by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
The Zimmerman Thunder, with a 78-63 conquest of Detroit Lakes on Wednesday evening, have now won their rotating holiday tournament three straight years, and this one was at home.
The four schools — the others are St. Francis and Dassel-Cokato — take turns hosting the tournament. Zimmerman was the last two host it. They won at Detroit Lakes last year and at St. Francis the year before.
“This completes the cycle,” noted coach Ben Kvidt. “It will be back at Dassel-Cokato next year. It’s a good tournament. You always play good teams.”
Torrid shooting lifted the Thunder (6-2), who were led by junior forward Jake Wilson with 18 points, senior guard Caleb Lunning with 16, and senior forward Gavin Doppler with 14.
Wilson shot 6-for-11 (2-for-3 on three’s), Lunning 7-for-10 and Doppler 6-for-12. The team was 30-for-52 (58 percent) overall and 6-for-12 outside the arc, easily overcoming a 28-23 rebound deficit.
For Detroit Lakes (4-3), Brian Labot and Rick Hutchinson scored 18 each, and Joe Mollberg 13.
The Thunder have won five straight.
“We are playing better defense now, and everyone is molding into a role,” said Kvidt. “Even our eight and nine guys, Brandon Smith and Adam Fordahl, come off the bench and each hit a three-pointer right way.”
As usual the Thunder scoring was spread out with nine kids scoring.
The Thunder, who beat Dassel-Cokato 71-56 on Tuesday, had two of the five players picked for the all-tournament team, Doppler and Wilson.
Next for the Thunder will be Milaca at home on Friday, Jan. 6.
Thunder scoring – Jake Wilson 18 (3 stl), Caleb Lunning 16, Gavin Doppler 14 (6 reb), Nate Christensen 8, Kyle Connelly 8 (6 ast), Ethan Lunning 4, Corey Foyt 4, Adam Fordahl 3 (4 ast), Brandon Smith 3