By Ray Maloney
Journal Sports Editor
This time there would be no need for last-second heroics.
Devils Lake, which had won its last two games on last-second baskets, used a 19-11 run over the final five minutes to hold off a pesky Turtle Mountain team as the Firebirds took an 80-72 non-conference victory over the Bravettes on Tuesday at the Devils Lake Sports Center.
The win was the third in a row for Devils Lake which is now 4-5 on the season and will take a 4-4 Eastern Dakota Conference mark into Friday’s game against Fargo North at the Sports Center.
“Once we figured out where to throw a pass to we got layup after layup,” said Devils Lake coach Justin Klein after he secured his third consecutive win in his coaching career.
Turtle Mountain’s Joee Keplin sparked a rally that brought her team from a 57-47 deficit with 7:33 remaining by scoring eight straight points for her team and pulling the Bravettes to within 61-58 with 5:14 left in the contest.
A 3-point play by Shikiya Chase tied the game at 61-61 with 4:54 to go.
That was when the Firebirds took advantage of several turnovers and parlayed them into easy layups. If Devils Lake did not convert on the miscues the Firebirds cashed in at the foul line. They hit seven of eight free throws in the final 4:31 and finished the game with 29 free throws after going to the line 38 times. A total of 62 foul shots were attempted in the game.
Devils Lake, which led 32-27 at halftime, had taken a 23-21 lead at 4:25 of the first half when Emily Schafer connected on a pair of free throws. The Firebirds would maintain the advantage until Chase tied the game at 61-61.
Christa Lysne scored 22 points to lead four Devils Lake players in double figures. Taylor Swanson came off the bench to tally 15 points while Emily Schafer and Madison Walford each added 14 points in the contest.
Keplin led all scorers with 24 points while Chase ended the game with 20 points.
Turtle Mountain (72): Joee Keplin 24, Shikiya Chase 20, Winter Monette 8, Whitney Wallette 7, Brooke DeCoteau 4, Gia Davis 4, Madison Keplin 2, Dallas Davis 2, Ashley Davis 1.
Devils Lake (80): Christa Lysne 22, Taylor Swanson 15, Emily Schafer 14, Madison Walford 14, Maddie Eriksson 7, Dru Lunday 6, Jadyn Fee 2.
Halftime: Devils Lake 32-27.