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Getting it done with 'D'

Sometimes not all facets of a team is in full working condition, but if a squad has solid defense to make up for it, all is usually well.

The Detroit Lakes girls' basketball team plugged one hole in the dam nicely with just that -- strong defense -- to remain undefeated at 4-0 in Friday's 52-37 victory over Mid-State Conference foe Crosby-Ironton inside Ralph Anderson Gym.

One of DL's strongest weapons this season, the transition game, was effectively slowed down by the Rangers' 1-2-2 zone press. But the Lakers would control the game with their stringent defense and the ability to create the turnover.

Offensively, the Lakers struggled by having trouble finding the bottom of the net. DL had eight different scorers in the game, led by forward Jordanne Even's 15, which was aided by a pair of timely three pointers.

Post Corey Lof was also the benefactor of some nice assists by Even and point guard Hallie Hoganson, banking in several open court shots after a C-I turnover.

"It was an ugly win," said DL head coach Mike Hoganson. "It's hard to run when you don't have defensive rebounds and C-I was making their free throws and getting second shots. We just weren't doing a good job on the defensive boards."

One consistent factor in DL's win was the ability to pull away in the second half.

After the Lakers built a 28-18 halftime lead, the game was effectively put in DL's backpocket with an early second half surge.

C-I would pull to 30-21, before the Lakers pulled away, starting with Even's second three of the game.

After a Ranger turnover on a traveling violation, forward Betsy Hutchinson converted a pair of free throws to up the lead 35-21. Another visitor turnover led to a turn around shot by Hutchinson.

The next bucket came on a Lof steal, who hit Hallie Hoganson in the open court, who drifted in the lane and laid in a floater for the 39-21 margin to cap the 9-0 run.

The Rangers would not get it any closer than 43-34 late in the second after the Lakers were hit by the turnover bug, as well.

C-I had the higher mark in the turnover game at 25, but the Lakers also registered a lofty 20.

"They had the unforced turnovers, where as we had the forced ones," Mike Hoganson said. "That was disappointing in that we didn't take care of the ball well."

But for the third straight game in a row, the Lakers bolted the victory down with a second-half run.

"I think in the first half we were a bit nervous and were rushing things," Hallie Hoganson said. "In the second half we just were more comfortable and came out ready."

In the end, though, it was the defense of the Lakers which would pull them through it.

"We know if our offense is struggling, we can pick it up on defense," Hallie Hoganson included.

No Rangers hit double digits, with Maggie Sandberg leading the way with seven points.

DL's shooting problems even crossed over to the line, where on one series alone, the Lakers went 0-6. They finished 11-24 for the game.

"Sometimes it's just contagious when you start missing free throws," the DL coach added about his team's free throw woes.

With the team sitting at a comfortable 4-0, Mike Hoganson would like to see improvement in the foul game, too. The Lakers were hindered again by foul trouble, having to have to sit several starters because of the infractions.

"We just need to get rid of the silly fouls," Mike Hoganson said. "We don't need to have those over the back fouls and those types. I can handle the aggressive fouls, because you'll have those when you play a full-court game like us."

The Lakers will look to extend their winning streak Saturday at Fergus Falls for a 7:30 p.m. start.

Laker results

Crosby-Ironton at Detroit Lakes, Friday, Dec. 9.

Rangers 18 19 - 37

Lakers 28 24 - 52

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

DL: Macey Bentley 1-0-0-0-2; Abby Hoganson 1-0-3-5-5; Corey Lof 6-0-1-4-13; Kally Wolf 2-1-0-0-7; Jordanne Even 4-2-1-3-15; Alexis Kotschevar 0-0-2-5-2; Betsy Hutchinson 1-0-2-4-4; Hallie Hoganson 1-0-2-3-4. Team: 16-3-11-24-52.

CI: Maggie Sandberg 1-1-2-2-7; Chelsea Lundgren 2-0-2-5-6; Carissa Steuck 1-0-0-0-2; Betsy Wehseler 3-0-0-1-6; Annie Adams 2-0-2-4-6; Farrah Steinke 2-0-0-1-4; Brita Johnson 0-0-2-2-2; Megan Zillmer 1-0-2-2-4. Team: 12-1-10-17.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.