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Transition game keys Mid-State win

Jackson Lyngaas (10) finds some free space Friday evening for a shot inside Ralph Anderson Gym. Brian Basham/Tribune1 / 3
Nolan Singer (12) fights for a rebound against the Panthers' Zach Jewison Friday. Brian Basham/Tribune2 / 3
Derek Long (21) splits the Park Rapids defense Friday evening inside Ralph Anderson Gym. Brian Basham/Tribune3 / 3

The transition game was in full swing for the Detroit Lakes boys' basketball team, as they cruised past visiting Park Rapids Friday 72-58.

Rebounding and effective passing set up the Lakers' running game up the court, as DL converted plenty of high-percentage lay-ups into points.

"We were able to push the ball after getting some steals," said DL head coach Robb Flint.

"The guys had lots of three-on-one and three-on-two opportunities. Our offensive rebounding was also effective."

Flint is also hoping he is starting to see his third scoring option develop in junior guard Jackson Lyngaas, who scored a season-high 17 points.

DL's leading scorer, senior guard Derek Long, added 16 points and second-leading scorer senior Kirk McLeod contributed eight.

"That's two games in a row where Jackson has put up double-digit points," Flint said. "He's more confident in taking his shots and he's starting to knock them down."

The Lakers built a 15-5 advantage by the 12:17 mark in the first half, as the Panthers' Tyler McCollum kept his team within striking distance through the game by nailing down 21 points, 15 coming from beyond the three-point arc.

"We knew (McCollum) was a good shooter, we just had some mental lapses in defense when guarding him," Flint said.

The Lakers kept their 10-point lead heading into halftime with a 33-23 edge, then started to pull away with their largest lead at the 4:39 mark at 59-43.

But McCollum and guard Rilee Johnson helped trim that deficit down to 11 at 66-55, but that was about as close as the Panthers would come.

"At times this season when we have built a big lead, we lose focus and let the other team back in it," Flint said.

"We have to stayed focused throughout the entire game."

The Lakers (4-5) will host Staples-Motley (5-3) for a Mid-State Conference showdown Thursday, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Laker results

Park Rapids at Detroit Lakes, Friday, Jan. 4.

Panthers 23 35 - 58

Lakers 33 39 - 72

Scoring (2-3-ftm-fta-pts) -- DL: Kirk McLeod 3-0-2-2-8; Jackson Lyngaas 5-1-4-7-17; Nick Groth 3-0-0-2-6; Derek Long 3-2-6-7-16; Austin Eiter 1-0-1-2-3; Christian Hedstrom 1-1-2-2-7; Ryan Cihak 0-2-3-6-9; Sam Champa 1-0-0-0-2; Karter Smith 1-0-0-0-2. TOTAL: 18-6-18-28-72.

PR: Mason Long 0-0-2-4-2; Jordan McCollum 0-1-0-0-3; Tyler McCollum 2-5-2-4-21; Rilee Johnson 6-0-2-2-14; Kyle Goplerud 5-0-0-0-10; Christopher Goplerud 1-0-2-2-4; Andy Waller 1-0-1-2-3; Zach Jewison 0-0-1-2-1. TOTAL: 13-6-10-16-58.

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