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Laker girl cagers swat Yellowjackets to keep rolling along

A narrow 25-22 halftime lead for the Detroit Lakes girls' basketball team quickly blossomed into an 11-point gap to start the second half, keying a 58-45 victory to up the Lakers' overall record to 18-2.

The victory -- which came on the Yellowjackets' home court Saturday -- was a tough-earned one, against a Perham team which has been playing well as of late and now sits at 11-11.

"We started out sluggish and were trying to rush things by going 100 miles per hour," said DL head coach Mike Hoganson. "I think it carried over from Friday night against Staples-Motley, where everything was dropping.

"Those same shots we were making Friday night were not going in Saturday in the first half."

But the ever-reliable Laker defense saved the first half despite the team's struggles on the offensive side of the court.

Defense has been a factor that has kept DL in several games this season already.

"Our defense definitely kept us in it," Hoganson said. "In the second half, the girls really stepped the defense up and were more patient (offensively)."

That resulted in the 8-0 run to start the second half and give the Lakers some breathing room throughout the remainder of the game. DL shot well from the free throw line, going 11-15, with senior forward Jordanne Even completing 6 of 7 herself.

Even led all scorers with 18 points, while forwards Corey Lof and Betsy Hutchinson had 11 and 10, respectively. Junior guard Hallie Hoganson added eight points.

Perham was led by Brandi Cresap's 12 points.

The Lakers have four games remaining, with three left in the Mid-State Conference. DL -- 7-0 in the Mid-State -- can essentially seal the conference title with a win over second-place Park Rapids (6-1) Thursday in the Panthers' backyard.

"This is a goal-oriented group and they want to win the Mid-State," Hoganson said.

The DL coach said he wants his team to become more solid with its half-court defense, because that's what will count come playoff time.

"We will need to rely on our half-court defense in the playoffs, because the full-court can set the pace, but as you progress in the playoffs against better team, you need solid half-court defense," Hoganson added.

The Lakers' road game in Park Rapids will start at 7:30 p.m., then they will host Mid-State team Pequot Lakes Friday inside Ralph Anderson Gym.

Laker results

Detroit Lakes at Perham, Saturday, Feb. 11.

Lakers 25 33 - 58

Yellowjackets 22 23 - 45

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

DL: Macey Bentley 1-0-0-0-2; Abby Hoganson 2-1-0-0-7; Corey Lof 4-0-3-4-11; Kally Wolf 0-1-0-0-3; Jordanne Even 3-2-6-7-18; Betsy Hutchinson 5-0-0-2-10; Hallie Hoganson 3-0-2-2-8. Team: 18-4-11-15-58.

Perh: Dani Stoll 3-0-0-0-6; Juliana Schumacher 3-1-2-2-11; Lauri Sczygiel 0-0-2-3-2; Shannon Winkels 3-0-0-0-6; Brandi Cresap 4-0-4-4-12; Brittany Gigstead 3-0-0-1-6; Kayla Speicher 1-0-0-0-2. Team: 17-1-8-10-45.

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