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DL Boys Basketball - DL's defense one step behind

Having a pair of players score over 20-plus points and the team 74, offensively, the Detroit Lakes boys' basketball team was clicking Tuesday night against visiting Thief River Falls.

But it was the Prowlers' points which ended up being the problem, as in 91 points.

"It was 100-percent defense, which was the problem," said DL head coach Robb Flint of his team's 91-74 loss. "We came in telling our guys we can't allow their shooters to get comfortable."

But that is what exactly happened, as the Prowlers went 5-6 in three pointers the first half, as they led the entire game, starting with a 9-0 lead and an eventual 51-38 halftime advantage.

"Our kids battled hard, but in the first half, we allowed them to go where they wanted to go," Flint said. "Thief River Falls did a nice job against our press and shot the ball well."

The Lakers still battled back after their sluggish start, by tying the game 9-9 on Derek Long's three-pointer and Kirk McLeod's jump shooting.

But as was the case for the Prowlers, every time the Lakers pulled close, they would widen the gap.

Sophomore guard Jacob Joppru nailed a three pointer after DL tied the game 9-9, as TRF went on a quick 6-0 run.

A three pointer by sophomore Ryan Cihak pulled DL back to within three at 19-16, but the Prowlers pulled back out ahead 21-16.

Cihak hit another three for the 25-23 deficit, but the Prowlers started to pull away with an effective inside-out game, which featured post points and perimeter shots to outscore DL 26-13 by halftime.

The Prowlers continued their hot shooting through the second half, while the Lakers continued to shoot well, but the deficit remained by 10 points or more for most of the second half.

Long led the team with 28 points, while Cihak added 21 and senior guard Kirk McLeod 12.

With the loss, the Lakers have fallen far behind the Prowlers for the third seed in the Section 8-3A playoffs, but will need to start improving in their final six games with their 10-10 record.

The schedule remains rugged, with DL facing Moorhead (13-6) Tuesday, Feb. 19, Class 2A No. 3 ranked Hawley (18-1) Feb. 21, and Class 3A No. 5 ranked Grand Rapids (15-5) Feb. 23.

"We are going to have to play better defense on the bigger players, because we don't have size," Flint said.

Laker results

Thief River Falls at Detroit Lakes, Tuesday, Feb. 12.

Prowlers 51 40 - 91

Lakers 38 36 - 74

DL scoring (2-3-ftm-fta-pts) - Kirk McLeod 3-1-3-4-12; Christian Hedstrom 0-1-0-1-3; Jackson Lyngaas 1-1-0-0-5; Derek Long 7-3-5-8-28; Ryan Cihak 5-2-5-8-21; Nick Groth 2-0-0-0-4; Karter Smith 0-0-1-2-1. TOTAL: 18-8-14-23-74.

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