PELICAN RAPIDS — The Fergus Falls boys’ basketball team cut down the nets Friday as the Otters defeated the Perham Yellowjackets 45-35 in the Section 8AA championship game.

The match was hotly anticipated as the two teams were supposed to meet last season in the section title game, but the coronavirus pandemic stopped high school sports before the game was played.

Each team came out firing, but it would be the Otters that built the upperhand as they began to expanding their lead. Fergus Falls went into the break with a 27-19 lead.

In the second half, the Otters struggled to get their offense going as they did not have a field goal in over seven minutes of play. But despite their second-half offensive woes, the defense came alive as they limited the Yellowjackets from making a run. Perham did come within two points at one point in the game, but the Otters regrouped and pushed their lead to double-digits to seal the win.

“So proud of our guys, the grit, the toughness, the intensity, the playmaking on both ends of the floor,” Otters head coach Matt Johnson said. “Chance Fazio was terrific tonight, I thought Dominic (Aguilar) led us in so many other ways but man, I’m just excited for our guys to have the opportunity to play in a state tournament.”

Chance Fazio led the Otters in scoring with 22 points and nine rebounds, while teammate Dominic Aguilar was also in double figures with 11 tallies.

“It’s been 378 days since we were supposed to play in the championship last year and we were just ready to go, we were ready to roll tonight and this was just another step in the right direction for our program right here,” Fazio said. “These young guys are out here celebrating, the whole community of Fergus Falls is behind us, we just felt that overpowering and we were very excited to play this game for the city.”

Perham’s Finn Diggins was the lone Yellowjacket in double figures with 12 points.

The Otters won the rebounding battle 30-18, but turned the ball over 14 times.

The Yellowjackets finish their season with a 16-6 record.

The Otters will now wait to hear who, where and what time they will play Wednesday in the Class AA state quarterfinals.

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