BURLINGTON - Most Class B basketball teams are fortunate to have one lights-out scorer.
Des Lacs-Burlington is ranked sixth in the state because it has two.
Lakers seniors Chris Duke and Tanner Holte took turns filling it up Thursday, scoring 23 points apiece as DL-B defeated Beulah 67-60.
Des Lacs-Burlington senior Chris Duke skies for a layup over Beulah’s Randi
during the Lakers’ win Thursday in
Holte poured in 10 points in the first quarter and Duke went on an 11-point binge in the second. Their combined 25 points at intermission were more than Beulah's entire team as the Lakers took a 31-20 lead into the locker room.
"They're good players," Beulah coach Jeremy Brandt said. "They've been playing (varsity) a long time and there's no doubt they're handfuls."
DL-B's third all-region returner, senior point guard Cole Edwards, added 10 points. The Lakers (6-1) looked as if they would coast to an easy victory after taking a 47-32 lead after three quarters.
But Beulah sophomore Casey Walcker caught fire in the fourth to ignite a furious Miners comeback. The 6-foot-1 sophomore totaled 12 of his team-high 18 points in the final frame, helping Beulah pull as close as five points in the final minute.
Beulah (2-4) flustered DL-B with a full-court press in the fourth quarter, forcing the Lakers into hurried turnovers. The Miners racked up 28 points in the last stanza.
"I think we were trying to protect the lead a little bit too much instead of extend it," DL-B coach Doug Wagner said. "We weren't making basketball plays, trying to be a little too careful."
Beulah junior Jett Hettich knocked down a pair of free throws with 1 minute, 3 seconds remaining to make it 60-54 and then the Miners forced a turnover in the backcourt.
On the ensuing possession, Duke stripped a Beulah ballhander and cruised in for a finger roll while getting fouled. The 6-5 swingman completed the three-point play to give DL-B a 63-54 advantage.
That turned out to be a huge play as Beulah had a chance to pull within three with 7.6 seconds remaining, but senior Ty Schaper missed both of his foul shots.
"When we play hard like that and play with that effort, we can be pretty good," Beulah coach Jeremy Brandt said of the Miners' late rally. "That's what these kids haven't grasped yet - how hard they need to play. Most of them are moving up from the JV level. ... Hopefully we saw tonight that when we play a good team, if we play hard, we can be pretty good too."
Duke, Holte and Edwards were the Lakers' only scorers through three quarters, but senior reserve guard Mitchell Medalen knocked down three 3-pointers in the final frame to help stave off Beulah's run.
"We don't have to depend on one or two guys," Wagner said. "We think we have good balance this year so we don't think those guys have to carry us, but if they're making shots so much the better."
Beulah continues its tough early slate with a matchup at No. 8 Hazen on January 10. DL-B travels to Rugby tonight for a showdown against the No. 2 Panthers.
"They're a very good team and we know that we have to come out a lot better than we did against Beulah," Holte said.
Daniel Allar covers Minot State University and high school athletics. Follow him on Twitter @DAllar_MDN.