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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Roughriders snap losing streak 76-27 over rival Central

After eight consecutive losses, Kent Ripplinger didn’t care who the opponent was. The Grand Forks Red River High School girls basketball coach was looking for a victory.

“It didn’t matter who we beat,” Ripplinger said. “We just wanted a win. We’ve been waiting for a game where we played defense well and had a good shooting game.

“It was nice to get a win against anybody.”

The Roughriders’ losing streak was snapped in convincing fashion Tuesday. And it came at the hands of rival Grand Forks Central, as Red River scored a 76-27 home victory.

The outcome marked the most points Red River (4-8) has scored this season and the fewest it has allowed. It was the fewest points scored this season by Central (3-11).

“I know what Central was going through. It’s hard,” Ripplinger said. “We’ve played everybody pretty well defensively. But when you don’t hit the shots, it’s hard to win. Tonight we hit the shots.”

The Riders finished 25-of-58 from the field for 43 percent accuracy, as well as going 18-of-22 on free throws. Central was 10-of-59 (17 percent) from the field.

“You can’t do that and expect to win,” said Central coach D.J. Burris said, whose team beat the Riders 56-50 in their first meeting. “Normally we take the ball to the basket harder. Tonight we were timid. That happens when teams are aggressive, and Red River was the aggressive team. We got out-worked.”

Red River jumped to 6-0 and 15-3 leads.

In the first half, the Riders had 6-0, 9-0 and 14-0 runs. In the second half, Red River had 20-0 and 10-0 runs. During one stretch in the second half, Central went 14 minutes and 33 minutes without a field goal.

Said Ripplinger: “You’d like to think credit your defense. But (the Knights) were missing shots that they knocked down the first time we played.”

Sophomore Hannah Arason had a double to lead Red River, getting 13 points and 12 rebounds, as well as four assists. Alexis Robson added 12 points off the bench and Jennifer Trader scored 10.

Angelica Medrano scored 11 to pace the Knights.