DL girls basketball preview: Power to replace speed for Laker cagers
For much of the last decade, the Detroit Lakes girls' basketball team was set in an up-tempo scheme, created by an effective transition game to create high-percentage shots.
But for the 2012-13 season, those high-percentage shots will be created by an entirely different scheme, keyed by power and paint play.
With the Lakers possessing some of their best size in a long time, they will change from an up-and-down the floor transition team, to a half-court, pushing the ball into the lane type of offense.
"We have not been a power team in quite a while, but if this team grows together this season, we should be a very good one by the end of the season," said DL head coach Mike Hoganson.
"The strength of this team will be its inside play, thus creating higher percentage shots."
That inside play will be led by returning sophomore Shay Nielsen (6-foot-0) and junior Brooke Olson (6-2).
Junior Trisa Hutchinson (5-10) will shift to more of a perimeter player, but will still give DL that aggressive rebounder.
"Trisa is a two-year starter and will be a dual threat on the floor," Hoganson said. "She can be one of the best rebounding three-players in the state.
"Shay has taken a step forward and has developed more confidence and Brooke should be a force inside."
The challenge of the team will be to get the ball to half court, where they can set up their offense.
That job will be up to the point guards, senior Marissa Bridgeman and sophomore Kyley Foster, along with senior two guard Karli Kerzman.
With Kerzman's return from a knee injury last year, the back court will have at least some seasoning. Otherwise, there isn't a ton of experience coming back.
"The inexperience in the back court is a concern, with two new point guards," Hoganson said. "With Karli back, though, that will open up the inside with her perimeter shooting."
Bridgeman is also coming off a knee injury last year, but looks to be back to normal after an offseason of rehab.
For the Lakers to be successful dishing the ball inside, the guards will need to set the perimeter, which should open up if the posts start hitting their shots.
"As our posts gain more experience and confidence, that should open up the perimeter for our guards," the DL coach said.
Defensively, the height and length should be a factor in disturbing shots, resulting in tips and blocks.
"We need to be one and done on defense, so that means we need to rebound well," Hoganson said.
The depth of the team will be key, with senior forward Megan Lindquist seeing action at forward, along with juniors Matty Tschider, Amber Peterman and Kathryn Foltz.
Senior center Brooklyn Thompson also provides a nice presence inside and should be an asset in the rebounding game.
Others who will vie for guard play include sophomores Hailey Jorgenson, Katie Larson and junior Lauren Lies.
Once aspect which is not in favor of the Lakers is their rugged schedule.
They will contend with talented Staples-Motley and Wadena-Deer Creek in the Mid-State Conference, while Section 8-3A powers will be Fergus Falls and Thief River Falls.
"We will need to be on our game each and every night," Hoganson said. "We certainly will be battle tested by the playoffs."
The Lakers open the season Tuesday, Nov. 27, by hosting Crosby-Ironton, starting at 7:30 p.m.
The 2012-13 Detroit Lakes girls' basketball schedule:
29 Thief River Falls
4 at Pequot Lakes
8 at Moorhead
11 at Wadena-Deer Creek
13 Little Falls
15 Fergus Falls
20 Park Rapids
27-28 at Sartell Tourney
4 at Bemidji
12 at Pelican Rapids
17 at Crosby-Ironton
24 Pequot Lakes
29 Wadena-Deer Creek
31 at Thief River Falls
5 at Fergus Falls
8 at Park Rapids
19 at Alexandria
21 at Staples-Motley.