Boys basketball: Grove paces Alexandria to victory over Detroit Lakes
Alexandria handed the Detroit Lakes boys basketball team its first loss of the season behind a 28-point performance from Grayson Grove.
ALEXANDRIA - The Detroit Lakes boys basketball team led 3-2 in the first couple minutes of Tuesday’s game. However, after a strong run, Alexandria took control of the game and won 85-53 to earn its first win of the season.
“I thought our energy to start the game was fantastic,” Alexandria head coach Forrest Witt said. “Our rotations and overall energy level were really good. We caused them to take some quick shots and we created some turnovers that led to easy scoring opportunities for us. That kind of set the tone for the entire game.”
The Cardinals were stout defensively, especially in the first half. They limited the Lakers to 17 points in the first 18 minutes and led by 25 at halftime.
“We really just wanted to get up there and get as many steals as we could,” junior Braylyn Steffensmeier said. “We wanted to get as many good fast break layups as possible and we wanted to take control of the game right away.”
On offense, the Cardinals were paced by junior Grayson Grove who scored 28 points on his birthday.
Grove got to work early as he had 17 points in the first half.
“It's really special to have that happen on my birthday because it's a big day,” Grove said. “We worked a lot in practice on getting me and Chase [Thompson] the ball in the post. We set up a new offense that really helped us isolate me and Chase down there because they didn’t have a lot of guys who could guard us.”
Grove’s 28-point outing comes on the heels of a 24-point outing in the season-opener.
Alexandria came into the game coming off a close 82-78 loss to Benilde-St. Margaret’s, on Friday, Dec. 2, while Detroit Lakes started the season with a 70-51 win against Little Falls.
The Cardinals' offense was balanced as a whole Tuesday as they had 10 players in the scoring column and five players with at least eight points.
Junior Dawson Roderick came off the bench for the Cardinals and provided 14 points in the win.
“We’re always going to need solid guys coming off of the bench for us and Dawson did a great job of being aggressive offensively,” Witt said. “I think he's a capable scorer for us. It will probably need to be multiple guys on different nights to do that because teams game plan more and more for Grayson and Chase. We need to have different guys step up and it was nice to see Dawson step up in this one.”
Mason Carrier led the Lakers with 22 points.
Last season, Alexandria went 2-0 against Detroit Lakes and won those two games in convincing fashion like it did on Tuesday. Alexandria beat Detroit Lakes, 93-53, on the road in late November 2021 to open the 2021-22 season, and at home on Jan. 25, 2022, 85-52.
This win on Tuesday is Alexandria’s first Section 8AAA win of the 2022-23 season.
Alexandria has finished the last two regular seasons either tied for or in sole possession of the No. 1 spot atop the section regular-season standings. Alexandria has now a 27-2 record in the section games since the start of the 2020-21 season.
“People are going to give us their best shot and we're ready for it,” Steffensmeier said. “We're just going to keep practicing hard.”
As the season moves on, the Cardinals say they aren’t overlooking anybody.
“We have a lot of pride in how we play,” Grove said. “We're not going to walk into any gym thinking, ‘Oh this team is going to roll over because of what we’ve done in the past.’ We haven’t really done anything. We were 0-1 coming into this one. It was nice to get that first win and we’ll keep that same energy. That's a big part of it. We’re going to be all gas, no brakes this year.”
Detroit Lakes - 17 36 - 53
Alexandria - 42 43 - 85
DETROIT LAKES STATS- Mason Carrier 23 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals; Devon Berg 8 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks; Ethan Carrier 8 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 steal; Oliver Quam 7 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals; Hunter Korth 4 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals; Reece Borgmann 3 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists; Mason Omberg 2 rebounds, 1 assist; Reed Henderson 1 rebound
ALEXANDRIA SCORING - Trevin Hoepner, 4 points; Grayson Grove, 28 points; Chase Thompson, 8 points; Jaxon Schoenrock, 13 points; Braylyn Steffensmeier, 10 points; Gavin Roderick, 2 points; Mason Gorghuber, 2 points; Myles Gray, 2 points; Mason Witt, 2 points; Dawson Roderick, 14 points