Nate Cihak’s fifth three-point basket of the game gave Detroit Lakes the lead late and the Lakers held on for a 57-52 Mid-State Conference boys basketball victory over Aitkin Friday, Jan. 10 at Ralph Anderson Gymnasium.
Detroit Lakes shot 40 percent (10-25) from the arc making 10 long balls, half by Cihak, in one of the Lakers’ best shooting games from outside this season.
The Gobblers built a seven-point lead in the first half leading 23-16 on a three by Owen Hagen, but DL held Aitkin off the scoreboard in the waning minutes finishing the half on an 8-0 run to lead by one at the break 24-23. Max Gunderson, Cihak and Reed Mace all scored down the stretch.
The Gobblers led by five 47-42 in the second half but the Lakers rallied from behind again.
Cihak sank back-to-back threes to turn a 50-45 deficit into a 51-50 lead.
Mannie Ukutegbe made a pair of free throws to put Aitkin back in front but Cihak struck again from the arc for a 54-52 lead and Tate Kerzman sealed the win making three of four late free throws.
Ukutegbe scored 16 points for the visitors. Aitkin (5-6, 1-2) was led by Hunter Nissen’s 17 points.
Cihak led all scorers with 20 points. Gunderson had 13 points and eight rebounds.
DL snapped a three-game losing streak to improve to 4-6 overall and 3-0 in the Mid-State. The Lakers are the only remaining undefeated team in the conference. The Lakers play next at Thief River Falls (6-4) in non-conference action Tuesday, Jan. 14. The next home game is Thursday, Jan. 16, a section matchup with Alexandria (7-4). The Cardinals beat up on the Lakers in Alex 90-48 in mid-December.
Detroit Lakes 57, Aitkin 52
AK 23 29 - 52
DL 24 33 - 57
AK - Hunter Nissen 17, Mannie Ukutegbe 16, Kade Hopperstad 9, Owen Hagen 4, Logan Gabrio 3, Jaelend Williams 3
DL - Nate Cihak 20, Max Gunderson 13, Tate Kerzman 8, Gabe Hanninen 6, Reed Mace 5, Drew Markuson 3, Zack Oistad 2.