DLB holds on
Lakers survive fourth quarter rally from Bottineau, advance to region semis
Between the second and third quarters of Tuesday’s Region 6 quarterfinal matchup, the Des Lacs-Burlington boys basketball team put together a dominating 20-0 run.
The Lakers’ hot stretch resulted in a 19-point lead over District 11 opponent Bottineau midway through the third quarter. But after a furious fourth quarter comeback attempt from the Braves, DLB needed every bit of that run.
Bottineau brought the deficit within two points in the final 19 seconds of regulation, but the Lakers survived with a 61-58 victory at the MSU Dome.
With the victory, the Lakers advance to play Rugby in Thursday’s semifinals at the MSU Dome.
“For a bit there, it looked like we were playing as well as we have all season,” DLB coach Tyler Ystaas said. “Then it looked like we were playing as poorly as we have all season. I guess that just shows the highs and the lows of the postseason. We managed the storm and did just enough to survive and advance.”
The second quarter concluded with four lead changes in the final 1:30 before halftime, but DLB ended the first half on a 6-0 run en route to a 29-24 advantage at the break.
“It just seemed like we did the little things we talked about at halftime,” Ystaas said. “We moved the ball around and that gave us looks at an open basket. We really just simplified things. Find the open man and hit the shot.”
Trailing 43-24, Bottineau employed a full-court press, disorienting the Lakers. The Braves forced 15 second half turnovers and scored 22 points off them.
“We couldn’t handle their press,” DLB senior guard Arron Grandy said. “We settled down eventually and got a lot more comfortable.”
The second half emergence of Bottineau standout senior guard Maxwell Henry dramatically changed the Braves’ fortunes. Henry was 1 for 5 shooting in the first half for two points, but made 8 of 19 field goals en route to scoring 22 in the second half.
“Henry is a weapon,” Ystaas said. “He’s a good ball player and can score in a variety of ways. He’s really shifty and is a great passer. He started to go off and we had to endure a lot of things because of it.”
Bottineau trimmed DLB’s lead to 57-55 with 12 seconds remaining and the Braves went for the win. Alas, Bottineau couldn’t get a go-ahead 3-pointer to go and DLB’s Dante Gunville made two free throws to seal the victory.
Grandy finished with a team-high 24 points for the Lakers, while Gunville chipped in 12. DLB shot 46 percent from the floor, 6-of-19 from beyond the arc and made 17 of 23 free throws. Bottineau made 36 percent of its shots, 4 of 18 3-pointers and 4 of 6 free throws.
The Lakers face Rugby at 6 p.m. Thursday at the MSU Dome.
Garrick Hodge covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @Garrick_Hodge