Denny’s debut a hit, Muskies overwhelm Finlandia in opener

More news about: Lakeland

Derick Denny (Sr.-Oneida, Wis.) scored 23 points in his first game for the Lakeland College men's basketball team, which countered an early challenge from Finlandia (Mich.) University with a huge run in an eventual 92-55 win Saturday afternoon at the Moose & Dona Woltzen Gymnasium.

Denny hit seven three-pointers and also added a game-high seven steals as the Muskies finished with 23 steals as a team. He also was a key part of Lakeland hitting 13 of 29 three-point tries as a team as the Muskies won their season opener for the third straight year.

Lakeland actually trailed 31-30 late in the first half before finishing the half on a 12-0 run to take a 42-31 halftime lead. The Muskies then blew the game wide open in the second half, outscoring Finlandia (0-1) 36-8 over the first 11 minutes. In all the run was 48-8 over a span of just over 15 minutes, with the lead growing as large as 39 at 78-39 with 8:54 to play.

Denny teamed with seniors Stan McKenzie (Racine, Wis.) and Joey Burris (Kiel, Wis.) for a three-headed scoring attack. McKenzie finished with 18 points and tied for game honors with eight rebounds. Burris added 17 points, including three three-pointers, as well as five steals.

Travis Kell (So.-Madison, Wis.) added nine points off the bench while Eric Nygaard (Fr.-Plymouth, Wis.) chipped in six points, six rebounds and four steals in his college debut. Mark Gryszkiewicz (So.-Sussex, Wis.) also had a career-high seven assists and three steals and Drew Walls (Fr.-Madison, Wis.) drained two three-pointers for six points. In all, 18 players saw the court for Lakeland, with no player appearing for more than 28 minutes.

Jordan LaPlant scored 26 points to lead Finlandia and kept the Lions in the game single-handedly in the first half, scoring 20 points by hitting his first seven shots, including six three-pointers. He finished making 9 of 12 from the field and 8 of 11 from three-point range.

The Muskies are home again Tuesday night when they welcome Silver Lake College for a 7 p.m. tip at the Woltzen Gymnasium.