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Boys Basketball: Lake City still in title hunt despite loss to Lourdes

LAKE CITY – Tuesday's showdown between Lake City and Rochester Lourdes could have cleared up the picture at the top of the Hiawatha Valley League Gold Division standings. Instead, the Eagles came away with a 65-59 victory that puts even more pressure on the Tigers to run the table over their final three games.

The game also had implications for the Section 1AA tournament, but Lake City head coach Greg Berge isn't focused at all on a bracket.

“We're still looking for a conference title,” Berge said. “We're still in position to get that, and the seeds (in the section) will fall where they may. That's going to be a tough tournament no matter where we end up (seeded).”

A win over Lourdes would have given the Tigers a one-game lead over the Eagles and Pine Island. And it looked like that would be the case early on with Lake City holding a 7-3 lead less than five minutes into the game.

But the Eagles took a 9-7 lead with 9:17 left in the first half. And despite a second-half surge from the Tigers, Lourdes would hold on to a lead throughout the rest of the game.

“They're a good team,” Berge said. “They have multiple three-year starters. That's the first time they've beat us in the last three years, and you could tell they wanted it.”

After a Reid Gastner field goal made it a one-point game at 5:20, the Eagles ran off seven of the last nine points of the first half for a 24-19 lead at halftime.

Lourdes' lead bounced between four and eight points for the first eight minutes of the second half, and jumped to 10 before the Tigers made an inspired run to cut the lead to 46-44 with 6:31 to play.

But the Eagles took a timeout, and came out of it with eight-straight points. And thanks to the dominance of Lourdes' Daniel Galkowski, Lake City was unable to get over the hump, pulling within six just once before Gastner hit a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left.

“We did good in the first half. Galkowski hurt us the first time we played them, and he did it again in the second half,” Berge said. “We gave up way too many offensive rebounds. And when you have a close game, and you give up 10, 12, 14 second-chance points, that's a killer.”

Galkowski finished with a game-high 21 points, one more than Tiger Mitch Marien finished with. Galkowski also had seven rebounds, with the Eagles holding a 12-4 advantage on the offensive glass.

Marc Kjos had 14 points, six rebounsd and four assists, with Gastner adding 10 points in the loss.

Lake City (16-5, 11-3 HVL) heads to Byron on Friday, and hosts Maple River on Saturday. The Tigers visit Hayfield on Friday, Feb. 24 to end the regular season. Both Lourdes and Pine Island are 10-3 in HVL play, and will play each other on Friday. If Lake City wins out, it owns the tiebreaker over the Eagles and Panthers.

Kyle Stevens
Kyle Stevens is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, Kyle worked at the Owatonna People’s Press, as well as KWLM and KLFN in Willmar. You can contact Kyle by phone at (651) 301-7879, via e-mail at kstevens@republican-eagle.com, and follow him on Twitter @RE_KStevens.
(651) 301-7879
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