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Cards fall to DL in opener

The Detroit Lakes and Alexandria girls basketball teams knew what kind of a test this would be in the season opener last Friday night. The Lakers have an experienced roster that returns a strong core from a 20-7 team a year ago. The Cardinals are...

The Detroit Lakes and Alexandria girls basketball teams knew what kind of a test this would be in the season opener last Friday night.

The Lakers have an experienced roster that returns a strong core from a 20-7 team a year ago. The Cardinals are relatively young but always produce winning seasons, and they expect the same this winter. In round one, experience won out as the Lakers took what could be the first of three match-ups between these two teams in a 56-49 game in Alexandria.
“We knew it was going to be a battle tonight,” Alexandria head coach Wendy Kohler said. “We knew DL would be a slugfest, that their tough inside. They’re experienced. They have 70 percent of their scoring back, and we’re really young. So I was pretty pleased; a seven point loss and we have such a high ceiling. We can get so much better. “
The Lakers used their zone defense to fluster the Cardinals on offense. That never allowed Alexandria to get into much of a rhythm as the Lakers took a 33-25 lead into the break.
Detroit Lakes kept Alexandria at an arm’s length the rest of the way. The Cardinals made a bit of a run at the end behind a couple of deep threes from Macy Hatlestad. It was a little too late as the Lakers put the game away from the free throw line.
Detroit Lakes’ senior center Shay Nielsen (6’0”) and junior post Grace Swenson (6’1”) are two of the catalysts down low for the Lakers. Swenson finished with 12 points and Nielsen had 11. Hailey Jorgenson added 12 points. Kyley Foster had nine points and Halle Jordan and Kyra Vagle each chipped in five.
Hatlestad did her best to keep Alexandria in the game. The sophomore guard had four threes in the first half and six for the game. She finished with a game-high 24 points. Heggie was the only other Cardinal player in double figures as she finished with 10.
“I felt great,” Hatlestad said of catching fire from deep. “I had no clue where that came from. Kendall [Kohler] was on the bench with three fouls right away.  She’s a main scorer, and that hurt us a lot. I knew I just had to step up my game to keep my team in it.”

GAME SUMMARY

DETROIT LAKES     33 23 – 56
ALEXANDRIA         25 24 – 49
ALEXANDRIA SCORING – Emma Ziegler – 3; Kohler – 4; Hatlestad – 24; Kiyana Miller – 2; Kayla Feldhake – 4; Heggie – 10
DETROIT LAKES SCORING – Foster – 9; Jordan – 5; Jorgenson – 12; Vagle – 5; Annie Mettert – 2; Shay Nielsen – 11; Swenson – 12

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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