First for city of Lakeville: One of its own in final

  • Article by: BRIAN STENSAAS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 22, 2012 - 10:35 PM
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Lakeville North's Tyler Flack went to the floor with Eden Prairie's Sander Mohn as Flack drove to the basket.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

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The million-dollar question after Lakeville North clawed back from an oceanic first-half hole to defeat Eden Prairie 58-41 in the Class 4A boys' basketball semifinals:

What happened?

What happened to the Panthers that allowed them to fall behind 27-13 with a little more than two minutes remaining in the first half?

"My goodness gracious ... we stunk it up," coach John Oxton said of his team's 33 percent clip from the floor and nearly eight-minute scoring drought.

And what happened to the Eagles (23-8), who were overtime kings a night earlier against No. 3 seed Eastview, in a dismal 14-point effort after building the commanding lead?

"We put so much energy and emotion into our win [Wednesday] I was worried how we would replicate it," coach David Flom said. "We did early but we ran out of gas."

Lakeville North's tank is bubbling over.

The Panthers' victory clinched the first boys' championship game berth ever for a Lakeville team.

"We started out a little bit tentative and then we started to create our own shots in the second half," said Tyler Flack, who led No. 2 seed Lakeville North (30-1) with 14 points and 11 rebounds. "That's what we've been doing for the whole season, and it really worked for us."

The aggressive style resulted in 20 trips to the free-throw line to just four by the Eagles. Lakeville North made 16 of those freebies, and it won the rebound battle 37-25.

Ryan Saarela hit a three-pointer at the first-half buzzer and finished with 11 points off the bench for the Panthers. Grant Erickson added 10 points.

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