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Lakers blast TRF to start playoffs

There is a famous saying of "Pick your poison" and the Thief River Falls girls' basketball team did -- and it was fatal.

After applying a triangle and two defense on the Detroit Lakes girls' basketball squad in Thursday night's Section 8-3A quarterfinal playoff game, the Lakers scorched the Prowlers from outside, building a convincing 29-10 by halftime.

The reason for the triangle and two defense was to take DL junior guard Hallie Hoganson and senior forward Jordanne Even out of the game. The mistake was forgetting about the three other players the Lakers had the floor.

"We ran a split offense and that said our other three players are better than your other three players," said DL head coach Mike Hoganson. "They were 29-10 better."

The other three TRF neglected to focus on were junior forwards Corey Lof and Betsy Hutchinson and senior guard Kally Wolf. Included in that trio was freshman guard Abby Hoganson, who all helped key a first half which ended leaving no doubt of how the game would end -- with a Laker victory.

DL advanced to the semifinals against the South's No. 2 seeded Fergus Falls, which toppled No. 3 Little Falls 47-41 Thursday. The semis will be played Saturday at 6 p.m. at Minnesota State University of Moorhead.

The Lakers finished with nine three pointers on the night, including four consecutive treys in the first half alone.

"There will be open shots on the outside against a junk zone like that and the girls hit them," Mike Hoganson said. "And they went back and played solid defense, which helped our transition game, as well."

DL used a 9-0 run at the start of the first half to break open a 4-4 tie, keyed by the first of two three pointers by Wolf.

Hallie Hoganson sparked a barrage of consecutive three's at the 6:31 mark, followed by treys by Abby Hoganson, Even and Macey Bentley. By the time the nets were done fraying, DL had a 25-8 lead.

The Prowlers were doused for the last time in the start of the second half where the Lakers buried them with a 10-0 run for a comfortable 39-10 margin.

"We always like coming out strong the first four minutes of the second half to set the tone and the girls did a pretty good job of doing that," Mike Hoganson said.

A dozen different Lakers scored, with Even leading the way with 13 points, while Abby Hoganson had eight and each of Hutchinson, Bentley and Hallie Hoganson had seven.

The Prowlers were led by Becca Larson's six points.

If the Lakers advance out of the semifinals Saturday, they will play for their second consecutive Section 8-3A title in the championship game, which is scheduled for Friday, March 10, at MSUM, starting at 7 p.m.

Laker results

Section 8-3A quarterfinal playoffs: (4) Thief River Falls at (1) Detroit Lakes, Thursday, March 2.

Prowlers 10 19 - 29

Lakers 29 34 - 63

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

DL: Macey Bentley 1-1-2-2-7; Jena Hanson 2-0-0-0-4; Abby Hoganson 1-2-0-0-8; Corey Lof 3-0-0-0-6; Morgan Lof 1-0-0-0-2; Alice Branden 1-0-0-0-2; Kally Wolf 0-2-0-0-6; Jordanne Even 1-3-2-2-13; Alexis Kotschevar 0-0-1-2-1; Betsy Hutchinson 3-0-1-2-7; Hallie Hoganson 1-1-2-2-7; Nichole Norby 1-0-0-0-2. Team: 15-9-8-10-63.

TRF: Amanda Hoard 1-0-0-0-2; Becca Larson 3-0-0-0-6; Shawna Rogalla 2-0-0-0-4; Mandy Thompson 1-0-0-0-2; Jessica Gustafson 0-0-2-4-2; Allyson Helling 2-0-1-3-5; Dora Minney 1-0-0-0-2; Casey Engelstad 1-0-2-4-4. Team: 11-0-5-11-29.

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