Sophie Gunderson’s free throw with 2.7 seconds left in regulation was enough for Detroit Lakes to pull out a Section 8AAA 64-63 girls basketball victory over Bemidji Friday, Feb. 7 at Ralph Anderson Gymnasium.
“The girls did a great job,” head coach Tom Vagle said. “The big thing was we came out with a ‘W’ and I think we grew tonight as a team.”
The Lakers trailed 63-59 after an Ashley Hofstad layup with a little over a minute left in the game but Bemidji would not score again.
A Sarah Tangen shot to get DL within two points was blocked by Emily Wade out of bounds. Bemidji forced two more inbounds situations before Tangen got to the line and made both freebies at 1:05 to cut the lead to 63-61.
Hofstad was at the line after a Tangen foul but missed both shots. Bemidji missed four crucial free throws in the double bonus during the last two minutes of play.
Gunderson tied the game at 63 with 32 seconds to play after DL ran 33 seconds off the clock setting up Gunderson in the low post.
Bemidji’s Emily Wade was called for traveling with 15 seconds on the clock and she committed the foul on Gunderson to set up the winning free throw. She made the first of two shots and Jalynn Gunderson stole the ball off the miss to not allow a buzzer beater opportunity for the visitors.
“We just had to take a breath because we know how to play our game and try to finish it,” Sophie Gunderson said. “This is a huge win for us. We came in here knowing we had to play a good game.”
The teams played even basketball in the first half with the Lakers holding a slim 28-26 lead at halftime on a late pair of Tangen free throws. The Lakers led by as many as 13 points in the early stages of the second half before the Jacks rallied in the middle frame.
Both clubs had three players in double figures.
Horstand and Taylor Wade led Bemidji with 13 points each. Lindsey Hildenbrand added 10 points.
Sophie Gunderson led all scorers with 21 points. Tangen added 15 points; Alex Bettcher scored 14.
Bemidji dropped to 14-7 overall and 3-2 in section play. Detroit Lakes improved to 10-11 and 2-4 against 8AAA teams. Bemidji has struggled in the Ralph as DL has defeated the Jacks nine straight times at home dating back to 2010.
Bemidji is currently second in the section standings. DL is in fourth place. The top four teams get first round home games in the playoffs.
The Lakers are off for a week before facing Park Rapids on the road Thursday, Feb. 13 in a game that will determine the Mid-State Conference championship. Park Rapids (11-11) is 7-1 in conference play. The Lakers are 6-1 with a game against 1-19 Aitkin on the road later in February.
Detroit Lakes 64, Bemidji 63
DL 28 36 - 64
BE 26 37 - 63
DL - Sophie Gunderson 21, Sarah Tangen 15, Alex Bettcher 14, Maddie Bowers 5, Abby Larson 5, Kylee Price 4.
BE - Ashley Hofstad 13, Taylor Wade 13, Lindsey Hildenbrand 10, Emily Wade 8, Katie Alto 7, Rylie Jones 7, Jackie Johnson 5.