Trailing by one point, three Crosby-Ironton players touched the ball in the offensive end with 10 seconds to play but the Rangers were held without a shot by the Detroit Lakes defense allowing the Lakers to hang on to a 57-56 Mid-State Conference boys basketball victory at Ralph Anderson Gymnasium Thursday, Jan. 23.

“We left a lot on the table,” head coach Markus Okeson said. “Getting to the free throw line and not converting. Those are situations you want to be in as a basketball player. We want to make free throws and ice the game in a sense. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that, so we put ourselves in a unique situation where we had to get stops and thank goodness that last time we were very connected and did a good job communicating and they didn’t get a shot off.”

Detroit Lakes led 52-51 with five minutes to play and managed to hold off the Rangers scoring only five points down the stretch on a Gabe Hanninen putback and three free throws by Tate Kerzman.

DL missed four of seven free throws in the last three minutes and Crosby-Ironton shooters kept the Rangers close. Colten Turk hit a three to pull within two points trailing 56-54. Dakota Mitchell had the final field goal of regulation to cut DL’s lead to one 57-56 with 19.2 seconds remaining.

Kerzman was dynamite leading all scorers with 29 points scoring 19 of the Lakers’ 33 first half points. He accounted for the first 11 Laker points and 51 percent of DL’s scoring in the game.

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Gabe Hanninen's make on this shot in the lane was key down the stretch in a one-point Detroit Lakes victory over Crosby-Ironton in Mid-State Conference play Thursday night at home. Robert Williams / Tribune
Gabe Hanninen's make on this shot in the lane was key down the stretch in a one-point Detroit Lakes victory over Crosby-Ironton in Mid-State Conference play Thursday night at home. Robert Williams / Tribune

The Rangers were hot shooting in the first half and built a six-point lead at the break 39-33.

Zack Oistad scored back-to-back field goals to give DL a 23-21 lead but the Rangers finished the half on an 18-10 run.

DL’s defense stepped up and the Rangers had long stretches of empty offensive trips scoring only 17 second half points.

Carsen Turk is C-I’s leading scorer this season and he led with a team-high 15 points. Jordan Oehrlein had 13, Dakota Mitchell 12 and Cayden Turk 10 points.

Hanninen joined Kerzman in double figures with 11 points, none bigger than his putback of a Kerzman miss in the lane at the 3:30 mark to keep DL in front.

Sole possession of first place in the Mid-State was on the line and the Lakers kept that moving to 5-0 in conference play and 7-7 overall.

The Rangers dropped to 9-5 on the season and 3-2 in the Mid-State. Pequot Lakes pounded Park Rapids 71-26 to keep pace with DL a game back at 4-1 and 11-6 overall.

The Lakers host Bemidji (8-4) in section play Saturday, Jan. 25 at 1:30 p.m. before traveling to Pequot next Tuesday. DL is winless in its last 13 games against 8AAA opponents.

Detroit Lakes 57, Crosby-Ironton 56

C-I 39 17 - 56

DL 33 24 - 57

C-I - Carsen Turk 15, Jordan Oehrlein 13, Dakota Mitchell 12, Cayden Turk 10, Colten Turk 6.

DL - Tate Kerzman 29, Gabe Hanninen 11, Max Gunderson 6, Caeden Yliniemi 5, Zack Oistad 4, Nate Cihak 2.