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DL clinches Mid-State title

The Detroit Lakes boys' basketball team put a big check mark by one of its season goals after clinching the Mid-State Conference title with a 79-66 win over visiting Staples-Motley Friday.

With one more conference game to go, there is just one more item of business to take care of for the Lakers.

"We want to go undefeated in the Mid-State now," said DL head coach Robb Flint.

The Lakers (16-5) can do just that when they close out their conference schedule at Wadena-Deer Creek (9-13) Feb. 28.

In DL's convincing win over Staples-Motley, senior guard Joe Mollberg followed in teammate Brian Labat's tracks by hauling in his 500th rebound.

Labat accomplished the feat as the first Laker to do so a couple of weeks prior.

But No. 500 isn't the only ring Mollberg is chasing, since he is only 54 points away from Adam Thielen's all-time school scoring record, after the DL guard dumped in a game-high 21 points against Staples-Motley.

The Lakers owned the first half, building a big lead over the Cardinals to lead 50-26 at halftime.

"The execution was phenomenal by our starters, they were patient and were not settling for the bad shot," Flint said.

Staples-Motley made a small run on the Lakers in the second half, but by that time, the Cardinals were far too out of it to make a serious push for the lead.

Mollberg and Labat each finished with seven rebounds, while senior guard Rick Hutchinson added 15 points and junior point guard Kirk McLeod had 14 points.

The Lakers are still fighting for the top seed in the North half of Section 8-3A and will face Hawley (13-8) Thursday on the road and No. 3 Class 3A ranked Grand Rapids (20-3) Saturday at home, starting at 7:30 p.m.

"Our top five guys have proven to be refocused and re-energized," Flint said.

"We do need our bench to be ready when called upon to give us some stability with our depth."

Laker results

Staples-Motley at Detroit Lakes, Friday, Feb. 17.

Cardinals 26 40 - 66

Lakers 50 29 - 79

Scoring (2-3-ftm-fta-pts) -- DL: Kirk McLeod 4-2-0-0-14; Joe Mollberg 6-3-0-0-21; Aaron Marsh 1-0-0-0-2; Rick Hutchinson 6-1-0-0-15; Brian Labat 3-0-2-2-8; Derek Long 2-1-4-5-11; Tyler Baukol 0-1-0-0-11; Luke Morgan 1-0-0-0-2; Jackson Lyngaas 1-0-0-0-2. TEAM: 24-8-6-7-78.

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