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Crosby-Ironton too much for Detroit Lakes in boys' basketball action

There wasn't much drop-off for the Crosby-Ironton boys' basketball team from a year ago, when they won 22 games and earned a trip to the state playoffs -- as Detroit Lakes found out.

Returning all their starters from that 22-win team, the Rangers applied heavy defensive pressure on the Lakers, forcing 26 turnovers, while committing just six of their own, en route to a 66-53 win Friday night in Ralph Anderson Gym.

That pressure, along with an effective offensive rebounding game to create second and third chances, was enough to fend off a feisty DL team, which hit seven three's to make the contest competitive.

"They applied a three-fourth court pressure, which they have been running well the last two years," said DL head coach Robb Flint. "They did a good job anticipating where the ball was going. We didn't do a good enough job with our ball handling and disguising where we were going with it."

The Lakers fell into an early 23-9 deficit, aided by three consecutive Ranger three-point shots.

For every DL rally, a C-I three would end it promptly.

"They are so patient offensively, they don't just settle for good opportunities, they settle for great ones," Flint added.

DL made a stab at the Rangers to start the second half after trailing at halftime 34-20, going on a 7-2 run to cut the lead to 36-27.

A mid-range jumper by sophomore guard Rick Hutchinson, followed by one of Connor Hedstrom's three's -- along with an open-court steal by junior guard Connor McLeod for two points -- netted the 7-0 run.

"We had that same group of five out there and they had a nice, up-tempo game going on," Flint said.

But the Rangers quelled the potential rally with a trey by senior guard Matt Hudrlik, which was followed by another three from teammate Mark Hoge to put C-I back up 42-37.

From there, the Rangers maintained at least a 12-point lead for the win and dropped the Lakers to 0-3 on the season.

The game marked the return of both junior forward Josh Stalberger and sophomore post Brian Labat, which enhanced the team by a bit.

"I was excited to see both Josh and Brian get their first action, but it may take some time to get things clicking together," Flint said. "We've had an extremely tough schedule thus far.

"The first two games, we just ran out of gas, while C-I is just that good. But I like the progress the guys are making."

The Lakers will next host Frazee Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. start.

Laker results

Crosby-Ironton at Detroit Lakes, Friday, Dec. 12.

Rangers 34 32 - 66

Lakers 20 33 - 53

Stats (2-3-ftm-fta-pts) -- DL: Connor Hedstrom 0-2-2-2-8; Joe Mollberg 2-0-1-2-5; Tyler Fode 0-1-0-0-3; Connor McLeod 1-2-0-2-8; Rick Hutchinson 3-1-1-1-9; Josh Stalberger 2-0-4-6-8; Alex Guetter 2-0-2-5-6. Team: 10-6-10-18-53.

CI: Matthew Hudrlik 4-1-4-6-15; Tyler Dickie 0-2-2-2-8; Mark Hoge 6-2-1-2-19; Sam Baker 6-1-0-0-15; Brock Tesdahl 2-0-2-3-6; Tyler Snook 0-1-0-0-3. Team: 18-7-9-13-66.