Big start, constant defense key for LRSC

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal
Pat Thomas and the Lake Region State College mens basketball team is 9-0 on the season.

Journal Staff Report Ask any college coach in the nation, playing on the road is not an easy task. On Saturday, the Lake Region State College mens basketball team traveled to Minnesota for a contest against Dakota County Technical College. In addition to taking on a 6-1 team on the road, the Royals had to do so without the services of its leading scorer in Diallo Powell. The guard is expected to miss around four to six weeks with a broken left hand. Despite having a tough test at hand, the Royals found a way to keep its undefeated record Saturday with a hard-fought 65-60 win over Dakota County. “Anytime you can find a way to win on the road you are happy,” Lake Region State College head coach Joe Kittell told the Journal. “We have been able to pull out these close games and on Saturday we had to do it without Diallo. It was a good win for our team.” Lake Region State College, who improves to 9-0 on the season with the victory, had a big first-half effort. The team jumped out to a 39-19 advantage against the home squad. “We had a good start. Our defense was playing extremely well and we were able to get some points off of that,” Kittell commented. The Royals faced adversity as Dakota County erased the deficit by making quite the run. “Just like you expect a quality opponent to do, they really played well in that second half and made it a tight game,” the coach added. “But our guys dug in and made the plays we had to down the stretch.” It was a balanced scoring effort for the visitors. Patrick Thomas led the Royals with 12 points and nine rebounds. AJ Nywesh had 10 points in his first start of the year. Careino Gurley added nine points while Adante Jones and Kharie Kirkland each had eight points. Tyler Moore and Ryan Clark had six points each. All in all, Kittell was extremely pleased with the win. Once again, Lake Region State College played top-flight defense. The team’s offense, however, struggled at times. “We have to find ways to be more productive in our half court offense,” Kittell commented. The team travels to Norfolk, Nebraska to take on Northeast Community College Friday and Iowa Western Community College Saturday. Northeast Community College is 5-1 on the season while Iowa Western was receiving votes in the National Top 25 early in the season. “We are going to travel and play a pair of very talented teams. We will have to play our best basketball,” Kittell stated.