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DL Boys Basketball - No. 3 Pelican Rapids dominates Lakers

Laker Kirk McLeod (3) fights for a shot against Pelican Rapids' Tucker Forsgren (33) and Travis Haugen (15) during Tuesday's season opener. Photo by - Brian Basham

There was one big discrepancy between the Detroit Lakes and Pelican Rapids boys' basketball teams in the 2012-13 season opener inside Ralph Anderson Gym -- experience.

The Vikings have plenty of it and the Lakers, very little

That was apparent in Pelican Rapids' 66-36 victory over the Lakers, as the Vikings laid claim to the lane with superior passing and strong inside play by senior center Tucker Forsgren.

But the speed of the varsity game caught the young and green Laker team off kilter, as they struggled from the field and their ability to keep up with the much-more-seasoned Viking squad.

"For those sophomores, juniors and even some seniors, against the speed Pelican Rapids had, it was just a bit too fast for some of our guys," said DL head coach Robb Flint. "We were forcing up some shots after one pass, simply because they had an open shot.

"The kids just need to adapt to the speed of the game and that will come."

With only senior guard Kirk McLeod basically having any sort of varsity experience off of last year's state-qualifying team, the Vikings proved much too big and fast to handle for DL.

They reeled off an 18-2 lead with just over 10 minutes left in the first half, due to patient passing inside to Forsgren and the perimeter shooting of junior guard Ryan Bruggeman.

Second opportunities for the Vikings also hurt the Lakers, as Pelican Rapids controlled the offensive boards to extend series.

"Our positioning on rebounding was not good," Flint said. "We can't just get a body on the opponent, we need to push them out of the lane. There were more than a few times we didn't box out."

Forsgren led the scoring with 18 points and Bruggeman added 15, while going 6-6 from the free throw line.

McLeod scored 11 of DL's 14 first half points, as the Lakers trailed 40-14 by halftime. The senior guard finished with a team-high 13 points.

"You could tell Kirk has competed on this level before, he had the poise and control of a varsity player," Flint said. "We just need to be tougher and more physical as a team."

The Lakers were without their second most experienced player in senior guard Derek Long, who has missed the first couple of weeks due to an illness.

DL will be relying on spread out scoring, as was the case Tuesday, with 11 different players notching points.

The Lakers will by back in action Friday, as they open Mid-State Conference play in Crosby-Ironton Friday, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Laker results

Pelican Rapids at Detroit Lakes, Tuesday, Dec. 4.

Vikings 40 26 - 66

Lakers 14 22 - 36

Scoring (2-3-ftm-fta-pts) -- DL: Kirk McLeod 5-1-0-0-13; Jackson Lyngaas 0-1-0-0-3; Ryan Cihak 1-0-0-0-2; Nolan Singer 1-0-0-0-2; Austin Eiter 0-0-1-2-1; Nick Groth 1-0-0-0-2; Christian Hedstrom 0-0-2-2-2; Karter Smith 0-0-1-2-1; Sam Champa 2-0-1-1-3; Corbin Duncan 1-0-0-0-2; Nick Nordmark 0-0-2-2-2. TOTAL: 11-2-7-9-36.

PR: Devin Schell 1-1-2-2-7; Ryan Bruggeman 3-1-6-6-15; Mitch Mackner 0-0-0-2-0; Devon Hensch 3-0-1-2-7; Travis Haugen 4-0-0-0-8; Blaine Gorton 1-1-0-0-5; Nathan Sillerud 2-0-0-0-4; Tucker Forsgren 8-0-2-3-18. TOTAL: 22-3-11-15-66.

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