Lakers outlast Panthers in OT, advance to region tournament

Justin Martinez/MDN Des Lacs-Burlington junior Will Pearson (left) goes with the finger roll layup over Glenburn’s James Virtue (33) during the Lakers’ 49-47 win on Monday in the Region Qualifier of the District 12 boys basketball tournament at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.

Different route. Same destination.

The Des Lacs-Burlington boys basketball team was playing in the District 12 championship just one year ago. But, after suffering a 70-65 loss to No. 5-seeded Our Redeemer’s in the opening round of this year’s tournament, the No. 4-seeded Lakers found themselves needing two straight wins to keep their season alive.

DLB did just that, defeating South Prairie on Saturday and finally punching its ticket to the Region 6 tournament on Monday with a hard-earned 49-47 victory over No. 7-seeded Glenburn in overtime.

“This time of year, you have to get a win any way that you can,” DLB head coach Tyler Ystaas said. “It’s all about the ultimate goal, not how you get it done. This year we had to fight back… but we did what we needed to do.”

Will Pearson started and ended the first half strong for the Lakers. The junior kicked off the opening quarter with a triple from the top of the arc and finished the second quarter with a mid-range jumper from the corner at the buzzer to give his team a 28-17 lead at the midway point.

Pearson stayed aggressive every second in between as well and entered halftime with a game-high 12 points.

“I just had open shots, and my teammates were giving me good looks,” Pearson said. “I was just taking advantage of it.”

The Lakers went on to build a 36-18 lead halfway through the third quarter, but that’s when Glenburn launched an epic comeback.

The Panthers caught fire and closed out the quarter on a 12-0 run. Glenburn senior Clayton Stucki capped off the dominant stretch in style by banking in a triple at the buzzer to trim DLB’s lead to just 36-30 entering the fourth quarter.

Now trailing 43-37 with 3:25 left in regulation, Glenburn’s Matt Dufner chimed in.

After stealing the ball and sinking the fast break layup, the junior went coast-to-coast two possessions later for the and-one layup. Dufner sank the free throw to cut DLB’s lead to 43-42 with two minutes remaining.

The Lakers held their ground down the stretch, as junior Dante Gunville drilled a pair of free throws that pushed DLB’s lead to 45-42 with one minute on the clock.

Desperate for a triple, Stucki came through once more.

This time the senior didn’t need the backboard, as he drained the long-range bomb to tie the game at 45 apiece with 47 seconds left. A missed triple by Gunville on the other end kept the game deadlocked at 45 and sent the two teams into overtime.

“We kind of just let Glenburn get back in it in the second half,” Pearson said. “Once we realized that, it was a little too late.”

Both teams struggled to find the bottom of the net in the extra four minutes of play, but a pair of made free throws by Gunville gave DLB a slim 49-47 edge with 1:36 left.

That score held true as Glenburn had one last opportunity with the ball and just 13.8 seconds remaining.

The Panthers got the ball to sophomore Blaine Stevens in the corner, who launched a triple as time expired. The shot was well short, and the Lakers survived with the 49-47 win.

Dufner finished with a game-high 20 points for Glenburn, while Stevens had eight points in a loss that marks the end of the Panthers’ season.

“Give Glenburn a lot of credit,” Ystaas said. “I really respect what (Glenburn head coach) Larry Derr does with his team. He does a great job there and always has them playing hard.”

DLB had a more balanced attack, as three different scorers reached double digits: Gunville (14), Pearson (14) and senior Brayden Bonn (12).

The win sends the Lakers to the Region 6 boys basketball tournament, which begins next Monday at the Minot State Dome.

Justin Martinez covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports.

Follow him on Twitter @JTheSportsDude.


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