Lakers turn close game into blowout in second half
Tanner Doppler returned from injury to lead Detroit Lakes with 14 points as the Lakers blew open a game tied at halftime in a 70-47 Mid-State Conference home victory over Aitkin Friday night.
Aitkin led early 10-3 and had five three-point baskets to go with five field goals to score 27 first half points. Connor Froke, Reed Mace and Doppler each hit one time from the arc and the Lakers used scoring from seven different players to tie the game at the break.
The second half was a different story.
“We looked more like us; we felt more collected, more calm than in the first half,” said DL head coach Markus Okeson. “We kind of settled in and made a few perimeter shots and things just started rolling.”
The Gobblers went cold from outside and Detroit Lakes built a 10-point lead 44-34 at the nine-minute mark.
DL attacked the rim and scored early from the line.
Gabe Hanninen made back-to-back threes from the right wing to go up 22 points 58-36 three minutes later.
Doppler missed the season-opening loss at Park Rapids earlier in the week while recuperating from an injury in the section semifinal football game at Fergus Falls and made the most of his return slashing to the hoop and creating offense for himself and his teammates.
“Doppler was huge for us and that was a big spark off the bench,” said Okeson. “In the second half, he made his presence known, taking a charge and getting to the rim and doing all the little things.”
Aitkin’s DJ Haasken posted 15 points to lead all scorers.
Hanninen, Logan Pratt and Tate Kerzman scored nine points each for the Lakers.
DL was 12-17 from the line (71 percent); Aitkin made eight of 15 (53 percent).
Both teams are 1-1 overall and 1-1 in the conference. The win was the first for Okeson at the helm.
Aitkin returned to the Mid-State this year after leaving in 1994.
DL travels to Thief River Falls Tuesday, Dec. 12 to face the 0-2 Prowlers in their next contest.
AK 27 20 — 47
DL 27 43 — 70
AK - DJ Haasken 15, Zak Peterson 7, Garrett Westerlund 5, David Curtiss 2, Hunter Moe 8, Garrett Michaletz 2, Nathan Hagestuen 2, Kyle Cluff 2, Kade Hopperstad 4. FT 8-15 (53 percent). Conference: 1-1. Overall: 1-1. Next: hosts Proctor 7:15 p.m. Thursday.
DL - Sam Spry 5, Tanner Doppler 14, Jackson Haire 8, Jacob Bettcher 4, Connor Froke 3, Tate Kerzman 9, Reed Mace 7, Gabe Hanninen 9, Logan Pratt 9, Jake Kerzman 2. FT 12-17 (71 percent).