ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Boys basketball: Lakers survive chaotic final minute to beat Otters

A circus-like final minute didn't deter Detroit Lakes from completing its second straight double-digit comeback. The Lakers hung on to beat Fergus Falls 66-65 on Tuesday night.

1 Brandton Marsh AD7C6756.JPG
Detroit Lakes' Brandton Marsh throws down a dunk in the Lakers' 66-65 win over Fergus Falls on Jan. 10, 2023 at Lakeshirts Fieldhouse.
Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune

DETROIT LAKES – For the first time under head coach Brett Maass, the Detroit Lakes boys basketball team played a game decided by one possession.

Despite a circus-like final minute, the Lakers (6-4) beat Fergus Falls (4-5) 66-65 to win their second straight game. It was also the second consecutive time they staged a double-digit comeback on their home floor,

1 Mason Carrier AD7C6625.JPG
Detroit Lakes' Mason Carrier goes to the rim through traffic in the Lakers' 66-65 win over Fergus Falls on Jan. 10, 2023 at Lakeshirts Fieldhouse.
Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune

"They're competitors," Detroit Lakes head coach Brett Maass said. "They play multiple sports. They know what it's like to compete. They want to win, and that's all you can ask for out of a team. In basketball, it's a game of runs. Teams are going to have 10-12 point runs. We have to stay even-keeled and stay with it. We have to still compete. At the end of the day, you hang your head high whether you win or lose."

When Fergus Falls needed a shot, it turned to Hayden Knick. His sixth three-pointer of the game pulled the Otters within three of the tie at 66-63 with under a minute left. He had a team-high 18 points.

Fergus Falls forced a turnover at halfcourt before Detroit Lakes junior Brandton Marsh recorded a chase-down block on the glass.

ADVERTISEMENT

Senior Mason Omberg went to the free throw line in the bonus on the Lakers' next possession. He hit 1-of-2 before Fergus Falls' Grant Ackerson hit a three with six seconds left.

The Otters fouled junior point guard Devon Berg, who scored 23 points. His front end of a one-and-one attempt clanked off the rim and rolled toward the Detroit Lakes bench.

"Well, I was hoping to make both free throws and get back on D," Berg said. "Once I missed, I just knew we had to get the ball. We can't let them get another easy bucket."

1 Brandton Marsh AD7C6632.JPG
Detroit Lakes' Brandton Marsh throws up a floater in the Lakers' 66-65 win over Fergus Falls on Jan. 10, 2022 at Lakeshirts Fieldhouse.
Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Berg made a hustle play near the sideline to keep possession. Detroit Lakes bled out the final two seconds on the clock after its next inbound pass to escape with a one-point win.

Both teams committed multiple turnovers in the final minute. Despite some defensive struggles throughout the night, Maass was impressed with how his guys found a way to get stops when it mattered most.

"It's only going to help us. Experience is the X-factor," Maass said. "I talked about that last year. We just need guys with experience and in the system, and we'll keep getting better and better the more minutes these guys get. Obviously, defensive, we're still a work in progress. You saw it there. When we want to buckle down, we can."

Fergus Falls led 32-29 at halftime, but it wasn't exactly a back-and-forth battle. The Lakers started the game on a 9-0 run before the Otters took over. Sophomore Aikhem Bethel scored 14 first-half points and helped spark a 15-2 run to take a 23-16 lead with six minutes left. Despite his ability to get to the rim posing challenges for Laker defenders, he was limited to just two second-half points.

1 Pregame AD7C6580.JPG
The Detroit Lakes boys basketball team does a pregame huddle before the Lakers' 66-65 win over Fergus Falls on Jan. 10, 2023 at Lakeshirts Fieldhouse.
Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune

"When you have a guy like that who's so good, it's hard to play him with just one guy," Maass said. "You have to play him with all five and have eyes on him and help on him in the driving lane. I think we did a better job of that in the second half. Give credit to Mason Carrier. Ethan (Carrier) was out with foul trouble. Mason stepped up and said, 'I got him,' and he really didn't score."

ADVERTISEMENT

The Otters' lead grew to 30-19 before the Lakers found a spark. Three-pointers from Mason Carrier and Berg pulled Detroit Lakes within two possessions.

Berg struggled early in the first half but started to find his groove after getting a tough and-one drive to fall in the final minute before halftime.

"I felt the momentum switch," Berg said. "I tried to slow it down a little bit, and that helped. I wasn't under control in the first half. I just had to settle down."

1 Will Martin AD7C6790.JPG
Detroit Lakes' Will Martin calls for a travel in the Lakers' 66-65 win over Fergus Falls on Jan. 10, 2023 at Lakeshirts Fieldhouse.
Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune

"Devon is someone who plagued sparing minutes off the bench last year," Maass said. "Now, he's the full-time point guard, who rarely comes out and handles the ball most of the game. Seeing his growth, I know he had 23 tonight, but there are many games where he had points in the 20s and eight or nine assists. We're pretty lucky to have him for this year and next year as well. He's only going to keep getting better and better."

Fergus Falls struggled to find an answer for Marsh in the post. The junior forward swatted five Otter shots and threw down a two-handed dunk in the final two minutes.

"He's got some God-given talent," Maass said of Marsh. "He's the same way as all of them. He just needs more experience. He's so big inside for us, and we definitely need him healthy the rest of the way."

Detroit Lakes' next four games are as challenging as any stretch on its schedule. After a trip to Barnesville on Thursday, the Lakers host Pequot Lakes, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton and Alexandria in a three-game home stand.

"We just have to keep grinding in practice every day," Berg said. "It's all about putting in the work. We know we're going to come together, but we have a lot of work left to do."

ADVERTISEMENT

FF 32 33 – 65

DL 29 37 – 66

DETROIT LAKES SCORING- Brandton Marsh 13, Devon Berg 23, Oliver Quam 12, Mason Carrier 13, Mason Omberg 3, Hunter Korth 2

FERGUS FALLS SCORING- Aikhem Bethel 16, Joshua Sternberg 9, Ryan Hurst 6, Hayden Knick 18, Micah Johnson 3, Ryan Formo 1, Jaydon Manteufel 2, Levi King 4, Grant Ackerson 6

1 Oliver Quam AD7C6613.JPG
Detroit Lakes' Oliver Quam, left, tries to get in position for a rebound in the Lakers' 66-65 win over Fergus Falls on Jan. 10, 2023 at Lakeshirts Fieldhouse. Quam had 14 points and seven boards in the Lakers' win over the Otters on Saturday.
Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune
1 Mason Omberg AD7C6769.JPG
Detroit Lakes' Mason Omberg looks for a teammate to pass to in the Lakers' 66-65 win over Fergus Falls on Jan. 10, 2023 at Lakeshirts Fieldhouse.
Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Jared Rubado is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. He moved to the area in September of 2021 after covering sports for the Alexandria Echo Press for nearly three years. Jared graduated from the University of Augustana in 2018 with degrees in journalism and sports managment.
What To Read Next
Get Local

ADVERTISEMENT