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Josh Stallberger goes up against A Prowler defender for an inside shot during Thursday night's game in Ralph Anderson Gym.

Detroit Lakes boy hoopsters use both inside and outside games to down Prowlers

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DETROIT LAKES - The Detroit Lakes boys' basketball team used all parts of the floor in its impressive 78-66 victory over visiting Thief River Falls Thursday inside Ralph Anderson Gym.

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The first half belonged to the DL's frontcourt duo of senior Kyle Muckenhirn and sophomore Josh Stalberger, who kept their team in the game and even helped build a 32-29 halftime lead.

That ultimately led to Thief River Falls to sag into the lane to contain DL's inside presence, which opened up the perimeter where the Laker guards took over by draining five three's in the second half to key a back-breaking 16-6 run en route to a 78-66 win.

"Our big guys needed so much attention in the second half, that it opened up the outside for us," said DL senior guard Reed Oistad, who hit a pair of key three's during the Laker's 16-6 rally.

The Lakers used that big run around the 10-minute mark with the scored tied 41-41.

The largest lead up to that point was six points when DL led 32-26 late in the first half.

A three by Oistad gave DL a 44-43 lead at the 10:14 mark, which was the first spark igniting the fuse.

Senior Tyler Fode joined in the action, draining a trey at the 7:48 mark to put DL up 55-47, then answered a TRF three by Seth Torstveit with his second trey for the 55-47 advantage.

DL was 6-10 from beyond the three-point arc, the majority coming in the second half.

The Lakers were able to use their speed, as well, as was apparent on an Alex Guetter to Muckenhirn full-court shotgun pass over the Prowler full-court press to give DL its first double-digit margin at 57-47.

With 3:10 remaining in regulation, Hedstrom knocked down a three of his own to bury TRF 65-53.

"Fode came up big for us with those two three's," said DL head coach Robb Flint. "Then when we got our lead, we were able to go zone and force them to shoot from the outside, which they are not as good of outside shooting team."

But it was a battle of inside games for the most part in the first half and that's where Stalberger was able to make his hay.

The lanky forward was able to keep his feet planted in the paint to overcome some physical play and pour in 16 of his 18 points in the first half -- all coming off of field goals from within seven-feet of the hoop, with the majority of those coming off of put-back buckets.

Muckenhirn also contributed five offensive rebounds in the half.

"We were able to play well inside-out, which helped open the (lane)," Stalberger said. "We were also able to get bodies on them and rebound, too."

Another aspect which was missing from the Laker's game were turnovers.

After averaging 24 turnovers a game, DL limited that stat to just seven -- despite TRF putting on a full-court press for the majority of the game.

The Lakers handled that defensive scheme well to create some easier buckets.

"Ball faking and ball handling was the key," Stalberger said of the Laker's success against the Prowler's full-court press.

"Our speed was also a lost faster, that helped," Oistad included.

With DL's ability to get closer to the basket in the first half and the front part of the second half, which created higher-percentage shots, the team recorded a healthy 63-percent mark from the floor.

"We took better care of the ball and that shows everybody is growing up in general," Flint said. "They are knowing what to do with the basketball."

TRF forward Jacob Langevin scored a team-high 19 points with good success inside, as well. Front court mate Steven Peterson also added 16 points and went 6-6 from the free throw line.

The Lakers (5-11) now have had under 20 turnovers in a game in their last two contests, which has been key in their back-to-back wins.

The loss drops TRF to 5-11 and extends its losing streak to seven games.

DL will host Perham (6-11) Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Pequot Lakes (12-4) Tuesday.

Laker results

Thief River Falls at Detroit Lakes, Thursday, Feb. 5.

Prowlers 29 37 - 66

Lakers 32 46 - 78

Scoring (2-3-ftm-fta-pts)

DL: Max Knoll 2-0-1-2-5; Joe Mollberg 1-0-4-4-6; Tyler Fode 1-2-0-0-8; Connor Hedstrom 0-1-5-6-8; Reed Oistad 3-3-2-2-17; Josh Stalberger 8-0-2-2-18; Alex Guetter 2-0-2-3-6; Kyle Muckenhirn 4-0-2-5-10. Team: 21-6-18-24-78.

TRF: Riley Simenson 0-1-0-2-3; Brady Harbott 0-1-2-3-5; Jacob Langevin 7-0-5-6-19; Aaron Yaggie 0-3-2-2-11; Nick Beito 1-1-0-1-5; Seth Torstveit 3-0-0-1-6; Steven Peterson 4-0-0-0-8. Team: 15-3-9-15-66.

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