Scoring made easy: DL-B offense keys rout of Ryan

Cole Edwards surveyed the floor, sensed an opening and drove the lane.

As the Bishop Ryan defense collapsed the paint, the Des Lacs-Burlington junior point guard dished a bounce pass to a streaking Brett Schaefer, who deposited the ball into the basket for an easy layup.

“I saw a flash of red come,” Edwards said. “I turned and he was wide open.”

It was one of many highlights for the pass-first facilitator on Friday. His constant movement drew the attention of Lions defenders all night, enabling high-scoring classmates Chris Duke and Tanner Holte enough open looks to combine for 54 points in the Lakers’ 74-53 District 12 win at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.

“He’s our catalyst,” DL-B coach Doug Wagner said. “Cole just handles the ball so well. Frankly, the way he’s able to do that is hours and hours and hours and hours with a basketball in your hand.

“He knows that if the team does well, there will be plenty of glory to go around. He doesn’t need to score a bunch of points.”

In its two most recent contests against Tioga and Garrison, the Lakers’ offense struggled out of the gate and allowed its opponents to hang in the game until the second half.

Against Ryan, there were no such maladies. While the Lions’ offense struggled to find the basket for much of the first 14 minutes, DL-B (12-2 overall, 4-0 district) scored at will. The Lakers went on a 20-0 spurt over four minutes, 13 seconds in the first quarter and took a 43-19 lead into intermission.

“We played with a lot of enthusiasm,” Wagner said. “We got in a flow right away. We were the aggressors and that was what we were trying to do. That’s who we think we are.”

The Lions (7-7, 2-2) scored 19 points in the third and 15 in the fourth quarter, but DL-B didn’t stop scoring until the starters left the game midway through the final frame.

Holte scored 14 of his 28 points in the second half, including a stretch in the third stanza when he scored all nine Lakers points in a 1:43 span.

“We were just making our shots,” Holte said. “We were shooting the wide-open shots that we can get.”

Holte and Duke made three 3-pointers apiece to draw the Lions’ defense out. But when Ryan strayed too far from the basket, the DL-B playmakers found the lane.

“The game of basketball is all about balance,” Wagner said. “We loosened them up a bit with some outside shots but then I thought we attacked at the rim pretty well.”

DL-B hosts ORCS on Tuesday. The Lions, who were led by Brody Bosch’s 12 points, host Bottineau Saturday.