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Lakers come up short of second trip to nationals

March 14, 2014
By David Swartz - Managing Editor , Estherville News

BOONE - Iowa Lakes' bid for a second straight trip to the national tournament came up one game short as the Lakers lost 71-69 to Des Moines Area on Saturday.

The Lakers had their chances late in the game.

Tied at 64-64, free throws by Latrell Love and Deondre Parks gave the visitors a three-point lead. While DMACC then hit a couple shots, the Lakers still led 69-68 in the closing seconds.

But Bears freshman Aarias Austin's three-point play with 12.9 seconds left gave DMACC the victory.

Iowa Lakes got the ball in to their star player Deondre Parks, but he lost control of the ball and time ran out as players from both teams attempted to gain possession.

"We made some mistakes late in the game that we don't normally make," said Iowa Lakes coach Troy Larson. "But give DMACC credit, they made the plays they needed to."

The Iowa Lakes players did have to fight to put themselves in position to win.

"We were down 14 in the first half and DMACC was playing at a very high level," said Larson. "Justin Sloter had four 3-pointers in the first half just to help keep us in the game. Collectively as a group, we came together and didn't let the game get too out of hand."

The Lakers trailed 42-33 at the halftime, but put together an 18-3 run in the opening minutes of the second half to lead 51-45. Neither team held more than a four-point lead the rest of the way.

Iowa Lakes held a 38-28 advantage on the board but the Lakers also had 14 turnovers to just seven by the Bears.

Love led the Lakers with 20 points while Parks finished with 17 and Sloter had 15 on 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point range.

Colten Neff and Diamontae McKinley each had five points, Jake Janssen had four and Emmanuel Golong had three.

Jamar Hurdle came off the bench to lead DMACC with 16 points. LeTrell Viser and Derek Williams each had 14 and Austin had 13.

Both teams made eight 3-pointers with the Lakers going 8-of-19 while DMACC was 8-of-26. The Lakers were 15-of-20 from the free throw line compared to 13-of-20 by the Bears. But DMACC had the edge in field goals, making 25-of-54 while the Lakers were 23-of-53.

Iowa Lakes finishes the 2013-14 season with a record of 23-9.

The Lakers bid farewell to sophomores Deondre Parks, Diamontae McKinley, Tate Harmon, Colton Neff, Latrell Love and Bill Makris.

Parks, McKinley, Harmon and Neff were with the Lakers through last year's run to nationals.

"I can't say enough about the sophomores, especially the four guys that were with us for two years," said Larson. "Their attitudes were also good and they gave good leadership. Helping us get to nationals their first year and placing second in the region this year is a great accomplishment. They believed in the coaching staff and in themselves. All four did the little things every day.

"Latrell was one of the better low post players in the league this past season and 'Kris' also helped us out," the coach continued.

The Lakers have several freshman who played significant minutes this past season and they will be expected to step up next year-Jake Janssen, Emmanuel Golong, Justin Sloter, Brandon Boggs, Parker Bailey and Nathan So along with redshirt freshman Rashard Fox. Most saw significant playing this past season.

Larson said all will be called on next year to continue the Lakers' success.

"I'm excited about all these guys coming back," he said. "But they'll have to do their work in the offseason."



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