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BOYS BASKETBALL: Roughriders stay aggressive in 61-57 victory over West Fargo

Going into attack mode worked for Grand Forks Red River.

The Roughriders, aggressively attacking the basket, closed on a 14-2 to rally past West Fargo 61-57 in boys high school basketball Friday at Red River High School.

West Fargo matched its biggest lead of the game, going up 55-47 on a Travis Schock free throw with 6:02 remaining. After that, momentum shifted to the Riders.

“We told the kids we wanted to attack more,’’ Red River coach Jason Gregory said. “We just took what they were giving us. We did a better job of spreading the floor and opening things up.’’

Of the final 14 Red River points, four came on offensive rebound putback baskets by Braedan Hanson and Ty Straus. The remaining 10 points were all on free throws, almost all of the attempts on fouls drawn when Red River either penetrated or hit the boards.

Chad Bartosh had six points in the run, including the tying and go-ahead points to put Red River ahead to stay at 58-57 with 1:43 left. Hanson scored five and Straus had three.

Bartosh led Red River with 14 points, with Shayden Keplin adding 11. Bartosh, who averages more than 20 points a game, managed only one field goal, but was deadly at the line down the stretch.

“It was clutch time,’’ Gregory said. “The kids were looking to Chad. He made big free throws. You look for seniors to lead like that. And, even when his shots weren’t falling, he played hard. He doesn’t get rattled.’’

Schock had a game-high 19 points to lead the Packers. West Fargo had a Jekyll-Hyde final 10 minutes.

With 10 minutes remaining, West Fargo trailed 42-40. Over the next four minutes, the Packers scored on seven of nine possessions, missing just one shot, to take a 55-47 lead.

Then, over the final six minutes, West Fargo was 1-of-9 from the field.

“We liked how we were playing,’’ West Fargo coach Greg Limke said of the run that gave his team an eight-point lead. “But Red River is a good team. We knew they would make a run. And we didn’t respond when they did.

“We’ve been in tight games and found ways to win. Tonight, Red River made those plays. We did a poor job of guarding the dribble.’’

West Fargo dropped 10-4 overall and 11-2 in East Region points. Red River improved to 9-4 overall and 9-3 in region points.