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Chris Murphy, Published January 12 2013

Top-ranked DeLaSalle beats Moorhead in boys basketball

MOORHEAD – The top-ranked team in Minnesota Class 3A boys basketball did not make the four-hour trip through the ice and snow Friday for nothing.

DeLaSalle came to win, and it did just that with a 72-49 victory over Moorhead on Saturday at Concordia College’s Memorial Auditorium.

For a half of basketball, Moorhead stuck with one of the best teams in the state, but a second-half explosion from the Islanders ended any upset ideas for the Spuds.

“We learned we can compete,” Moorhead coach Corey Zimmerman said. “We play these games to see where we’re at. In the first half we competed, but we have to learn to keep with it in the second half. We’re getting some new guys jumping into some different roles and we’re taking some steps forward. We know we can be in it with some of the top teams in our section and we know we can compete if we get an opportunity to go to state. These types of games get us ready for March.”

Moorhead (7-4) held all but one player on DeLaSalle (8-1) to a combined 11 points in the first half. The problem is that other player was one of the top juniors in the country in Reid Travis. He is ranked 29th among juniors in the country by ESPN, with scholarship offers from colleges such as Boston College, Southern California, Harvard, Northwestern, Purdue, Minnesota and Iowa State.

The 6-foot-7 big man had 19 points and six rebounds in the first half.

Even though Moorhead started the game on an 11-4 run and DeLaSalle took nearly six minutes to get its first field goal, the Islanders took a 30-23 lead into the half thanks in large part to Travis.

“I kind of knew I had to step up and be aggressive in the first half,” Travis said. “In the second half, my teammates really rallied around me and started making shots, and it kind of rolled from there.”

DeLaSalle went on a 22-7 run in the first eight minutes of the second half to blow the game open. Travis didn’t score a point during that stretch.

“It shows the maturity of our team,” Travis said. “We’ve been in every situation, big or small, in a game that you could pretty much imagine. Nothing like that really worries us.”

Travis finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block.

Travis capped his night by missing a dunk, but while holding onto the rim with one hand, he corralled the rebound with his other arm. He then landed on the floor before going back up with a layup. The play that left the crowd breathless was nothing new to the big man.

“I think I’ve done that once before,” Travis said. “It’s a weird feeling, because it’s just instinct.”

DeLaSalle is more than one player, as four players outside of Travis scored seven or more points. But it was Travis’ big first half that kept the Islanders from letting the game get away.

“He’s a great player,” Zimmerman said. “Each year he improves. He takes up so much space. Rebounding-wise, he just sweeps in. He’s just a great player.”

M (7-4): Dobbins 3 0-0 6, Dorow 1 0-0 2, Lien 8 3-3 19, Nelson 8 0-0 12, Lawrence 1 0-0 2, Doeden 2 0-0 4, Eidsness 1 0-0 2.

D (8-1): Johnson 3 1-2 7, Scott 3 0-0 7, Anim 4 0-0 8, Travis 10 6-7 26, Shepherd 2 0-0 4, Crandall 5 1-2 13, Daubanton 1 1-2 3, Carlberg 0 2-2 2.

Half: D 30, M 23. 3-point goals: Lawrence 2, Scott 1, Crandall 2. Total fouls: M 11, D 11. Rebounds: M 22 (Lawrence 6), D 26 (Travis 11). Turnovers: M 14, D 4.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548