Lakers snap section slide at Little Falls

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Max Gunderson was all over the rims scoring a game-high 19 points to lead Detroit Lakes over Little Falls Tuesday, Feb. 18 in a Section 8AAA contest. Robert Williams / Tribune

Max Gunderson threw down three jams and the Detroit Lakes boys basketball team shot 60 percent from the field in defeating Little Falls on the Flyers’ court 55-41 Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Little Falls had no answer for Gunderson in the paint and his game was aided by seven Laker three point baskets as DL found scoring from all over the half court set.

“We talked about it in the pregame that we needed to stick some big threes and they were momentum builders for us,” said DL head coach Markus Okeson. “I was also very impressed with what we did on the defensive end.”

Gabe Hanninen led the Lakers' attack from outside making four three-point baskets in a section victory on the road over Little Falls. Robert Williams / Tribune


Detroit Lakes trailed 3-0 early, but Gabe Hanninen drained back-to-back bombs from the arc to double up the Flyers. The Lakers were timely with shots from long range.

Drew Markuson answered a Travis Wenzel three to hold a 17-12 advantage before Gunderson got to work down low.

Up 17-16, the Laker senior scored on back-to-back trips forcing Flyers head coach Nate Miller to call a timeout to adjust his defense.

Out of the break, it was all Gunderson scoring on an alley-oop pass from Tate Kerzman before throwing down dunks on consecutive trips building a 27-16 scoreboard advantage.

Tate Kerzman scores on a jump hook in the first half of a Detroit Lakes victory over Little Falls in Section 8AAA play Tuesday night. Robert Williams / Tribune

Little Falls closed to a five-point deficit at the break with a 7-1 run in the final four minutes of the half. DL led 28-23.

The Lakers never trailed in the second half. Little Falls managed to tie the game at 29-all with 14 minutes left in regulation.


Hanninen was timely with two more threes and Gunderson capped a 10-2 run to lead 39-31.

“They couldn’t match his athleticism tonight,” said Okeson. “He had a definite mismatch and did a good job of being physical.”

Max Gunderson slams one of his three dunks on the night on his way to 19 points and a Laker road victory at Little Falls. Robert Williams / Tribune

By the three-minute mark, Gunderson cemented the win with his third jam of the night to lead by 12. He led all scorers with 19 points. Hanninen had a dozen all from the arc. Kerzman scored nine and dished out nine assists. Kerzman, Markuson and Cihak each hit a three in the game.

The victory snapped a 15-game losing streak against Section 8AAA opponents dating back to 2018. DL is one game shy of a .500 record at 11-12 overall. Little Falls is 8-13.

The Lakers will finish off the Mid-State Conference schedule Friday, Feb. 21 at Crosby-Ironton before wrapping up the season at home against Grand Rapids Saturday, Feb. 22 at 5:30 p.m. and on the road at Bemidji Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Detroit Lakes 55, Little Falls 41


DL 28 27 - 55

LF 23 18 - 41

DL - Max Gunderson 19, Gabe Hanninen 12, Tate Kerzman 9, Drew Markuson 6, Reed Mace 5, Nate Cihak 3, Caeden Yliniemi 1.

LF - Luke Kush 16, Alex Gwost 12, Travis Wenzel 10, Zach Gwost 3.

Robert Williams has been a sports editor for Forum Communications in Perham and Detroit Lakes since 2011.
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