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Pats sink Lakers boys basketball with 2nd half rally

The Detroit Lakes boys' basketball team had a hold on the Pequot Lakes squad -- keyed by the Lakers' most complete game of the season -- but still the Patriots slipped out of DL's grip with a strong second half to win 72-62 in Mid-State Conference action Thursday.

Some hot shooting by the now 8-1 Patriots propelled the home team to a 42-28 second-half advantage, after the Lakers controlled the majority of the first half for a 34-30 halftime margin.

"One thing we have lacked is a go-to guy," said DL head coach Robb Flint. "The guys ran the set plays, executed well, but it ended with either a travel or a missed shot.

"But I thought this was our most complete game all year."

The Patriots, on the other hand, had sophomore guard Kurt Moody and senior guard Nic Johnsen combine for 27 points in the second half to ignite Pequot Lakes' rally.

"We knew they had one good shooter (Johnsen), but they also had a couple other come out and hit some difficult shots," Flint said.

Johnsen scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half, while Moody notched 14 of his 18 in the final half, as well.

The Lakers were creating higher percentage shots by having an effective game driving the lane.

Freshman Joe Mollberg had 10 points in the first half, while DL's frontcourt of sophomore Josh Stalberger and senior Kyle Muckenhirn had strong games in the paint.

Stalberger and senior guard Reed Oistad each finished with 12 points, while Muckenhirn tallied 13.

"We're better getting to the hole and moving the ball around better," Flint said. "That led to higher percentage shots."

The Lakers expanded on their four-point halftime lead to 10 with 12 minutes to go in regulation.

But Pequot Lakes started hitting shots, despite strong defense by the Lakers.

DL then was hit by the turnover bug again in the latter stages of the second half and finished with 23 turnovers in the contest.

Pequot Lakes' guard Jonas Dale kept the Patriots in the game in the first half, netting all 12 of his points in that time frame.

A switch from a full-court press to a half-court press defense also hindered the Lakers, who were having success breaking the Pats' press in the first half.

"We didn't execute our offense as well in the first half," Flint added. "We played well all the way up to the 10-minute mark (in the second half). We just were not as aggressive later in the game."

But several good signs flashed in the loss Thursday, including the spread-out scoring.

"We had four guys in double digits and that's good," Flint said. "Joe Mollberg didn't look like a freshman, especially in the first half and Josh Stalberger is looking more and more comfortable out there with some added confidence.

"Kyle Muckenhirn probably had his best game of the season, as well."

The Lakers (2-5) will host Mid-State Conference's Park Rapids Friday.

Laker results

Detroit Lakes at Pequot Lakes, Thursday, Jan. 8.

Lakers 34 28 - 62

Patriots 30 42 - 72

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

DL: Max Knoll 1-0-0-0-2; Joe Mollberg 4-1-1-2-11; Tyler Fode 2-0-2-2-6; Mike Beeson 1-0-0-0-2; Reed Oistad 2-2-2-2-12; Josh Stalberger 6-0-0-1-12; Alex Guetter 0-0-1-2-1; Zane Kotschevar 1-0-0-1-2; Kyle Muckenhirn 4-0-5-9-13. Total: 21-3-11-19-62.

PL: Nic Johnsen 5-2-2-3-18; Jonas Dale 3-2-0-0-12; Matt Michalson 2-0-1-3-5; Kurt Moody 9-0-0-0-18; Cole Engen 1-0-0-1-2; Adison Runberg 2-0-0-0-4; Tom Parker 1-0-1-2-3; Mike Ward 1-0-7-8-9. Total: 24-4-12-19-72.

Mid-State Conference

Crosby-Ironton 3-0

Staples-Motley 2-1

Pequot Lakes 1-0

Detroit Lakes 1-2

Park Rapids 0-0

W-DC 0-2.