Class AA Finals: Inspired Perham Triumphs Over Tired Lourdes

Playing less than 24 hours after a four-overtime semifinal victory, Lourdes of Rochester ran out of gas in the fourth quarter as Perham pulled away for the school's first Class AA Minnesota boys basketball title, winning 45-37 on Saturday at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

Inspired by teammate Zach Gabbard, who was in attendance for the semifinal victory on Friday after nearly dying following cardiac arrest during a January game, Perham (31-1) went on an 18-2 run to turn a 23-22 deficit midway through the second half into a 41-25 lead with three minutes remaining.

Lourdes (24-8) narrowed the lead to eight with under a minute remaining, but Perham converted opportunities at the free throw line to seal the victory. A 58 percent free-three shooting team over the course of the season, the Yellowjackets made 15 of 17 for the game (88 percent).

Perham took a 18-13 lead into halftime after making four 3-pointers in the first half and attempting only two shots from inside the arc. Cold shooting by the Eagles (6-of-18 from the field) contributed to the early deficit.

Nick Tobkin scored 15 points to lead Perham and scored seven of the team's final 12 points. Jordan Cresap contributed 12 points.

For Rochester Lourdes, Chris Eickemeyer scored 13 points in the losing effort. Alex Kapraun, who hit the game-winning shot in the semifinal victory Friday night, added 10 in the loss.

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