WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 16, 2011, 10:54 AM

Inspired Perham basketball team heading to the Section Final for the first time

Perham, Minn. (WDAY Sports) - Sports teams find inspiration in many different forms, some use a song, others use trash talk, and others use a loss. It's not hard to find out what's motivating the Perham boys basketball team and that motivation has brought them to a place where they've never been in school history: The Section Final.

By: JR Havens, WDAY

After last nights subsection win over Pequot Lakes, the Perham boy’s basketball team is on the verge of playing in the state tournament for the first time.

DAVE CRESAP - Perham Head Coach: “It's really done a lot of things for us. I'm just happy to be a part of it. The credit has to go out to these kids.”

So far the Perham boy’s basketball team is 27-1 and they have won their conference for the first time in 29 years. All are great numbers, but there is one number that stands out above them all.”

“Number three, number thee, jersey number three."

Number three is Zach Gabbard. He collapsed during a game earlier this season and has been in the hospital ever since. He was one of if not the best shooters on the team, but even in his absence, he continues to be a driving force.

DAVE CRESAP - Perham Head Coach: “So we said we're gonna put zach on our backs and carry him as far as we can and the boys have done that. They've played inspirational basketball and a lot of it goes to Zach.”

MARK SCHUMACHER - Perham Jr. Center: “Well this has been a really big drive. We did lose one of our best shooters. It's really helped us all gain our intensity like on Saturday against Hawley I was getting tired. I was getting sore. I was cramping up, but I thought you know what if we lose this game, what is Zach gonna think? We're letting him down and everything I am doing now is for Zach.”

Coach Cresap is confident Zach will play again someday and with a victory on Friday, his teammates will make school history. It is a win that will be put in to perspective when they see Zach at the state tournament.

And a reminder you can watch the 8-AA final live on WDAY, Perham and Thief River Falls. Our coverage tips at 6:30!