allow a double digit scorer. The Yellowjackets were led by 9 points each from Micah Thompson and Mason Happel. Soren Anderson added 8 points and Jacob Daniels had 6. Rebound leaders with Micah Thompson and Anderson with 5 apiece. Thompson and Daniels led the team with 3 assists each.
Barnesville (18-8) will now face third-seeded DGF (22-6) on Wednesday night at 7:45 in Detroit Lakes.
Perham ends the season with a final record of 22 wins and 6 defeats.