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Patriots have experience, youth

Pequot Lakes boys’ basketball players include, front row from left: Austin Young, Nathan Traut, Gage Westlund, Kirk Johnson, Blake Lane and Hunter Goerges. Middle row: Josh Buell, Zach Senst, Zach Sjoblad, CJ Borleis, Hunter Larson, Mike Pluimer and Cody Huss. Back row: Coach Alex Kunesh, Coach Bret Sergent, Andy Voges, Noah Borleis, Anthony Popehn and Coach Ben Starns. Photo by Lori Westlund.

The Pequot Lakes Patriots boys’ basketball team has a good mix of experience and youth this season, according to third-year head coach Ben Starns.

“We should be fast with plenty of kids that can score and shoot from the outside,” said Starns, whose team was switched to Section 7AA this year. “We are deeper than we have been in a long time. Two keys to our success are going to be defending and winning battles on the boards. If we do those two things, then I think we should be very successful this season.”

The Patriots opened this season with a 57-41 loss to Esko on Friday, Nov. 20. The Eskomos are the defending Section 7AA champions.

Pequot Lakes bounced back by beating Deer River 76-46 on Tuesday, Nov. 24, as Hunter Larson scored a game-high 21 points.

Last year, the Patriots finished 12-15 overall, and 4-6 in the Mid- State Conference.

Returning letterwinners are senior guards Larson and Hunter Goerges and senior forwards CJ Borleis and Josh Buell; junior guard Gage Westlund; and sophomore for- ward Zach Sjoblad. Larson and Borleis were both All-Mid-State Conference selections last year.

Borleis averaged 14 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists last season while shooting 50.2 percent from the field and 68 percent from the line. Borleis was also chosen most valuable player for the Patriots.

Larson averaged 12.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting 38 percent from the field and 63.6 from the line.

Westlund was honored as Pequot Lakes’ most improved player last season.

Others who could contribute are junior guard Michael Pluimer and junior center Andy Voges; and soph- omore forward Cody Huss and sophomore guard Nathan Traut.

Pequot Lakes was eliminated from the playoffs last season when the third-seeded Patriots were defeated by No. 2 Crosby-Ironton 50-44 in the North Subsection 8AA semifinals.

Last year, Detroit Lakes won the Mid-State Conference title with a 9-1 record, followed by Crosby- Ironton 8-2 and Staples-Motley 6-4. The Patriots were 7-7 in home games, and won just one of their final eight games.

Alex Kunesh and Bret Sergent are assistant coaches for Pequot Lakes.

Last year, the Patriots’ junior varsity squad compiled a 22-3 record while the C-team finished 19-3. 

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Pequot Lakes Boys' Basketball Schedule

DECEMBER

4 - Proctor at Pequot Lakes, 7:15 p.m. 8 - Pelican Rapids at Pequot Lakes, 7:15p.m.

9 - Pequot Lakes at Pierz, 7:30 p.m. 11 - Pillager at Pequot Lakes, 7:15 p.m. 15 - Park Rapids at Pequot Lakes, 7:15p.m.

18 - Detroit Lakes at Pequot Lakes, 7:15p.m.

21 - Minnewaska at Pequot Lakes, 7:15p.m.

22 - Pequot Lakes at Milaca, 7:30 p.m. 29 - Pequot Lakes tournament, TBD

30 - Pequot Lakes tournament, TBD

JANUARY

5 - Pequot Lakes at Crosby-Ironton, 7:15 p.m.

7 - Pequot Lakes at Grand Rapids, 7:15 p.m.

12 - Staples-Motley at Pequot Lakes, 7:15 p.m.

19 - Pequot Lakes at Detroit Lakes, 7:15 p.m.

21 - Pequot Lakes at Detroit Lakes, 7:15 p.m. Perham at Pequot Lakes, 7:15 p.m.

22 - Pine River-Backus at Pequot Lakes, 7:15 p.m.

26 - Pequot Lakes at Nevis, 7:30 p.m.

29 - Pequot Lakes at Park Rapids 7:30 p.m.

FEBRUARY

6 - Pequot Lakes at Crookston, TBD

9 - Dilworth-Glyndon- Felton at Pequot Lakes, 7:15 p.m. 

12 - Pequot Lakes at Hibbing, 7:15 p.m.

16 - Crosby-Ironton at Pequot Lakes, 7:15 p.m.

19 - Pequot Lakes at Staples-Motley, 7:15 p.m.

24 - Section first round, TBD 

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