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Lake City senior guard picks his second home as his college destination

Feb. 14—LAKE CITY, Minn. — The Crookston area has always been like a second home to Hunter Lorenson.

The Lake City senior is going to be spending plenty of time there in the near future.

Lorenson, a standout guard on the Tigers boys basketball team, has committed to play men's basketball at the University of Minnesota Crookston, a Division II school that is a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

Lorenson's grandparents have a cabin in the Crookston area, a home away from home that he estimates he visits four or five times every summer.

"I really like it up there," he said. "We have a cabin that's about an hour away, too. So if I get bored one weekend, I can head that way."

That was part of his decision to commit to Crookston, but hardly the only one.

"I loved the players, the coaching staff and the campus when I was there," he said. "They made it feel like I was at home. And that's kind of what I was looking for in a college. And added to that, I got a pretty good scholarship to go there."

The 6-foot, 160-pound point guard had been in contact with a number of other area colleges, but was excited to make his decision so he can focus on the remainder of his senior season. It was a season that got off to a tough start as he missed about four weeks when he suffered a hamstring injury after returning from a sprained ankle.

"I'm really starting to get back to 100 percent and it's awesome," Lorenson said. "I love playing and the last couple of games, I'm not going to take for granted.

"I wish I didn't miss that time, but now that I'm back out there, it's awesome," he added. "People don't realize how fast it goes. I've been a four-year starter and it feels like I was just starting (out) last year."

Lake City coach Greg Berge said Lorenson has put a lot of work into his game, both on and off the court. Berge said Lorenson is very driven to succeed.

"He's a little undersized, but it never impacts him," Berge said. "He's so incredibly competitive and he's a really good shooter, can pass the ball and is a great defender."

Lorenson broke the Lake City record for time put in on the "300 Hour Club," an off-season program for overall development.

"It's rewarding to see kids who put in all the time and work get rewarded with a scholarship to play at the next level," Berge said.

Lorenson will be the seventh Lake City player to go on to play college basketball over the past eight years. Several other high-profile basketball players have or will go on to play a different sport in college.

"Everyone who has played at the college level has put a bunch of time in," Lorenson said. "It just shows again what our program does."

Lorenson has a lot of positive attributes on the court. He has the ability to score from the outside, but is quick and tenacious enough to get to the basket and score. He also features strong pull-up and fadeaway jump shots.

But he also feels he has another very strong intangible.

"I'm a really good leader for our team, a lot of the younger kids look up to me for that," he said. "Obviously I can score and pass and do all that, but I believe if you can be a strong leader, you're going to be a successful team and that kind of shows in the Lake City program."

Lorenson, 18, said he is "really competitive and I hate losing." The Tigers have done plenty of winning during his four years as a starter. In that span they are 80-17, but one thing missing so far is a state tournament berth.

Lorenson's junior season ended in heartbreak a year ago when the Tigers lost to Plainview-Elgin-Millville in the Section 1, Class 2A title game 58-55 on a 3-point shot at the buzzer.

Lake City is currently 19-4 and ranked No. 3 in the state in Class 2A. Lorenson anticipates being at 100% for the section tournament and the team's goal is to earn a state berth. With a veteran and talented squad, the Tigers are likely to be the top seed in Section 1-2A.

Berge said Lorenson is "relentless" on the court, which should be a big factor in the playoffs.

"He's a leader and he knows how to win," Berge said. "I think that's his biggest thing."