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Detroit Lakes girls' basketball picks up first win

If the Detroit Lakes girls' basketball team has the perseverance of their head coach, the Lakers will be a team to be reckoned with by the end of the season.

DL head coach Mike Hoganson survived after being hit by a train.

"Not many people can say that," Hoganson said of his unfortunate accident, in which he was headed to scout the Wahpeton, N.D. girls' team.

Hoganson's car slid into the railroad tracks south of DL Saturday, which incidentally, was in front of an oncoming train.

Fortunately for Hoganson, his Ford Taurus slid past the oncoming locomotive, but was smashed in the rear, which catapulted the car into the ditch.

"I patted around myself to make sure I was in one piece and thought, 'I'm not going to make the scout...and I'm alive,'" Hoganson said.

With his team starting the season 0-8, the Lakers showed the same perseverance Tuesday with their first win of the season, a 65-63 victory over Wadena-Deer Creek.

DL received a free pass in the win, as junior forward Jenny Matter broke a school record by going 19-22 from the free throw line. She finished with 23 points to lead all scorers.

"We had a good inside game with Jenny and Kayli Muckenhirn provided a good outside scoring punch with five three pointers," Hoganson said. "This was Kayli's first game without wearing that mask (which she had to wear due to a broken nose), and she felt free."

Muckenhirn finished with 17 points, while point guard Courtney Hedstrom had a breakout game of sorts, with 10 points and a limited amount of turnovers.

"Courtney is coming on strong at the point guard position and she is providing a nice compliment to guard Rachel Shane," Hoganson said.

Courtney Gray also hit for double digits with 12 points, while the Lakers went 26-35 from the free throw line, compared to W-DC's ratio of 16-27.

Thursday was another story, as Bemidji put the "Hirt" on the Lakers -- as in, University of Minnesota recruit Kayla Hirt.

The Bemidji standout finished with 16 points in a 74-32 rout of DL, while teammate Jess Yost finished with 19 points.

Bemidji built a commanding 47-17 halftime lead, with Hirt pouring in 14 points in the first half. "I didn't know if it was possible, by Kayla Hirt got better from last year when we saw her," Hoganson said. "She just makes her teammates better. We double and triple teamed her, but she found her teammates."

Offensive rebounds also doomed the Lakers, as Bemidji had 24 putback points in the first half alone.

"They beat us bad on the boards," Hoganson said. "We also were one and done on our end."

Matter again had a good game at the free throw line, going 7-10 to lead DL with 11 points.

The two-game set also marked the return of junior post Taylor Tschider, who had been out with an injury.

"Taylor is moving better and when we can have her back to 100 percent, she'll be a matchup nightmare for the opponents," the DL coach added.

The Lakers (1-9) will host Wahpeton Tuesday -- minus the train.

Laker results

Detroit Lakes at Bemidji, Thursday, Jan. 7.

Lakers 17 15 - 32

Lumberjacks 47 27 - 74

Game stats (2-3-ftm-fta-pts) -- DL: Ashlyn Jasken 1-0-1-2-3; Courtney Gray 4-0-1-2-9; Taylor Tschider 0-0-4-5-4; Jenny Matter 2-0-7-10-11; Kayli Muckenhirn 0-0-1-2-1; Rachel Shane 2-0-0-1-4. Team: 9-0-14-21-32.

Bem: Summer Monsrud 0-1-0-0-3; Kenzie Kane 4-0-1-2-9; Erika Weimann 0-3-0-0-9; Kayla Hirt 7-0-2-3-16; Jess Yost 9-0-1-3-19; Megan Huseby 3-0-0-0-6; Abby Hendricks 1-0-0-0-2; Selina Gilbertson 2-0-0-0-4; Kelsey Heisler 3-0-0-0-6. Team: 29-4-4-8-74.

Detroit Lakes at Wadena-Deer Creek, Tuesday, Jan. 5.

Lakers 29 36 - 65

Wolverines 26 37 - 63

DL: Jasken 0-0-0-2-0; Gray 4-0-4-4-12; Tschider 1-0-0-2-2; Courtney Hedstrom 1-2-2-2-10; Matter 2-0-19-22-23; Muckenhirn 1-5-0-0-17; Shane 0-0-1-3-1. Team: 9-7-26-35-65.

WDC: Caitlin Volkmann 0-1-0-0-3; Hannah Toedter 5-0-5-10-15; Courtney Volkmann 0-2-2-2-8; Avery Jackson 1-0-0-0-2; Kelsi Crawford 7-0-2-4-16; Rachel Carlisle 3-0-3-4-9; Emily Miron 2-0-4-7-8. Team: 18-3-16-27-63.

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