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Frazee stings the boards to upend Lake Park-Audubon

Gaining second chances is always nice, but third and fourth chances are even better.

The Frazee boys' basketball team found that out in its game against Heart O'Lakes Conference opponent Lake Park-Audubon Thursday night, as the Hornets strung out a decisive 66-56 victory.

The win improves Frazee to 4-19 overall and 2-14 in the HOL, while the loss drops LP-A to 3-19 overall and 2-14 in the conference.

Rebounding, especially on the offensive side of the floor, enabled second, third and sometimes fourth chances at the basket for Frazee. The Raiders were out-manned in the middle with their senior, 6-foot-4 center Louis Veit out for much of the game due to foul trouble.

That allowed Frazee's big men, juniors Drew Daggett (6-4) and Nick Sperling (6-1), to control the paint. The Hornets capitalized on their domination on the boards with a double digit lead in the second half, which reached up to 19 points at one time.

"Sometimes the ball bounces your way, and tonight it bounced our way," said Frazee head coach Ryan Vigen. "Our guys went to the boards hard and our defense played much better."

LP-A stayed in the game due to the play of junior guard Josh Tougas, who sheared the nets for a game-high 30 points, including 12-14 from the free throw line.

"Josh came to the game focused and he's really been playing well as of lately," said LP-A head coach Don Donarski. "He capitalized on his free throw opportunities and just kept attacking. The only negative thing was his teammates kind of sat around flat-footed, watching what he was doing."

Down 28-20 at halftime, the Raiders had a grand opportunity to cut into that deficit after Frazee started the second half with four consecutive turnovers.

Veit started the half with an inside power move for a basket, but the Raiders were not able to take advantage of the Hornets' slow start.

Instead, the home team extended its lead, thanks to a Dylan Savary three, followed by a Garrett Dahlgren jumper to up the differential to 33-22.

"We came out and scored right away in the second half, which let us get into our full-court press, which created some turnovers," Donarski said. "But we were not able to capitalize on those turnovers."

Frazee had some nice looking offensive series, including a give and go from sophomore guard Andrew Stock to junior guard Kasey Kilfoyl for an easy layup, to put the Hornets up 41-27 at the 10:48 mark of the second half.

The same play was almost replicated at the 4:09 mark, this time between Dahlgren and Savary, to put Frazee up at an even 20 at 57-37.

But the majority of the second half consisted of passing the ball inside to Daggett, who had the size advantage with Veit sitting on the bench. Daggett finished with a team-high 18 points, including 8-11 from the free throw line.

"When their big guys were out with foul trouble, we decided to start going inside to Drew," Vigen said. "Even though Drew was a bit in foul trouble, we needed to go to him.

"Our rebounding also created a few more easy shots, and we limited LP-A to one shot and out."

Morgan Vetter added 10 points for Frazee, while Sperling had nine.

Lee Knudsvig backed up Tougas' game with 10 points.

Each team will be looking at a last seed in their respective section tournaments, so each will be trying to just get better with the little time left in the regular season.

"We'll be looking to get the flow to our offense back, and our continuity," Donarski said. "Lately, our offense has been stagnant. Against Breckenridge, we scored 67 points and then, we had great flow and some great passing."

For Frazee, its opening playoff opponent will probably be against Pine River-Backus in the play-in game. The goal is to eliminate turnovers.

"We need to build confidence first, then we need to eliminate our turnovers," Vigen said. "We have some good competition coming up to close the season, too."

Frazee will host West Central Area Monday and close out the regular season at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Friday.

The Raiders will play host to Pelican Rapids Tuesday, and close out their schedule against Hawley Friday.

Lake Park-Audubon at Frazee, Thursday, Feb. 23.

Raiders 20 36 - 56

Hornets 28 38 - 66

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

Fraz: Alex Stock 0-1-3-4-6; Kasey Kilfoyl 2-0-0-0-4; Dylan Savary 1-2-0-0-8; Garrett Dahlgren 1-0-0-0-2; Travis Como 4-0-1-2-9; Morgan Vetter 5-0-0-0-10; Drew Daggett 5-0-8-11-18; Nick Sperling 4-0-1-3-9. Team: 22-3-13-20.

LPA: Matt Mickelson 1-1-1-2-6; Andrew Eklund 1-0-0-0-2; Josh Tougas 6-2-12-14-30; Lee Knudsvig 3-0-4-4-10; Alex Cigelske 1-0-2-3-4; Louis Veit 2-0-0-2-4. Team: 14-3-19-25.

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