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Balance powers Red River over Central in girls basketball

Grand Forks Central's Amber Anderson, center, grabs the rebound while Red River's Danica Kemnitz, left, and Kennedy Steffan, right try to gain control of the ball in Grand Forks on Tuesday, February 14, 2017. (Joshua Komer / Grand Forks Herald)1 / 3
Red River's Maggie Steffen, center, takes a shot against Grand Forks Central's Lauren Dub, left, and Bailey Jaeger in Grand Forks on Tuesday, February 14, 2017. (Joshua Komer / Grand Forks Herald)2 / 3
Red River's Kennedy Steffan, front, drives to the net against Grand Forks Central's Carolyn Smith in Grand Forks on Tuesday, February 14, 2017. (Joshua Komer / Grand Forks Herald)3 / 3

Turnovers have been a problem at times this season for the Grand Forks Red River girls basketball team. For a little more than seven minutes on Tuesday, however, the Roughriders were a model of offensive efficiency.

The balanced Roughriders used a big second-half start to pull away from host Grand Forks Central for a 67-56 girls basketball win.

Red River led only 23-20 at halftime. But they opened the second half with a stretch in which, on their first 13 possessions, they scored on 11 of them while turning the ball over twice.

"I don't know if a stretch like that happens very often for anybody,'' Red River coach Kent Ripplinger said. "Sometimes we rush things and don't take care of the ball. We took care of the ball and found open players in that run.''

Lexi Robson and Kendra Bohm each had six points to set the pace as the 16-3 Riders stretched their three-point halftime lead to 45-27 with 10:52 remaining. Central was behind by double figures for most of the remainder of the game until putting together a 7-0 run to pull within 64-56 with 46 seconds left.

Robson had 38 points when Red River beat Central 71-59 in the teams' first game. She had a game-high 18 points this time, but Red River had more balance. Bohm added 12 points and Danica Kemnitz and reserve Maggie Steffen each added 10.

"That (balance) is something we wanted to get done,'' Ripplinger said. "We needed more offense from our post players and Kendra and Danica came through. We got four players in double figures. Typically, it's more like two or three.''

Red River had a 13-0 run in the first half, but Central still was within three points at intermission.

"If you don't give up runs like that, you don't get yourself in trouble,'' Central coach D.J. Burris said. "And (allowing big runs) has been a bit of a problem for us.''

Lauren Dub's 16 points led the 9-10 Knights. Amber Anderson added a season-high 11 points to go with eight rebounds.