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DL Boys Basketball - Lakers win big section road game in TRF

The perfect way to learn a lesson is under winning circumstances.

That's exactly what the Detroit Lakes boys' basketball team accomplished with an important 65-61 victory in Thief River Falls Tuesday, as the Lakers pull to .500 at 2-2, but more importantly pick up a big Section 8-3A win.

The Lakers controlled the game from the middle of the first half to the four-minute mark in the second half -- until the Prowlers (2-3) made a last lunge at the Lakers by nearly erasing a 13-point deficit.

But DL held TRF at bay in the closing seconds for the four-point victory.

"This is a big section win, especially on the road," said DL assistant coach Kirk Beebout. "We did make some silly turnovers late in the game to give (TRF) a chance, but it's a nice lesson to learn after a win."

The Lakers started the game off slow on the boards again, but recovered nicely and were only outrebounded by four, 27-24 by the end of the contest.

Senior guard Kirk McLeod set the tone for the Lakers in the first half with some stingy defense, which produced four steals and also added four assists on the transition.

The Lakers were able to run the floor effectively to set up some high-percentage shots, as they shot 46 percent from the floor.

"We had some good looks and some good ball movement to create some shots," Beebout said. "But the guys also created some turnovers, which led to easy lay ups."

As was apparent in DL's first win of the season Friday against Pequot Lakes, solid defense led to solid output on offense.

It was also key that senior guard Derek Long played extended minutes for the first time this season, after recovering from illness in the first part of the season.

Long led the way with 23 points and seven rebounds, while McLeod complemented his game with 15 points.

"Derek played a lot of minutes and it's important having him on the floor, because it does help out the younger guys," Beebout said.

Sophomore guard Ryan Cihak added 10 points in the victory.

The Lakers will look to extend their two-game winning streak Thursday in Alexandria (1-3) with a 7:30 p.m. start.

Laker results

Detroit Lakes at Thief River Falls, Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Lakers 31 34 - 65

Prowlers 29 32 - 61

Scoring (2-3-ftm-fta-pts) -- Kirk McLeod 4-2-1-2-15; Jackson Lyngaas 3-0-0-2-6; Christian Hedstrom 1-1-0-0-5; Derek Long 5-2-7-8-23; Sam Champa 1-0-0-1-2; Ryan Cihak 3-0-4-6-10; Austin Eiter 2-0-0-0-4. TOTAL: 19-5-12-19-65.

TRF: J. Leier 3-0-2-5-8; N. Onkka 2-1-2-4-9; A. Johnson 2-0-0-0-4; N. Hoffard 2-0-3-4-7; J. Osborne 4-0-0-1-8; S. Olson 1-0-1-1-3; J. Hutton 1-1-0-0-5; J. Joppru 8-0-1-1-17. TOTAL: 23-2-9-16-61.

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