Thief River Falls and Detroit Lakes renewed a former section girls basketball rivalry Friday, Jan. 3 with the Lakers taking control in the final minute to win 52-45 at Ralph Anderson Gymnasium.
The Prowlers knocked the Lakers out of the playoffs four times in five seasons at the beginning of the last decade. Thief River Falls left the section after the 2017 season, but the teams still play twice per year. Detroit Lakes has been on the losing end of nearly all of those matches. Thief River Falls has won 20 of 24 matchups, making Friday’s win an important one.
The Lakers led by eight points after a low scoring first half up 23-15 at the break.
Early buckets by Sophie Gunderson and Alex Bettcher pushed DL’s advantage to double figures 28-17 out of the locker room, but the Prowlers rallied.
Using a 16-5 run, Thief River Falls knotted the score 33-all at the 9:17 mark on a pair of Brea Prickett free throws.
DL made it a bit easier at the line reaching the bonus six minutes into the second half and the double bonus by the midway point.
The Prowlers did not take advantage.
Ava Gilbert and Bettcher had successful scoring trips for DL while Thief River Falls shooters missed four straight at the line. The Lakers held the lead the remainder of the game.
Prickett hit a three to pull the Prowlers within one possession trailing 39-36 at the 7-minute mark. She scored on back-to-back possessions at the two-minute mark while the Lakers struggled missing four straight at the line to get within a bucket down 46-44.
Brylee Lingen made one of two freebies to cut the lead to one point, but DL held the Prowlers off the scoreboard in the final minute.
Bettcher and Amara Peterson knocked down four straight free throws and Gunderson sank the final bucket as DL finished the last 60 seconds on a 6-0 run for the win.
Olivia Hawkins and Camryn Schwab led the Prowlers with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Bettcher led all scorers with 26 points, including a run of 17 makes at the line out of 18 attempts (94 %). Gunderson and Maddy Bowers each scored seven points.
As a team, DL was 28 of 38 at the line (74 %). Free throws were key as Thief River Falls left 13 points off the board making 50% in the game (13-26).
Thief River Falls lost a sixth consecutive game to drop to 1-11 overall.
Detroit Lakes snapped a five-game skid to even its record at 5-5 heading into a home game against Park Rapids (3-8) Tuesday, Jan. 7.
Detroit Lakes 52, Thief River Falls 45
TR 15 30 - 45
DL 23 29 - 52
TR - Olivia Hawkins 12, Camryn Schwab 10, Brea Prickett 8, Jordan Naslund 4, Annika Dalager 3, Brylee Lingen 3, Kendal Rantanen 3, Ava Yuska 2.
DL - Alex Bettcher 26, Maddy Bowers 7, Sophie Gunderson 7, Amara Peterson 4, Kylee Price 4, Ava Gilbert 2, Sarah Tangen 2.