CROOKSTON, Minn. – After erasing a seven-point deficit by tying the game in the second half, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton closed on a 17-6 run, helping it to a 63-52 victory over Perham in the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 championship game Friday at the University of Minnesota-Crookston.

The third time was the charm for the Rebels. The Yellowjackets defeated D-G-F, twice during the regular season on their way to the Heart O’Lakes Conference Championship.

“It’s a relief. These kids have worked so hard all year long,” D-G-F head coach Mike Clark said. “Resiliency, get down, never give up, and we challenged them to play better defense in the second half and we did. That was the toll of the game. We came out and played great defense in the second half. We got rebounds and scored when we needed to.”

Senior Blake Kragnes led the way for the Rebels, finishing with 25 points, 18 of them coming in the second half.

Clark admitted after the game that the Rebels ran several set plays to get the ball to Kragnes.

“He is a special player,” Clark said. “We have a lot of good basketball players on this team. Blake is a bull. I wouldn’t want to get in front of him going to the basket, I know that. He has been able to finish lately, make free throws and you couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Reid Moser led the way for Perham with 17 points. Jaden Anderson finished with 12 points, while Jenson Beachy finished the game with 12 points.

Moser caught fire for the Yellowjackets in the first half. He scored 15 of his 17 points before halftime, helping maintain a 32-29 lead at the break.

The Yellowjackets were 45.5 percent from the 3-point line, and it was something the Rebels were prepared for.

“They came out firing from the 3-point line, which knew was going to happen,” Kragnes said. “They were for 5-for-11 from the 3-point line and we had to shut that down if we wanted to win. I think we did a pretty good job of that.”

The Yellowjackets started strong in the opening minutes of the second half, stretching a three-point lead to eight. Tellinghuisen connected for five of the seven points during the opening run.

The Rebels changed their defense from a matchup zone and went to man-to-man defense, getting in the faces of the Perham shooters. The Yellowjackets hit just 2 of 8 3-pointers in the second half, scoring just six points in the final 8 minutes, 54 seconds of the game.

At one point in the second half, Kragnes scored nine of his team’s 10 points, helping the Rebels take their first lead of the second half and allowing the Rebels to pull away.

The Rebels controlled the glass in the second half, out-rebounding the Yellowjackets, 29-21 for the game and 15-8 for the second half.

Along with Kragnes, Ethan Edeen finished with 11 points, while Cole Tahran added 10 points.

“The team and the coaches kept telling me to keep taking it to the hole,” Kragnes said. “It worked out in the end. You can’t do anything without the team and the coaches on your back,”

With Kragnes and Edeen attacking in the paint, they were able to get to the free-throw line. The Rebels hit 13 of 21 attempts at the line, while the Yellowjackets attempted just five free throws.

The Yellowjackets finish the season with a 23-7 record overall.

It marks the first trip to the state tournament for the Rebels since 2004. The Rebels advance with a 25-5 record overall. Their first game will be at either 6 or 8 p.m. at Williams Arena or the Target Center in Minneapolis.

“I’m hyperventilating. It’s so exciting. It’s the first time it has happened in years,” Clark said. “It couldn’t have happened to a better bunch of kids.”

Half: P 32, DGF 29

DGF: Rothschadl 9, Tahran 10, Payne 6, Kragnes 25, Edeen 11, Poehls 2.

P: Solberg 4, Moser 17, Beachy 10, Anderson 12, Tellinghusien 9.

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