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Lakers make a Long-shot for win over Park Rapids

Detroit Lakes' senior guard Dustin Long had just six points Tuesday night in the Lakers' game against Park Rapids, but his last two points rang at a perfect time.

Like at the buzzer.

Long hit a running 10-foot field goal with time expiring to lift the home-team Lakers over the Panthers 46-44, halting a six-game skid and improving DL to 7-15 overall and 5-5 in the Mid-State Conference.

"The kids played with tremendous heart in the second half," said DL head coach Wade Johnson. "We couldn't throw the basketball in the ocean in the first half, but they gutted it out in the second."

DL shot just 28.3 percent (15-53) from the field, while the Panthers hit only 37.8 percent of their shots. But DL's 15th field goal by Long is what counted in the end.

The first half's score resembled a score from a first quarter of the old four-quarter format as DL trailed the Panthers 17-11. But the Lakers would pull out of their shooting slump, going for 35 points in the second half alone.

Forward Marly Simmons aided DL's effort with 10 rebounds.

"Marly played a tremendous game," Johnson said.

Junior guard Nils Thomsen led the way for the home team with 19 points and also had seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Adam Thielen added 16 points and five boards.

Each of PR's Jed Ryan and Grant Dierkhising had nine points and each of Doug Haas and Bryce Fazekas had eight. Dierkhising and Fazekas had double-digits in rebounding with 13 and 11, respectively.

The Section 8-3A playoffs will begin Thursday, with the semifinals Saturday and finals Thursday, March 16. Each of the semis and finals will be played at St. Cloud State University.

Laker results

Park Rapids at Detroit Lakes, Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Panthers 17 27 - 44

Lakers 11 35 - 46

DL: Nils Thomsen 19, Adam Thielen 16, Dustin Long 6, Jarod Griffith 3, Marly Simmons 2.

PR: Jed Ryan 9, Grant Dierkhising 9, Doug Haas 8, Bryce Fazekas 8, Mac McDowell 5, Seth Overly 4, Dusty Craig 1.

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