Detroit Lakes boys cagers put together big comeback for first win
A furious comeback by the Detroit Lakes boys' basketball team keyed its first win of the season with a 78-71 overtime victory in Wadena-Deer Creek Friday night.
Turnovers have plagued the Lakers (1-3) in their first three games, but in the second half of Friday's game, that problem seemed to be cured.
DL took care of the ball, having just seven turnovers in the second half and overtime period combined, while rallying back from a 45-27 deficit.
"We're happy to be in the win column," said DL head coach Robb Flint. "We needed this one for our confidence."
Instead of turning the ball over, the Lakers created it, which keyed the second-half comeback, after trailing 37-27 at halftime and seeing the Wolverines score the first eight points of the second half.
Each team had 17 turnovers, but W-DC had 13 alone in the second half.
"We created a ton of turnovers and got to the free throw line and made some shots," Flint said of the comeback.
It also didn't hurt having the Wolverines' leading scorer Donny Tabery -- who is averaging just over 20 points per game -- foul out at the 7:37 mark of the second half.
Tabery finished with 21 points, 17 of those coming in the first half.
DL senior Reed Oistad paced the Lakers with 24 points, 17 of his coming in the second half, while forward Josh Stalberger ignited the rally with two big blocks near the 13:00 mark.
The Lakers were able to chip at the deficit, pulling to within 52-47 when Tabery picked up his fifth foul.
"We struggled for the first 23 minutes and then (Tabery) got into foul trouble, we really took advantage of that," Flint said.
Oistad put DL out front for the first time in the second half with a three pointer with six minutes remaining for a 55-54 advantage.
Stalberger remained a factor inside, recording several blocked shots and also running the floor well for some easier layup opportunities.
Senior point guard Mike Beeson nailed a big three pointer with 2:04 left in regulation for a 60-58 DL lead.
With 29 seconds left in regulation, DL had the opportunity to run the clock out with a 61-59 lead, but W-DC's Ryan Nelson stole the ball in the open court for the coast-to-coast layup to tie the game at 61-61.
Tyler Fode's last-second shot was off, which sent the game into overtime.
But with the Lakers riding a heavy wave of momentum after erasing an 18-point deficit, they controlled the extra period by outscoring the Wolverines 17-10.
Alex Guetter sunk two big baskets during overtime, helping extend the lead to 70-64, but Isaac Doll kept the home team in it by converting a pair of back-to-back three's to pull his team back to within three at 70-67.
But the Lakers pulled away with a Fode lay-up, followed by a pair of Beeson free throws and a Joe Mollberg steal and bucket for the 76-67 margin.
The lead was too much for the Wolverines to overcome, as DL was able to hold on for the 78-71 win.
The inside-outside duo of Stalberger and Oistad was potent, with a combined 38 points -- with Stalberger netting 14.
DL also used 11 offensive boards to keep possessions alive.
Beeson's performance late in the game at the point guard position was also beneficial in the win, along with his 12 points, Flint said.
"He stepped up," the DL coach stated about Beeson. "We've been waiting for a senior to step up and Mike did that tonight."
Creating the turnover -- instead of giving them -- was also key.
"When their point guard went out (in Tabery), we felt that they really didn't have anyone who could handle the ball," Flint said. "We wanted to pressure them and we had to do that with fresh bodies and we used Connor Hedstrom and Connor McLeod for a little bit."
The Lakers started fast, putting up a 9-2 advantage early, but W-DC went on a 17-2 run to end the half and build a 37-27 lead.
The Lakers will play in the Dassel-Cokato Holiday Tournament Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 29-30.
Detroit Lakes at Wadena-Deer Creek, Friday, Dec. 19.
Lakers 27 34 17 - 78
Wolverines 37 24 10 - 71
DL: R. Oistad 24, J. Stalberger 14, M. Beeson 12, A. Guetter 9, T. Fode 7, J. Mollberg 6, K. Muckenhirn 4, M. Labat 2.
WDC: Tabery 21, Doll 15, Severson 14, Lugert 6, Nelson 5, Kern 4, Paulson 4, Tumberg 2.