WINTERSET — Last season Perry ran into an unexpected roadblock at Winterset and shot just 35 percent from the floor in suffering a 78-69 loss to the hosts. The loss was one of only three in conference play for the eventual RRC champions and was one of only four wins on the seasons for the Huskies.
The Bluejays made sure Friday would not see a repeat, as a sharpshooting Perry squad hit on 55 percent of their shots en route to a 77-61 victory. The win lifts Perry to 4-4 overall and 3-2 in RRC play while Winterset falls to 1-7, 1-4.
“This is the first time in several seasons that we played a strictly man-to-man defense for the entire game,” Perry head coach Ned Menke said. “I liked our effort defensively and really liked how we pounded the ball inside.”
Ryan Rathje had just nine points and Kyle Nevitt only two in the loss last winter, but both more than made amends Friday, with the former lighting up the scoreboard for 29 points while Nevitt poured in 19.
The inside one-two punch of Janier Puente (17 points) and Solomon Pierce (10 points) helped the guests finish 19-of-34 on two-point field goals while the team finished 9-of-17 from beyond the 3-point arc.
The 29 points from Rathje and the 10 from Pierce were both career-high marks.
Rathje hit 10-of-14 shots from the floor, including six triples, as Perry trailed only once in the game, that coming in the opening minutes.
The Bluejays ran out to a 17-9 first quarter lead, but a game Huskies squad fought back with an 18-14 edge in the second quarter to close to within 31-27 at the intermission. Perry slowly pulled away in the second half, leading 57-48 after three frames and then salting the win with a 20-13 edge in fourth-quarter points to generate the 16-point margin of victory.
Rathje had 10 rebounds for the Jays, with Puente clearing eight boards while Nevitt grabbed seven caroms and had two assists. Alex Long’s two points closed the Perry scoring ledger, with the senior guard aiding the winning cause with 10 assists and five rebounds.
Nick Nelson led Winterset with 16 points.
Perry hosts Roland-Story Saturday, with the girls game to begin at 1 p.m. and the boys to follow. A visit from Bondurant-Farrar is scheduled for Tuesday, with Perry traveling to Boone Friday.
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