AUDUBON, Minn. – The Lake Park-Audubon boys basketball team won for the 15th consecutive time, defeating Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal 62-46 in front of a capacity crowd Friday night.

The Titans had no match for 6-foot-10 center Jesse Bergh, who led all scorers with 26 points, his final bucket coming on an alley-oop slam to give the Raiders their largest lead of the game 58-36 with four minutes remaining.

“I thought what we did really well was when they started to do stuff to Jesse, we made that hard to guard,” Raiders head coach Kyle Haberman said. “We countered it. We got Jesse up on the block where he could see that double. Now he can rip and drive and score from that. That double had to second guess. That’s the difference in where were seeing the progression.”

The Titans did not help themselves offensively. NCEUH only got to the free-throw line eight times, making three, and perimeter shots would not fall in either half of play for the visitors.

“We kind of got lucky with them,” said Haberman. “We played them twice, and they missed shots both games. I didn’t expect it.”

The Raiders set up shop running a crisp half-court offense and finding success with the big man Bergh and slashing play from junior Mitch Hall, who scored 18 points.

“The first half wasn’t our half, but I was saying to the guys in the locker room, ‘We’re up 11 still,’” said Hall. “We came out in the second half thinking we’ve got to put these guys away quick.”

The Titans traded baskets early in the game, trailing 14-10 midway through the first half.

LP-A sprinted to the locker room on a 20-13 run to lead 34-23 at the break. Bergh scored a dozen of his 26 points in the first half; Hall had 10 points in the opening 18 minutes.

The Raiders had opportunities to run the floor in the second half but were content to continue the half-court game.

“That’s all Mitchell Hall,” Haberman said. “I don’t even have to coach at halftime. He’s trying to make sure they stay on the gas and do all those little things.”

“We’re just not a fast break team,” said Hall. “We get the half-court offense and we’re going to stick with what works.”

A 6-0 run out of halftime gave the Raiders a 17-point lead on back-to-back Bergh buckets and a deuce by Hall.

The Titans would get no closer than 13 points the rest of the way.

“We preached being deliberate,” Haberman said. If we can be in our half court set, we’re setting quality screens where even if they’re going to pressure us, we’re going to get the ball, find Jesse and find Mitchell. He was a beast tonight.”

Half: LPA 34, NCEUH 23

NCEUH: Braseth 11, Stene 7, Maesse 7, Fox-Murray 6, Sirjord 5, Peterick 5, Resnick 2, I. Stene 1, Sather 1.

LPA: Bergh 26, Hall 18, Ulmer 10, Pederson 5, Vohnoutka 3.

Williams is the sports editor of the Detroit Lakes Tribune

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