Weather Forecast


Lakers double up wins from last year

Kyra Vagle became a threat from the perimeter as a sophomore guard. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham

After starting the 2013-14 season with a dismal 1-3 record, one would have never thought a breakout season was in store for the Detroit Lakes girls’ basketball team.

By the time the dust settled on the season, the Lakers doubled their win total from a year ago with a 20-win season, while putting that 1-3 mark in the rearview mirror and going 19-4 the rest of the way through.

“I think we became a well-rounded team, one in which could score from both the inside and outside, while playing good defense,” said DL head coach Mike Hoganson.

Although the Lakers’ playoff run was short-lived after losing to Alexandria in overtime, the section still boasted of four 20-win teams.

The Lakers crafted an effective inside-out offensive attack, led by junior post Shay Nielsen, who herself had a huge breakout season.

Nielsen finished the season with 470 points, which is a new DLHS all-time single-season record, along with new records in field goals made (180), free throws made (110) and field goal attempts (171).

“If a team is going to win 20 games, they need that go-to player and that’s what Shay became for us,” Hoganson said. “She did a good job posting up and working hard in the lane. The other girls did a good job of finding her and getting her the ball.”

The Lakers had a strong core at post, with seniors Brooke Olson and Trisa Hutchinson providing valuable help to Nielsen on the inside.

Nielsen owned the boards with 243 (9.0 rpg), while Olson had 131 (4.9 rpg) and Hutchinson 212 (7.1 rpg).

Sophomore Grace Swenson also logged in valuable minutes at post as well.

“We focused on attacking from inside-out,” Hoganson said. “We wanted our touches inside and if the defense collapsed, then we could go back outside for some quality perimeter shots.”

That’s where DL’s solid guard play came in handy, as junior point guard Kyley Foster had herself a breakout season as well.

Foster scored 291 points on the year (10.8 ppg), while collecting a team-high 141 assists and 55 steals.

She also tied Jennie Bowers (1992) for most assists in a game with 13, which Foster accomplished Jan. 3.

“Anytime you have a successful team, you need quality point guard play and Kyley provided that,” Hoganson said. “She had a string of games where she had eight to 10 assists and only two or three turnovers. That ratio is outstanding.”

Foster, along with junior Hailey Jorgenson and sophomore Kyra Vagle were dead-aims from the perimeter.

Jorgenson was DL’s three-point specialist, with 41 three’s and a nice 33.9 percent mark from beyond the arc.

The Lakers, as a team, were solid from the three-point area, with Vagle sinking 21 (37.5 percent), Hutchinson 16 (39.0 percent), Foster 33 (35.5 percent) and Swenson 18 (28.6 percent).

As a team, the Lakers shot 34.6 percent from three-point territory and 46.8 percent from two-point range.

“That’s about where we should be,” Hoganson said.

Defensively, the Lakers were stout once again. The match-up zone employed by assistant coach Tim Swenson was again a disrupting factor for opponents, which averaged 49.5 points per game against DL.

The Lakers have three seniors who will graduate, with all providing great leadership on and off the court in Olson, Hutchinson and forward Lauren Lies.

“They were all terrific senior captains and possessed a will to win,” Hoganson said.

But with over 80-percent of their scorers returning, the Lakers will be considered one of the favorites in Section 8-3A.

“We do return a lot of strong players; if they can keep up the hard work in the offseason, next year could be fun,” Hoganson said.

The 2013-14 Detroit Lakes girls’ basketball stats

Record: 20-7 (8-2 Mid-State Conference, champions)

DL season scoring stats (2-3-ftm-fta-pts) – Kyley Foster 64-33-64-88-291; Shay Nielsen 180-0-110-171-470; Brooke Olson 66-0-29-44-161; Kyra Vagle 36-21-39-48-173; Trisa Hutchinson 61-16-42-53-212; Hailey Jorgenson 16-41-17-18-172; Grace Swenson 14-18-10-14-92; Hallie Jordan 0-6-0-2-18; Lauren Lies 7-2-3-6-23; Danica Greer 2-0-0-0-4; Abby Schramel 1-0-0-0-2. TOTAL: 447-137-314-444-1618

DL misc. stats (rbd-asst-stls) – Foster 70-141-55; Nielsen 243-21-46; Olson 131-18-41; Vagle 42-28-30; Hutchinson 192-68-32; Jorgenson 42-27-19; Swenson 61-27-8; Jordan 7-10-5; Lies 40-9-6; Greer 2-2-1; Schramel 2-1-0. TOTAL: 832-352-243

All Mid-State Conference: Trisa Hutchinson, Kyley Foster, Shay Nielsen

Team awards – MVP: Shay Nielsen…Most Improved Player: Kyra Vagle…Hardest Worker: Trisa Hutchinson, Lauren Lies…Best Defensive Player: Foster, Hutchinson…Laker Award: Lauren Lies

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