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Basketball: Laker girls trump Bemidji

The Detroit Lakes girls’ basketball team built an early lead and never looked back in a wire-to-wire 69-51 win over Bemidji Thursday at the BHS gym.

The Lakers (15-5) and winners of their last 13 of 15 games, found their separation with a 10-0 run in the first half and an 11-1 run in the second half.

“If you take away those two runs, we played them evenly,” Bemidji head coach Rick Kehoe said. “It has been a problem for us all year, we just cannot consistently score.”

Kyley Foster connected on a pair of three-pointers to spark a quick 10-0 run to start the game for the Lakers.

After the Lumberjacks answered with a 6-0 run, the Lakers rattled off the next seven points to regain a double-digit lead at 17-6 with 10:05 remaining in the first half.

BHS trailed by 17 in the first half, but a pair of baskets from Emily Falldorf and a three-pointer from Casey Palmer helped trim the deficit to 11 points with under a minute remaining until the break.

Detroit Lakes added a last-second basket to increase the lead to 40-27 at the half.

Back-to-back baskets from Kelsey Olson cut the Bemidji’s deficit to single digits at 42-34 with 16:15 left to play.

“We did not give up,” Kehoe said. “We could have easily said we are tired and let’s just get this game over with, but the girls didn’t. They battled back and kept fighting.”

The Lumberjacks still trailed by eight at 46-38, but the Lakers used an 11-1 run to pull ahead and increase the lead to 57-39 with 11:40 remaining.

Despite the 18-point loss, it was still a vast improvement for Bemidji from the 40-point loss it suffered in Detroit Lakes (15-5) earlier this season.

“They could have named their scorer the first time we played them,” Kehoe said. “We responded and did not back down tonight, so I was proud of the effort.”

Shay Nielsen, of the Lakers, led all scorers with 30 points on the night.

“We just don’t have the firepower DL has inside,” Kehoe said. “I thought we played her as tough as we could with who we have. She is just a beast inside.”

The Lumberjacks were led by 11 points from Palmer.

The Lakers lost their first Mid-State Conference game last Monday in Staples-Motley by the score of 54-52 in overtime.

Nielsen led the way with 15 points.

DL rebounded Tuesday with a convincing 59-30 win in Little Falls, as Nielsen had 13 points, Foster nine and Hutchinson seven.

Detroit Lakes will travel to Alexandria (14-4) Tuesday for a 7:30 p.m. start.

Detroit Lakes at Bemidji, Thursday, Feb. 13

Detroit Lakes    40 29 – 69

Bemidji               27 24 - 51

Detroit Lakes (69) — Nielsen 11 8 30; Foster 6 2 18; Hutchinson 4 1 11; Schramel 3 0 6; Vagle 1 1 4. Totals 25 12 69

Bemidji (51) — Palmer 5 0 11; Olson 3 1 9;Greendahl 3 3 9; Woods 3 2 8; Falldorf 3 2 8; Chadwick 1 1 3; Sagedahl 0 2 2; Smith 0 1 1. Totals 18 12 51