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Kenny Geiser calls this the best Thief River Falls wrestling team he's coached in his seven seasons with the Prowlers. Whether that's good enough to get the Prowlers back to the state tournament remains to be seen.
Less than two minutes into the game, after his team had allowed just one field goal, Jason Gregory was calling a quick timeout. Already, he wasn't happy with his team's defense after giving up a press-breaking layup. "We were standing around, not doing what we were supposed to be doing,'' said Gregory, the Grand Forks Red River High School boys basketball coach. "We weren't pressuring the ball. We wanted to get the kids going. "The pressure picked up after that.'' For most of the remainder of the game Tuesday, the Roughriders' pressure was relentless.
Bryce Brady has gone from a reluctant wrestler to a historic wrestler in the Grafton program. The junior is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Region 2 tournament Saturday. That earned him a berth in the North Dakota state tournament, which begins Thursday in Fargo. Brady will be the first Spoiler to compete in a state wrestling tournament. "To be the first from Grafton to go to state, that's amazing," Brady said. "I hope it's something that really helps our program. "It doesn't matter if I win or lose there. I'll wrestle my heart out.
Warroad brings a lineup to the Section 8A girls hockey tournament that includes three players with more than 100 career points. Roseau has two players with more than 100 goals each in their careers. Crookston has its own two 100-point career scorers. So will tonight's semifinals of the 8A tournament in the East Grand Forks Civic Center be offensive fireworks? History, and coaches, say don't count on it. "Good goaltending, good defense, can throw a wrench into good offenses," Warroad coach David Marvin said.
Here's the situation -- tie basketball game, 10 seconds left in regulation, your team has the ball. District 4 boys basketball coaches were asked who in the district they would want with the ball? Coaches couldn't name somebody from their own teams. Mike Hanson, Grafton -- Justin Mozinski, Park River: "I'd want the ball in a guard's hands. For two years in a row, Mozinski has been a starting guard in the region championship game. He's been in a lot of big games. He can score, and he's a heckuva playmaker.
For four straight weeks, Warren-Alvarado-Oslo has sat atop the standings in Minnesota West Subsection 8A boys basketball. First place doesn't mean a lot to Ponies coach Todd Mortimer right now, however. He knows how tenuous the position is. "It's crazy at the top," Mortimer said. "Everybody is so balanced.
The security blanket is gone for Hillsboro wrestlers. The Burros were denied a third straight trip to the North Dakota Class B dual wrestling tournament when they finished fourth at the Region 2 tournament last Saturday. There's one road to state left. The top four placers in Saturday's Region 2 individual tournament, to be held at Mayville-Portland-Clifford-Galesburg High School, advance to the state tournament Feb. 19-21 in Fargo. "This year there's a little more pressure on our kids in the individual tournament,'' Hillsboro coach Eric Ptacek said.
DRAYTON, N.D. -- The switch from regular to part-time starter has been an easy transition for Brandon Keena. "I'd rather be playing part time on a winning team than starting all the time and losing," the Drayton High School junior said. For Keena, this has been a season of transition, to new roles with a new team. Keena was a starter for Drayton-St. Thomas last season. But when that boys basketball co-op was dissolved last spring due to low participation numbers, the Drayton students were left without a team. North Border was the closest program that would add Drayton.
Big in the Hillsboro lineup isn't measured in height. The Burros don't have a player taller than 6 feet on their boys basketball roster. But Hillsboro has two of the biggest scorers in North Dakota District 3 high school basketball. The big two of Zach Grothmann and James Horne have sparked the Burros to a 10-4 start. Hillsboro will face a team of balance when it plays at Thompson on Thursday in a matchup of two of the top teams in the district. "You'd like to have the inside and the outside threats," Hillsboro coach Elliot Rotvold said.
Defense has been the key ingredient for Cavalier this season. That doesn't mean the Tornadoes can't tinker with success. After playing man-to-man defense for most of the season, the Tornadoes played primarily a 2-3 zone Saturday. That defense sparked Cavalier High School's boys basketball team to a 56-35 win against red-hot Kittson County Central in the 14th annual Dick Compton Memorial South Forks Lions Shootout. Kittson County Central entered the game with a 12-4 record and an 11-game winning streak.