One More Game… Perham Advances to Championship Game

26 Mar

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Considering this is 99.8% a Twins baseball blog, I have been pleasantly surprised at the terrific support, comments, questions and concerns I have heard from readers on the Perham Basketball team. People are curious to see how Zach Gabbard is progressing. If you were at or saw highlights of Perham’s first state tournament game on Wednesday night, Gabbard and his family attended the Perham/Virginia game. Zach sat in a wheel chair. When the Virginia players were introduced, they each ran down and shook his hand. When Zach was introduced that night, the crowd erupted.

Fast-forward to last night. The Yellowjackets team was at the arena in time for the 6:00 game, but at halftime of that game, those emergency workers on-hand when Gabbard had his heart attack in January were honored. Then, it took Rochester Lourdes four overtimes to advance to the Class AA championship game. So, the Perham game did not start until almost 9:00. This time, when Zach Gabbard was introduced, he shocked everybody by walking (slowly, but without assistance) through his teammates in line. Another emotional moment for the Perham faithful.

And then the game started. I don’t know if both teams were tired or sluggish, or if they both just played tremendous defense, but there was little scoring throughout the game. Perham did not hold a lead in the second half, but with under a minute to go in regulation, they tied the score at 32. WEM (Waterville-Elysian-Morristown) held the ball for the final minute of both regulation and the first overtime, taking the last shot, but missing each time. I do acknowledge that both teams played incredible defense. However, both teams missed a lot of shots. Perham kind of took over in the 2nd overtime, and actually made their free throws down the stretch to win 48-42 and advance to the Minnesota Boys Class AA state championship game on Saturday at 2:00.

The Perham players give a lot of credit to Gabbard for being a motivation for them, and seeing his milestones likely has a huge impact on them. However, it should not be minimized just how good this team is. Gabbard was one of, if not the, best players on the team. But the team is solid. Obviously, a 29-1 record would indicate that. They continue to play hard for Zach. They continue to speak of playing for the community. Hopefully they let it sink in a little bit, and they play for themselves and their teammates.

And as my recent article indicated, Coach Dave Cresap deserves a ton of credit too.

If you’re looking for the feel-good story, don’t watch the NCAA basketball tournament. Watch the Perham boys basketball team play Rochester Lourdes for the state championship at 2.

And, again, please be sure to go to the One Clap for Zach website and just see what’s there. If you want, feel free to contribute.

For some really good work, stories, quotes and pictures from the state tournament, be sure to go to Lakes Area Sports.


Sometime on Wednesday morning, the Maple Street Press Twins 2011 Annual will be updating its price to just $9.99 PLUS free shipping in the U.S. It’s really a very good deal for the 128 page, full-color, ad-free magazine full of terrific Twins content.

Radio – I was on KFGO (The Mighty 790) at about 6:40 on Friday night. On Saturday morning, I am scheduled to be on ESPN Radio, am 710 in Bismarck-Mandan to talk about the Twins at about 10:15 a.m.

If you like, please feel free to comment.


One Response to “One More Game… Perham Advances to Championship Game”

  1. derek bauer March 27, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    I graduated from WEM last year and watched the game, you’re right in saying it was a defensive battle. In fact, these two teams were ranked #1 and #2 in points allowed among all Class AA teams, so it’s not surprising the game turned out this way. Congrats to Perham on beating my Buccaneers and also on the fantastic season that ended in a state championship.

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