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Lakers hit goal of winning 18 games

Christian Hedstrom was Detroit Lakes’ second-leading scorer with 291 points on the season. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham

With a final record of 18-9, along with a Mid-State Conference championship, there were plenty of good marks checked off the 2013-14 Detroit Lakes boys’ basketball teams’ goal list.

Although a deep playoff run was not in the cards, the Lakers have plenty to build off of for next year, as they will return the bulk of this year’s team.

“We wanted to get to the section finals and win it, but that didn’t happen,” said DL head coach Robb Flint. “But we wanted to win 18 games and did that. We wanted to sweep Thief River Falls and we did that. We wanted the Mid-State championship, we accomplished that and we wanted to beat Hawley and we did that.”

The Laker guards proved to be the propeller which guided the team’s success.

The top three scorers resided in the backcourt, led by junior guard Ryan Cihak (305 points), while junior Christian Hedstrom netted 291 points and senior Jackson Lyngaas 262.

“Three of our guards averaged over 10 points per game and they did a good job of getting to the free throw line,” Flint said. “Overall, the entire team worked hard all season and they bought into our defensive philosophy.

“This was probably as good a defense as I’ve seen since I’ve been here.”

The three guards were also close in steals, led by Hedstrom with 45, followed by Lyngaas with 44 and Cihak with 43.

The Laker post play was solid, as well, with junior Trey Lyngaas recording 220 points, while hauling in a team-high 144 rebounds.

Frontcourt mate junior center Ben Hokanson added 139 boards, while recording 22 blocks, with Trey Lyngaas having 33.

“We have a good group of posts returning in Trey, Ben, Sam (Champa), Briton (Thompson) and Nick (Nordmark),” Flint said. “One thing in which they will need to get better over the offseason is to develop their bodies and become more physical.

“We did struggle against the bigger, stronger and faster section teams.”

The Lakers went 4-3 in Section 8-3A play, not including their 47-43 loss in Fergus Falls in the first round of the playoffs.

Adding physical play will be crucial for the Lakers next year, which will help create more space for shooting, as well as controlling the boards better.

 “When we went up against those more physical teams, we had a hard time scoring in the lane, in which then we settled for jump shots,” Flint said. “Jump shots are the first thing to go when you get tired later in the game.”

Jackson Lyngaas, a two-year starter, was the lone senior on a team with 12 juniors and one sophomore on it.

“Jackson was our inspiration, the guys wanted to extend his season as long as they could,” Flint said. “We will miss his leadership and the intensity he brought every day.”

But with the Lakers being a very senior-laden team next year, this season was yet another step in the growing process, to go along with the confidence which comes with those 18 wins.

“All the players grew a lot and grew up and learned how to compete at a higher level,” Flint said.

The Detroit Lakes boys’ basketball 2013-14 season stats:

Record – 18-9

Season scoring (2-3-ftm-fta-pts) – Connor Johnson 14-4-10-18-50; Corbin Duncan 49-5-13-32-126; Christian Hedstrom 36-47-78-91-291; Jackson Lyngaas 49-23-95-118-262; Austin Dodd 0-1-2-2-5; Ben Mallow 3-1-3-4-12; Nick Nordmark 15-0-12-18-42; Trey Lyngaas 87-4-34-51-220; CJ Manning 5-4-5-6-27; Sam Champa 32-0-10-30-74; Ben Hokanson 73-0-21-37-167; Ryan Cihak 48-51-56-80-305; Briton Thompson 9-0-6-12-24; Sam Priem 2-8-3-6-31. TOTALS: 422-148-348-505-1636

Misc. stats (reb-ast-stl-blk) – Johnson 18-18-12-0; Duncan 41-64-19-0; Hedstrom 88-52-45-1; J. Lyngaas 72-77-44-6; Dodd 7-5-0-0; Mallow 7-3-1-0; Nordmark 40-4-9-2; T. Lyngaas 144-25-15-33; Manning 14-11-11-0; Champa 102-25-19-2; Hokanson 139-23-21-22; Cihak 77-43-43-2; Thompson 14-3-1-3; Priem 3-6-10-0. TOTALS: 766-359-250-71

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