The No. 7 seed Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines had their work cut out for them against the No. 2 seed Perham Yellowjackets in the Section 8AA play-in game Thursday, March 18. Unfortunately, the Wolverines were unable to overcome the Yellowjackets defensive pressure, losing 59-30 at The Hive in Perham.
Turnovers have plagued the Wolverines all season, and they gave up 26 against the Yellowjackets, making it difficult for WDC to get any offensive momentum going. At the half, the Wolverines were down 29-12. The second half was a little stronger offensively for WDC, but the team was unable to make up the deficit against a strong Yellowjacket offense.
The Wolverines also struggled on the boards. The team had just four offensive rebounds and 12 defensive rebounds, limiting their opportunity for second-chance scoring. The Yellowjackets, on the other hand, had 14 offensive rebounds, which gave them multiple opportunities to score.
WDC head coach Kevin Tumberg said the Wolverines were unable to handle Perham's defense. "The defensive pressure was too much for us tonight," Tumberg said. "[Perham] is a strong, fundamentally sound team and they didn't make many mistakes tonight. We tip our cap to them."
Tumberg reflected on the end of the Wolverines' 10-9 season. "The hardest part of being a coach is knowing you have to lose a group of seniors every year," he said. "We have a special group of seniors that are solid basketball players, but even better people. They have left a tremendous impact on our coaching staff and program."
PER 29 30 - 59
WDC 12 18 - 30
PER-Micah Thompson 10, Chas Melvin 12, Soren Anderson 9, Andrew Smith 3, Finn Diggins 20, Jacob Daniels 3, Gabe Thompson 2
3-pointers: Melvin 2, Anderson, Smith, Diggins, 1. Free Throws: 6-14. Team Fouls: 11.
WDC-Blake Vittetoe 2, Zach Shaw 7, Tony Kreklau 2, Teshe Loer 2, Aiden Larson 8, Payton Rondestvedt 3, Jack Motschenbacher 3, Peyton Church 3
3-pointers: Larson 2, Rondestvedt, Motschenbacher, Church, 1. Free Throws: 3-3. Team Fouls: 13.