Royals topple Wolves

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal
The Lake Region State College men improved to 4-0 on the season.

By Harry Lipsiea

Journal Sports

Despite putting 130 points on the scoreboard Sunday evening in the final game of the Royals Classic, it wasn’t Lake Region State College’s offense that stood out, according to second-year head coach Joe Kittell.

From the onset, the Royal defense limited Cankdeska Cikana Community College’s looks at the basket. The Lake Region State College defense held a fast-paced Wolves team to just 32 points at the half on the way to a 130-78 victory on its home court.

“We set the tempo defensively. Our guys executed extremely well on that side of the ball,” Kittell told the Journal after the game. “Tonight, our defense really fueled our offense.”

The Royals got off to a huge start behind steals by Patrick Thomas and Kharie Kirkland. Lake Region State College held an early 20-point lead as Dawson Peterson and Ryan Clark added inside jumpers off the glass.

Lake Region State College continued to go to work offensively and defensive as a steal and a layup by Diallo Powell kept the momentum on the side of the home team.

It was then the time for Lake Region State College’s reserve to step in and make an impact. Kaharri Carter and Tom Kubank both made impressive plays getting to the rim for buckets.

Teammates AJ Nywesh and Careino Gurley each nailed 12-foot jumpers to help Lake Region State College take a commanding 70-32 lead at the half.

The second half was more of the same. The Wolves, however, started to find their offense as Melvin Langstaff, a former Royal standout, hit a pair of outside shots. Kyle Ironhawk made a nifty move to add a bucket.

It, however, wasn’t enough for Cankdeska Cikana Community College. Adante Jones and Carter each had inside buckets to help the Royals run away with 130-78 victory.

Balanced scoring was the name of the game for the Royals. Carter had a game-high 17 points while Dawson Peterson had an impressive performance with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Ryan Clark and Jones each added 14 points while Clark also brought down 12 rebounds.

Thomas and Powell added 13 points while Gurley had 10 points.

Kittell was pleased with the overall performance from his team. Once again, the squad’s defense was a standout.

“I think that’s our strength. We are long, lean and have some toughness on that defensive side of the ball,” Kittell said. “If we can keep it going defensively, I think we will be in good position. I really liked the improvement this week in practice.”

Saturday

On Saturday, the Royals picked up an exhibition win over the ECI Alumni team.

Lake Region State College used a 45-36 first-half lead to walk away with the tight 85-82 victory.

Powell led the Royals with 25 points. Thomas had 16 while Kirkland finished with 14 points.

It wasn’t easy as the ECI Alumni team, a traveling basketball program based out of Fargo, featured some of the state’s top high school basketball players in the last 10 years.

Included on the squad were Lake Region State College alumni Tyson Ackerman, Tyler Mertens, Josh Colon Jordan Mertens and Travis Mertens as well as Devils Lake High School graduate Alex Lundon.

“It was fun to come back and be around those guys,” Travis Kraft, ECI coach and former North Dakota Class B All-State forward, told the Journal. The team beat Dakota College of Bottineau 107-98 Sunday. “There are a lot of quality basketball players that played ECI from the Devils Lake area. They came in and played very well this weekend.”

On Saturday, Cankdeska Cikana fell short 110-87 to Dakota College of Bottineau.

Leading the way for the Wolves was Langstaff with 30 points. Ironhawk added 28 while Jason LaRock had 15 points.