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Boys Basketball: Lakes cruise past Republic with 85-55 win, stay unbeaten

LAKE LINDEN — Lake Linden-Hubbell hosted Republic-Michigamme Monday night in the first boys’ basketball action for both schools since Dec. 19.

And the long break showed for both squads with a slow start.

But the Lakes (4-0) pulled away in the first half to a comfortable lead they never relenquished with a 85-55 LL-H victory in Copper Mountain Conference action.

After a sloppy, but very even first few minutes, Lakes coach Jack Kumpula put on the fullcourt press to try and get his guys going. Although the Hawks (0-5) were able to get a few baskets by breaking the press, it still got the game going the Lakes way as they forged an eight-point lead after the first quarter.

Then the second quarter got away from the Hawks, mostly due to turnovers and struggles in ballhandling. Lake Linden’s lead grew to 31-13 at the half.

“We had to do something to get them going so that we could play at our speed,” Kumpula said about putting the press on. “The start of the game was a walk-up pace, not at our speed, not the way we want to play. … The second quarter was one of the better quarters that we (have) played all year.”

R-M showed some life in the third frame and really had a competitive second half until the last few minutes.

The Hawks got inside and scored some buckets. For a while it was a very spirtited up-and-down basketball game, although Kumpula felt it was not a good quarter for the Lakes. But even though the Hawks came alive offensively, they gave up just as much on the other end of the court and were down by 22 points heading into the fourth period.

Early on in the last eight minutes, Republic kept trading blows with the Lakes, but the Hawks eventually ran out of gas and yielded some easy transition points to the host Lakes. This despite pretty serious second-half foul trouble for Lake Linden-Hubbell.

“In the third and fourth quarter we played well,” said Hawks head coach Cody Carlson. “(42) points in the second half, so we came back and my guys fought hard.

Republic junior Eli Luokkala poured in a game-high 25 points. Fellow junior Will Lyons led the Lake Linden-Hubbell attack with 22 points. Lakes teammate and senior leader Carter Crouch scored 19 in the winning effort.

LL-H will host another divisional showdown on Thursday when Dollar Bay comes in. That clash of unbeatens will determine an early front-runner for conference accolades.

Republic-Michigamme gets a week to regroup before welcoming Painesdale-Jeffers to their gym on Jan. 13.

LL-H also won the JV game on Monday, 40-35.

Republic-Michigamme 9 4 26 16 — 55

Lake Linden-Hubbell 17 14 30 24 — 85

REPUBLIC-MICHIGAMME (55): Luokkala 25, Koski 14, Dupont 6, Hanninen 5, Conklin 5. FT: 7-15. 3-point FG: Luokkala 2.

LAKE LINDEN-HUBBELL (85): Lyons 22, Crouch 19, Caleb Gregorie 14, Cole Gregorie 12, Codere 10, Hill 2, Huuki 2, LePage 2, Mahrley 2. FT: 12-17. 3-point FG: Crouch 3, Cole Gregorie 2, Lyons 2, Caleb Gregorie 1.

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