Section 1AA semifinals: Gritty defense, Lorenson lift Lake City over Cannon Falls

The Tigers forced over 20 turnovers and Lorenson finished with 25 points to send the Tigers to Thursday's Section 1AA championship.

Section 1AA basketball
Lake City's Hunter Lorenson goes up for a layup during a Section 1AA semifinal against Cannon Falls on Saturday at the Mayo Civic Center.
Alex VandenHouten / Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER — Ryan Heise isn't shy about who the heartbeat of the Lake City boys basketball team is.

"Hunter (Lorenson) really creates for us on offense and defense," Heise said. "He's so super active on defense, super quick. He is the key for us."

Lorenson proved that time and time again on Saturday in a Section 1AA semifinal against Cannon Falls. The junior point guard harassed the Bombers' guards all night, picking up steal after steal en route to a game-high 25 points in helping the top-seeded Tigers to a 69-54 win at the Mayo Civic Center.

The No. 4 seeded Bombers end the year 16-13 overall, while the Tigers collect their 10th straight win and improve to 26-1. They will now face No. 2 Plainview-Elgin-Millville at 8 p.m. Thursday.

The Bulldogs fell behind big early, but never flinched and will now be taking on Lake City for a Section 1AA title.

After a sluggish start in their quarterfinal against Lourdes, Lake City came out with a bit more energy against Cannon Falls. Heise splashed home a pair of 3-pointers to go up 6-0 right out of the gate. But then the Lake City defense took control, fueling a 13-2 run to take a 12-11 lead to 25-13.


"Our coach always emphasizes defensive energy," Lorenson said. "That's how we came out today."

Yet, Cannon Falls hung tough.

Section 1AA basketball
Cannon Falls Tyler Johnston dribbles the ball during a Section 1AA semifinal against Lake City on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at the Mayo Civic Center.
Alex VandenHouten / Post Bulletin

Dylan Banks scored 10 of his 13 points in the first half and after Tyler Johnston finished a lay-up right before the first half buzzer the Lake City halftime lead was just six at 35-29.

The Bombers kept it within six after Jack Freeberg nailed a 3-pointer — one of eight for Cannon Falls — to make it 47-41 with 11 minutes left.

That's when the Lake City defense once again put their foot down.

Lorenson and Jaden Shones were great, practically in the shorts of the Bombers backcourt, while the 6-foot-8 Heise and 6-foot-4 Keegan Ryan were waiting in the paint, ready in case the Bombers broke through. Heise finished with five blocks.

It led to a rushed Bombers offense — one that was dealing with plenty of contested shots and passes.

"We have so much length for a school our size," Berge said. "We are able to contest so much. With Ryan and Keegan, it allows guys like Hunter and Jaden to be more aggressive on the perimeter because if they do get beat, they've got a lot of length behind them."


Section 1AA basketball
Lake City's Ryan Heise (left) contests a shot during a Section 1AA semifinal against Cannon Falls on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at the Mayo Civic Center.
Alex VandenHouten / Post Bulletin

It kick-started an 18-4 run that pushed that six-point lead to 65-45. Lorenson was great, scoring multiple buckets during the stretch. He finished 11 of 17 from the field en route to a game-high 25 points. He did this all with a left hand injury suffered during a week ago.

"He's a warrior," Berge said of Lorenson. "He's such a competitor, lightning quick and he's put so much work into it. You love to see guys that put so much time into it, get rewarded. He's such a great kid."

Heise finished with 18, with four 3-pointers, while Jaden Shones added 13 and Keegan Ryan added eight for the Tigers, who now are win away from the team's first state berth since 2019.

"We just have to continue to take one day at a time," Lorenson said. "Have a good week of practice and get ready for a good opponent."

Jack Meyers 2; Dylan Banks 13; Aiden Johnson 14; Tyler Johnston 6; Byrce Peer 6; Jack Freeburg 6; Jaden Winchell 11.
Hunter Lorenson 25; Keegan Ryan 8; Jaden Shones 13; Rylee Fick 2; Ryan Heise 18; Lee Siewert 4; Thomas Brand 1.
Halftime: LC 35, CF 29
Free Throws: CF 4-8; LC 4-7
Three pointers: CF 8; LC 5

Alex VandenHouten has been a sports reporter at the Post Bulletin since Sept. 2021. He loves to go hiking, biking, snowshoeing and just simply being outdoors with his wife Olivia. Readers can reach Alex at
What To Read Next
Get Local