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Hot shooting by Spuds downs DL boys

Half is good.

The Moorhead Spuds converted over 50 percent of their shots -- including 56.3 percent of their three pointers -- in a 76-54 rout of Detroit Lakes Tuesday inside Ralph Anderson Gym, to break a three-game losing streak.

Hitting seven treys in the first half alone, the Spuds built a 45-39 lead, then doubled up DL in the second to outscore the home team 31-15 in the victory. The loss drops the Lakers' overall record to 6-13 and extends their losing streak to four games.

"It's hard to guard five guys who are lighting up the floor," said DL head coach Wade Johnson of Moorhead's 52.1 shooting percentage in the game. "They ate us alive on the outside. The bottom line is they shot the lights out."

The Spuds also had plenty of second opportunities, while the Lakers didn't, which led to them shooting only 38 percent on the night. Moorhead also out-rebounded DL by a 36-18 margin.

A pair of sophomore guards found their places behind the three-point arc, as Moorhead's Jordan Driscoll hit for three three's in the first half alone, to lead his team with 18 points, while DL's Adam Thielen went for five to lead all scorers with 27.

The Lakers dug out of an early 15-3 hole by chipping away with some long bombs and penetrating drives on the taller Moorhead players. By the 7:45 mark in the first half, DL had climbed back into it, down by five at 25-20.

But a nice reverse layup by the Spuds' Paul Haugen and a three by Matt Weeks boosted Moorhead back to a double-digit lead, 30-20.

DL again would scratch and claw its way back into it, going on a 9-2 run, with forward Matt Kensinger keying the rally on a tough rebound for a bucket and foul, converting the three-point play to pull DL to 32-27. Thielen proceeded with an open-court steal and added two free throws for the 32-29 deficit.

But once again, the three bit DL in the bud, as Driscoll hit one late in the half. Once again, Thielen would answer with a trey himself, to keep the Lakers within striking distance at 35-32.

Two back-to-back three's by Moorhead, from Driscoll and Weeks, would put the visitors up 45-34 with 1:37 left until halftime, with DL's Chris Gilson swishing a three and Jarod Griffith hitting a late jumper for the halftime score of 45-39.

Moorhead would take control of the second early, taking a 12-point lead at 54-42 at the 13:38 mark, keyed by six Spud free throws. DL wouldn't recover after that.

"We played well in the first half, but Moorhead played that good," Johnson said.

Moorhead forward Erik Lien went for a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while DL forward Marly Simmons led the team with eight rebounds.

The Lakers will be in Mid-State Conference action Friday when they travel to Staples-Motley, which is last in the conference. DL is 4-4 in the Mid-State.

Near miss in Perham

There was a frigid draft from behind the three-point arc Saturday in Perham, as both teams finished under 12 percent in their three-point shooting.

Only three treys were made, as DL went 1-14 (7.1 percent) and Perham was 2-16 (12.5 percent). That led to a low-scoring affair in which the Lakers fell short of the Yellowjackets, 41-39.

"I thought we played well, but we missed a couple of shots that would have won the game," Johnson said. "Give credit to Perham's defense, we only made one three pointer and that hurt us greatly."

For the game, DL shot only 36.6 percent, while Perham was 34.6 percent. Laker guard Nils Thomsen led the scoring with 19 points and added nine rebounds, while Thielen contributed 11 points.

Gilson had a solid night of rebounding, with eight.

Logan Schultz led Perham with 12 points and seven rebounds.

Laker results

Moorhead at Detroit Lakes, Tuesday, Feb. 14.

Spuds 45 31 - 76

Lakers 39 15 - 54

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

DL: Adam Thielen 3-5-6-6-27; Nils Thomsen 2-0-2-2-6; Jarod Griffith 1-0-0-0-2; Chris Gilson 3-1-0-0-9; Marly Simmons 1-0-1-3-3; Matt Kensinger 2-0-1-1-5. Team: 12-6-10-12-54.

Mhd: Aaron Wolford 0-1-0-0-3; Jordan Driscoll 1-3-7-9-18; Andrew Burns 2-1-0-0-7; Paul Haugen 3-1-0-0-9; Matt Weeks 1-2-1-2-9; Nate Borgen 2-0-0-0-4; Matt Bulik 2-0-0-0-4; Erik Lien 3-0-7-8-13; Kyle Van Dyke 2-1-2-2-9. Team: 16-9-17-21-76.

Detroit Lakes at Perham, Saturday, Feb. 11.

Lakers 22 17 - 39

Yellowjackets 26 15 - 41

DL: Nils Thomsen 19, Adam Thielen 11, Chris Gilson 4, Jarod Griffith 2, Dustin Long 2, Marly Simmons 1.

Perh: Logan Schultz 12, Will Ryan 9, Matt Schornack 8, Caleb Anderson 4, Tyler Marthaler 4, Jason Zacharias 2, Elliot Hoekstra 2.

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