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Alex drops third straight against DL

The Detroit Lakes boys basketball team didn't take its first lead of the game against Alexandria until there was less than two minutes left on the clock on Saturday.

The Detroit Lakes boys basketball team didn’t take its first lead of the game against Alexandria until there was less than two minutes left on the clock on Saturday.

The Lakers (7-1) never trailed again after that.
Senior guard Ryan Cihak hit two threes in the game, and the second of those was the biggest shot of the night as his triple from the right corner gave the Lakers a 45-43 lead. Trey Lyngaas added two free throws on Detroit Lakes’ next possession and the Lakers held off the Cardinals 54-49 in a Section 8AAA match-up.
The Cardinals (5-5) had answered every Detroit Lakes rally with one of their own up to that late shot by Cihak. They were clinging to a 43-42 lead with 1:47 left when a turnover gave the Lakers the ball back.
Detroit Lakes drew up the play for Cihak during a timeout, and he delivered. Alexandria’s Ben Corson hit a three with 12 seconds left to make it 52-49, but a couple free throws on the Lakers’ final possession put the game away.
“We just didn’t execute down the line,” Alexandria senior guard Kris Setterstrom said. “We’ve got to find a way to win. That’s something you hear a lot, but we had a lot of turnovers. If we figure that out, I think we’ll be able to get some more shots up, some better shots up.”
Turnovers were what Alexandria was frustrated with after coming up short. The Cardinals gave the ball away 15 times and a couple of key ones down the stretch took the wind out of their sails.
It was a bit reminiscent of the Cardinals’ previous two losses this week where Alexandria had chances to win but saw things slip away in the end. All three losses in their current three-game losing streak have come by six points or fewer.
“We controlled probably 32, 33 minutes of the game,” Alexandria head coach Forrest Witt said. “We just had to find a way to win at the end … offensively, we turned the ball over two or three times down in crunch time the last two or three minutes. They were really unforced turnovers, and we just have to take care of the basketball.”
The recent three-game skid dropped Alexandria to .500 and felt similar to last year after the Cardinals started 3-0 before going through a rough patch in the middle of the season.

“To be honest, I think it’s very, very similar to last year,” Setterstrom said. “Last year we started off 3-0 and somewhere along the line we lost eight of nine. We found a way to get over the hump, and I’d like to say we’re going to do it again this year. We’re right there. I think if we just put in a little bit of extra work. Work on our offense because we’re struggling scoring points right now, but if we put in the work I think we’ll be able to get over the hump and win games in the end.”
Sophomore guard Jaran led the Alexandria offense as he finished with a team-high 14 points. Setterstrom added 13 points, Corson had 10 and Joe Gorghuber finished with seven.
The Cardinals played well enough defensively to get the win on Saturday night. They are holding teams to almost 52 points per game. That’s second best in the Central Lakes Conference.
They held the Lakers to almost 20 points below their season average with Detroit Lakes putting up scores of 96, 93 and 84 in three of their seven wins this season.
“For sure we knew it was going to be a good test,” Corson said. “We just had to come out ready to play and play hard. They are obviously a pretty good team. I feel like we can definitely beat those guys coming up in the future. If

a couple plays would have gone our way, we definitely could have pulled it off.”
That’s the good and the bad of it for Alexandria. Witt and the Cardinals aren’t into moral victories, but they know they aren’t that far away.
“I think DL is certainly a very good basketball team, a lot of returning players,”

Witt said. “They’re probably the favorite on paper in the section, so to be able to play with and outplay them for a good chunk of the game is a good thing. At the same time, we had opportunities to seal it there and didn’t. That’s disappointing, but hopefully we can learn from it so it doesn’t happen again.”

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GAME SUMMARY

DETROIT LAKES     22 32 – 54
ALEXANDRIA         23 26 – 49
ALEXANDRIA SCORING – Grant Toivonen – 2; Setterstrom – 13; Gorghuber – 7; Corson – 10; Roste – 14; Alec Wensman – 3
DETROIT LAKES SCORING – Sam Champa – 1; Duncan – 16; Hedstrom – 11; Samuel Priem – 2; Lyngaas – 11; Ben Hokanson – 7; Cihak – 6

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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