Rangers notch 10th victory

Strong second half lifts boys over Hastings

Matt Degendorfer follows through on a three-point attempt at the first-half buzzer against Stillwater. (Photo by Clint Riese)

Clint Riese
Sports Editor

A good second half on Friday helped Forest Lake to its 10th victory of the season and kept the squad in good position to host a playoff game next week. The Rangers overcame a halftime deficit to beat their visitors from Hastings, 62-55.

Forest Lake went 0-4 from the free throw line in the first half and trailed 27-25 at the break. Senior Dusty Boyer scored all 10 of his points in the second half, including two three-pointers during the run when the Rangers took the lead for good. Senior Jackson McDowell also finished strong and had 11 points.

Junior Anthony Tyler scored a team-high 12, while senior Tyler Rosenberger also hit double-figures with 10. Five Raiders accounted for all of their team’s scoring, led by 19 points from Darius Wilkerson.

The win improved Forest Lake to 5-11 in the Suburban East Conference heading into the final week of the regular season. The Rangers played at Mounds View on Tuesday and host White Bear Lake on Friday. The Section 7AAAA playoffs get underway next Thursday.

The Rangers were shorthanded during a 62-45 loss to Stillwater here last Tuesday. Leading scorer Noah Davis left with an injury in the opening minutes, leaving coach Dan Cremisino with just seven active members of his regular rotation. Injuries are sidelining Matt Hultgren and Josh Rosenberger, while Tyler Rosenberger was also out after picking up two technicals in the previous game.

The Rangers led 8-2 when Davis went out, but the Ponies immediately went on a 20-0 run to take command. Stillwater missed five free throws during the streak and Forest Lake hung within 10 points at the break.

An eight-point run early in the second half, though, put Stillwater up 38-24 and the Rangers never closed within eight. Pony junior Andrew Duxbury did most of the damage in that spurt and finished with a game-high 21 points. Stillwater found much of its success driving to the hoop against the undersized Rangers – the Ponies made only two three-pointers.

Seniors Mistaki LaPlante and Hunter Smith led the hosts with 10 points apiece.