Clutch defense gives Lakers two-point victory over Patriots
Senior center Logan Pratt made a game-changing steal in the final minute to set up Tanner Doppler’s game-winning layup as Detroit Lakes picked up a second consecutive victory 51-49 over Pequot Lakes in Mid-State Conference boys basketball Tuesday night at Ralph Anderson Gymnasium.
“Luckily, they didn’t see me back there and luckily, I got that tip,” said Pratt.
Pratt sprinted to intercept a Patriot pass near the scorer’s table and tipped the ball to Jackson Haire, who found a streaking Doppler for an easy layup.
Both teams had chances to score in the final half-minute. Pequot came up empty and fouled Jake Bettcher, who missed the front end of bonus free throws. The Lakers retained possession and Bettcher made one of two in the double bonus to go up 51-49 with 8.9 seconds remaining.
The Lakers had a foul to give and used it once the Patriots reached half-court with 3.5 seconds left. Off the in-bounds play, Zach Sjoblad leaned into a three-pointer at the buzzer from the top of the key and did not get the foul or the shot to go.
“It’s a good feeling,” Pratt said. “We really needed that one after what they did to us when we went there. It feels really good.”
Pequot dismantled the Lakers at home in DL’s fourth game of the season 70-45, which shows the progress head coach Markus Okeson’s club has made in 2018.
“We’ve picked up our turnovers and our defense has held us in these games,” said Pratt. “We’ve been able to pull away in the end with our offense and our defense stuffing them.”
DL trailed by six at halftime, tied the score at 46 with less than five minutes to play and never led until Doppler’s game-winner.
The Lakers employed a full-court press for nearly all of the second half and used it to create turnovers and cash in for points.
“Especially if we get off to a slow start,” said Pratt. “When we want to get the ball then we do that a lot more. They have to think a lot more instead of if we just let them walk up.”
Pequot Lakes turned DL over and opened a 10-point lead early in the second half 37-27 on back-to-back steals and layups by Sean Ryan and Jordan Schommer.
DL answered with seven straight points on a three by Connor Froke, two freebies from Jackson Haire and a deuce by Jake Bettcher.
The lead remained in single digits until Doppler stole the ball and tied the game at 46 with a layup at the 4:45 mark.
Pequot was working the clock down with a 50-49 lead when Pratt snuffed the play out.
Both teams were led by a player scoring 16 points. Bettcher for the Lakers and Schommer of the Patriots. Pratt scored 10 points.
Detroit Lakes moved to 3-2 in the Mid-State and improved to 4-8 overall. The Lakers have won two straight for the second time this season. Extending the streak to three games will mean a season sweep of Aitkin on the road Thursday, Jan. 18. DL won the first meeting at home 70-47.
The loss was only the third for Pequot Lakes (9-3) and the first in conference play (5-1).
PL 31 18 - 49
DL 25 26 - 51
P-Austin Young 7, Chase Larson 3, Dylin Ackerman 4, Sean Ryan 3, Jordan Schommer 16, Zach Sjoblad 4, Tyler Manley 5, Zach Senst 5, Vincent Miska 2.
D-Tanner Doppler 6, Jackson Haire 5, Jacob Bettcher 16, Connor Froke 7, Gabe Hanninen 5, Logan Pratt 10, Jake Kerzman 2.