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Defending state champ Minot rolls past Red River

The schedule maker wasn't kind to the Grand Forks Red River boys basketball team.

The Roughriders drew Minot for their high school season opener Saturday. The three-time defending Class A state champion Magicians picked up where they left off last season, rolling to a 93-36 win against the inexperienced Roughriders.

Roughriders coach Kirby Krefting takes credit (or blame) for drawing Minot in its opener. "Three years ago we set it up to play them first. We don't match up with them as well as we did in the past,'' said Krefting, whose team was without its lone returning starter, Jordan Polynice (two-game suspension for school misconduct violation), from a year ago.

"We knew it would be a tough task because of our inexperience. We knew we'd play a lot of guys, and that those guys would play hard. We did that. We saw a lot of things that, at times, looked good. We saw a lot of things we need to work on. We'll use this as a learning tool.''

Minot, on the other hand, returns two starters and two of the top reserves from last season's state championship team.

The Magicians rolled with their defense in the first half and their long-range shooting in the second half.

Minot built a 48-19 lead at halftime, scoring 26 points off turnovers as Red River struggled against the Magicians' pressure defense. Minot hit nine 3-point shots to account for 27 of its 45 second-half points.

"We didn't do a great job moving the ball (in the first half), but we got going in transition. We got some turnovers and ran,'' said Magicians coach Dean Winczewski, a former Red River assistant basketball coach (1998-99 season). "In the second half, we did a better job of moving the ball and finding open shooters. We feel shooting is one of our strengths.

"We were a little sloppy at times. There are things we have to clean up on. But I loved our effort.''

Chandler Albertson had 20 points and Devin Mikell 17 to lead an offense that saw Minot have five players score in double figures.

"We didn't rotate as well defensively in the second half,'' Krefting said. "We gave them too many open looks. They moved the ball well.''

Pierson Painter scored 11 to lead the Roughriders.

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