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Defense sparks Lake Region

02/19/2014

Article by Steve Thomas, Bismarck Tribune, posted Feb. 17, 2014 at 11:39pm.

Down 47-45 at halftime, Lake Region State College’s intention was to spruce up its defense after intermission.

In the bargain, the Royals touched off an offensive explosion that led to a 94-86 men’s college basketball Monday night at United Tribes.

Lake Region hit seven of its first nine shots after the break while putting together a 17-5 run. Tanner Stapleton’s short-range basket with 17:59 remaining closed the surge and gave Lake Region a 62-52 lead.

United Tribes drew no closer than six points the rest of the way.

Royals guard Devin Tohm said coach Joe Kittell put the focus on defense at halftime.

“We came out the second half looking for stops. Stops before scores,” Tohm said. “Our coach told us we were going to play halfcourt man-to-man defense the whole second half.”

“The first half we tried a little fullcourt and a little zone, but the second half we went back to our bread-and-butter.”

Lake Region pushed its advantage to 80-65 on a 3-pointer by Melvin Langstaff with 6:17 to play. That proved to be its largest lead of the night.

United Tribes made things interesting in the closing three minutes. John Soundingsides bombed in four 3-pointers in 93 seconds, cutting the deficit to 78-84 with 2:39 to play.

The Thunderbirds shaved the shortfall to 86-80, 88-82 and 90-84, but could get no closer than six the rest of the way. Lake Region clinched things by scoring the final four points on a stuff by Diallo Powell and two free throws by Patrick Thomas.

United Tribes dressed only six players, leaving it with a serious manpower disadvantage.

Tohm said the Royals undoubtedly gained an advantage by being able to substitute freely.

“We could sub in and out a lot,” Tohm said. “We were able to keep our energy up and we had a good shooting percentage with more legs.”

Ten Royals played and eight scored, Langstaff leading the way with 25 points. Tohm nailed five 3-pointers and finished with 19 points as six Royals reached double figures.

Andre Clark paced United Tribes with 27 points.

The contest was the final home game for three Thunderbird sophomores — Clark, Chaske Valdez and Bruce Ward.

LAKE REGION (94): Malik Durant-Haines 5-7 0-1 10, Patrick Thomas 4-4 3-3 12, Melvin Langstaff 7-13 0-10 25, Diallo Powell 3-8 0-0 6, Kharie Kirkland 3-4 4-6 10, Devin Tohm 7-10 0-0 19, Darnell Landon 0-1 0-0 0, Karon Linton 0-0 0-0 0, Channing Reed 1-2 0-2 2, Tanner Stapleton 4-4 2-2 10, Tyler Moore 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 34-54 18-24 94.

UNITED TRIBES (86): John Soundingsides 5-12 0-0 15, Chaske Valdez 3-7 0-0 8, Bruce Ward 5-13 2-2 12, Andre Clark 8-13 9-12 27, Jerel Wilhite 8-13 2-5 18, Joseph Lovejoy 2-6 0-0 6. Totals: 31-64 13-19 86.

Halftime: United Tribes 47, Lake Region 45.

3-pointers: LR 8-15 (Tohm 5-8, Langstaff 2-2, Thomas 1-1, Landon 0-1, Moore 0-1), UT 11-27 (Soundingsides 5-12, Lovejoy 2-6, Valdez 2-5, Clark 2-4). Rebounds: LR 38 (Durant-Haines 11, Thomas 9), UT 22 (Ward 9, Wilhite 7). Fouls: LR 23, UT 16. Fouled out: Ward. Assists: LR 17 (Langstaff 5), UT 15 (Clark 7). Turnovers: LR 22, UT 13. Blocked shots: LR 4 (Durant-Haines 3), UT 0. Steals: LR 8 (Kirkland 3), UT 7 (Clark 2, Wilhite 2, Lovejoy 2).

Records: Lake Region 2-4 Mon-Dak Conference 16-11 overall; United Tribes 1-7, 9-17.