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Eagles swoop past cold-shooting Lakers

In Monday's important Section 8-3A tilt, the Detroit Lakes boys' basketball team was without two key players, to go along with a low shooting percentage.

Those two factors aided in DL's 61-47 loss to the St. Cloud Apollo Eagles (10-8) to drop the Lakers to 7-9 on the season.

The Eagles boasted of a tall front court, including forwards of 6-8, 6-7 and 6-5, compared to DL's tallest player of around 6-1.

The Lakers entered Monday's section game without their leading scorer, junior forward Josh Stalberger, and sophomore guard Joe Mollberg -- who has been out since Jan. 14.

Despite the disparity in size, DL was still able to generate good scoring opportunities -- they just didn't finish them off, said head coach Robb Flint.

"We just couldn't put a good run together," Flint said. "Our guys were patient with the ball and slowed the pace down, but they couldn't make their shots."

With Stalberger out with a hip-pointer and considered day-to-day, the Lakers were shorthanded in the lane, but still were able to manage the Eagles' potent rebounding game.

"We brought Jon Gilson in off the bench and he did a good job on the boards," Flint said. "For how outsized we were, our guys did a good job of keeping them off the offensive boards for the most part."

The Lakers came out sluggish, committing four of their 11 turnovers in the first three minutes, but settled in and trailed only 29-22 at halftime.

But a quick spurt by the Eagles to start the second half put the Lakers in an 11-point hole, one which they were battling to get out of the rest of the way.

By the 2:30 mark in the second half, the Lakers started dishing out the fouls, and St. Cloud Apollo sunk their free throws to seal the game.

Guard Tyler Fode was hot from the perimeter, netting four three-pointers for a game-high 16 points, and had six rebounds.

Point guard Connor Hestrom added 11 points and three assists, while Brian Labat scored 10 points.

The Eagles were paced by Blake Maslonkowski with 17 points. Ibrahim Abukar had 14 and Simon Krych 12.

"It was a lot closer game than the score indicated," Flint added. "I was happy with how the guys competed."

The Lakers will travel to Perham (11-4) Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. start.

Laker results

Detroit Lakes at St. Cloud Apollo, Monday, Feb. 1.

Lakers 22 25 - 47

Eagles 29 32 - 61

Scoring stats (2-3-ftm-fta-pts) -- DL: Connor Hestrom 3-1-2-4-11; Tyler Fode 2-4-0-0-16; Connor McLeod 2-0-0-0-4; Jon Gilson 0-0-1-2-1; Rick Hutchinson 1-0-0-0-2; Brian Labat 4-0-2-2-10; Tanner Twigg 0-1-0-0-3. Team: 12-6-5-8-47.

SCA: Derek Steve 1-0-6-10-8; Ibrahim Abukar 2-2-4-8-14; Ryan Tesch 4-0-0-0-8; Simon Krych 6-0-0-1-12; Blake Maslonkowski 6-0-5-12-17; Tyler Beckman 0-0-2-2-2. Team: 19-2-17-33-61.

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