Nelson tops Mendenhall Invite, Perry basketball teams continue to make adjustments

Sean Cordy, Correspondent
Special to the Chief

Perry’s new year kicked off with a couple of tough contests both on the hardwood and the mats this past week. (Note: Events covered Jan. 4-10).

Girls Basketball (5-7)

After capping 2021 with a win, the Jayettes returned with losses to Nevada (7-4) and Grand View Christian (4-6) by scores of 43-35 and 55-32, respectively.

The opening game against Nevada was played with an extremely thin roster that saw only five players on the court. That ran almost entirely through four hands. Lydia Olejniczak was good for 19 points and eight rebounds for the team-high while Jayna Kenney chimed in with 14 points and six boards.

With the Cubs clamping down on such a pointed attack, Perry gave up 23 turnovers that helped prevent Perry’s valiant comeback attempt after being down 22-4 through the first half.

Fortunes remained largely the same against Grand View where Olejniczak posted another 19-point performance trailed by Kenney’s seven.

Lydia Olejniczak goes up for a shot during a home game against Greene County on Dec. 17, 2021.

Boys Basketball (0-9)

The Bluejays pulled a tough pair to begin the new year. Nevada (7-2) looks to be in contention for a conference title and handed Perry a 73-26 loss, while Grand View Christian (11-0) has yet to lose and made no exception Friday with a 90-37 win.

Individually, Brandon Mahler was making the most of the situation as he accounted for 13 points against Grand View and eight points against the Cubs, to lead the team in both games. While he was held without a basket, Holden Smith was key to some of those points as he had four assists against Nevada. Geren Kenney pulled up for six points and three dishes in the same game.

Brandon Mahler looks to move the ball for the Bluejays during a home game against Greene County on Dec. 17, 2021.


While part of the team was in Ames for the Jack Mendenhall Invitational, the girls took part in Ogden’s girls tournament Saturday.

Overall, three Jayettes took second place (Hailey Peterson, Julie Maylum, Reese Baxter) by finishing with a 2-1 record in Ogden.

In Ames, Cole Nelson was the team standout after winning all three of his matchups to claim first place. But it wasn’t without thrills, as the senior won in a tiebreak to hand Fort Dodge’s Damarion Ross just his third loss of the season. Nelson now stands at 18-2 overall.

The rest of Perry’s six man lineup was held outside of placements.

Perry's Cole Nelson took home the 138 pound title during the Jack Mendenhall Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 8 in Ames.