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Detroit Lakes boys string together three wins in a row

The Detroit Lakes boys' basketball team picked a right time to string together its longest winning streak of the season.

With just one more game left on the Laker's regular season schedule, DL is in the midst of a three-game winning streak and now will be playing for the No. 6 seed in the upcoming Section 8-3A playoffs.

The seed will be determined Friday in Thief River Falls, where a win over the Prowlers will earn the Lakers the No. 6 seed, while a loss will drop them to No. 7.

"We're hoping to get that No. 6 seed and have a (four-game) winning streak heading into the playoffs, which will help with confidence," said DL head coach Robb Flint. "The guys are making strides offensively and defensively."

Both aspects of the Laker's game showed progression in their 78-46 throttling of Park Rapids Friday and a 72-67 victory over Alexandria Saturday in back-to-back road victories.

The Lakers exploded for 49 points in the second half of Saturday's game in Alexandria to pull away from a 23-23 halftime tie.

Both defenses were stout, as DL held on to a 10-3 lead at the 11-minute mark, as both teams were in a scoring drought.

Senior guard Max Knoll sparked the Lakers to kick off the second half, draining a three pointer and making several defensive plays to ignite a big run which eventually put DL up by 20 points.

"Max provided a good spark for us to start the second half," Flint added.

DL sophomore forward Josh Stalberger continued his first-half offensive push -- in which he led the Lakers with nine points -- converted four field goals and a pair of free throws to help DL maintain their lead. Stalberger finished with a game-high 19 points.

Freshman guard Joe Mollberg also kicked his game into high gear in the second half, notching 13 of his 18 points in the second half, including a pair of early three's.

Alexandria did put together a comeback, keyed by a full-court press to force the Lakers to turn the ball over and by the six-minute mark, the Cards cut the 20-point deficit into six.

"We made some mistakes and our players weren't using their heads and not playing smart," Flint said of Alexandria's comeback. "But the guys fought through it to pull the win out."

A big source of points in the second half came at the free throw line, where DL finished the game going 23-31.

Senior guard Reed Oistad also hit double digits, finishing with 15 points.

The Lakers were all over their Mid-State Conference counterpart Park Rapids Friday, building a 36-17 first-half lead and blowing out the Panthers 78-46.

All but three Lakers scored, with three hitting double digits, including Kyle Muckenhirn with 12 points, Oistad with 11 and Mollberg with 10.

Senior Brady Johnson finished with nine points, all coming on three's in the second half.

"We had balanced scoring," Flint said. "We knew we had an advantage on the block and were more athletic, we also had some easier buckets from our transition game."

The Laker's 2-2-1 zone was effective in the first half, limiting the home team to 17 points.

The Section 8-3A playoffs start Thursday, March 12, at the high seeds.

Laker results

Detroit Lakes at Alexandria, Saturday, Feb. 28.

Lakers 23 49 - 72

Cardinals 23 44 - 67

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

DL: Max Knoll 0-1-1-4-4; Joe Mollberg 2-3-5-6-18; Tyler Fode 1-0-3-3-5; Connor Hedstrom 0-0-1-2-1; Reed Oistad 1-2-7-10-15; Josh Stalberger 8-0-3-4-19; Alex Guetter 1-0-6-6-7; Kyle Muckenhirn 1-0-0-0-2. Team: 14-6-23-31-72.

Alex: Matt Peterson 0-2-2-2-8; Parker Giroux 2-0-7-7-11; Steve Conley 6-2-0-0-18; Connor Illies 5-1-4-7-17; Reggie Ronning 1-0-0-0-2; Daniel Gorghuber 2-0-2-4-6; Colin Erickson 1-1-0-0-5. Team: 17-6-15-20-67.

Detroit Lakes at Park Rapids, Friday, Feb. 27.

Lakers 36 42 - 78

Panthers 17 29 - 46

DL: Mollberg 2-1-3-3-10; Fode 3-0-1-2-7; Connor McLeod 0-2-0-0-6; Brian Labat 2-0-0-0-4; Brady Johnson 0-3-0-0-9; Mark Labat 1-0-1-1-3; Oistad 0-3-2-2-11; Stalberger 2-0-2-3-6; Guetter 3-0-0-0-6; Zane Kotschevar 1-0-2-2-4; Muckenhirn 5-0-2-3-12. Team: 19-9-13-16-78.

PR: Dillon Theis 2-0-3-4-7; Taylor Kimball 0-0-1-2-1; Paul Dirks 2-0-2-2-6; Jacob Swenson 1-0-0-0-2; Dylan Walsh 3-0-1-3-7; Max Brown 0-0-2-2-2; Kevin Vaadeland 4-0-2-3-10; Trevor Matheny 3-0-1-1-7; Christian Lidlen 2-0-0-0-4. Team: 17-0-12-17-46.