MAYVILLE, N.D.—Despite losing by 45 points in their first meeting this season against Jamestown College, the Mayville State women's basketball players were hopeful about their second meeting Saturday. After all, they were in the comforts of their home gym and were carrying the confidence of a seven-game winning streak. Alas for the Comets, the Jimmies arrived with a more impressive number—30. That's how many consecutive wins they've had against fellow North Star Athletic Association opponents since mid-February of 2015.
For the seventh time in the last eight games, Jordan Tomkinson scored in the 30s as East Grand Forks Sacred Heart defeated defending Subsection 8A West champion Northern Freeze 81-76 on Thursday. Tomkinson scored his 31 points on 9 of 14 shooting from the field—including four 3-pointers—and 9-for-9 free throw shooting. The bigger news for the Eagles was that his deadeye marksmanship wasn't the No. 1 plus of the evening.
A rout appeared in the making as East Grand Forks Senior High had a 2-0 lead on Moorhead and a 5-on-3 power play for 90 seconds early in the third period. Instead of widening their lead, however, the Green Wave girls surrendered a shorthanded goal and the Spuds dominated possession of the puck the rest of the way. But, as has often been the case, Senior High goalie Mckenzie Whalen came to the rescue, securing a 2-1 win with 14 third-period saves and 28 overall..
Typically, basketball scoring stars are either deadeye gunners from long range, seeking 3-pointers and the bonus point that goes with them. Or, they're vertically rich, able to shoot over defenders close to the basket. Neither stereotype fits Alexis Robson, a non-giant at 5-foot-7 who doesn't feast beyond the arc. She's an all-purpose scorer who recently moved atop the all-time points list for Grand Forks Red River girls basketball. As an added twist, she doesn't even credit offense for her scoring burst as a senior. It's the team defense.
Crookston's Luke Froeber had barely broke a sweat when he was called to the bench with two fouls. He sat out the last 12 minutes and 20 seconds of the first half, which ended with East Grand Forks Senior High leading by one point. The fact that the 6-foot-5, 225-pounder played the entire second half and the Pirates rallied for a 59-51 Section 8AA win Friday night `was no coincidence.
East Grand Forks Sacred Heart and Win-E-Mac were among the three Section 8A powerhouses in girls basketball last season. On Tuesday night, it was crystal clear which team returned the most talent. Sacred Heart's Abby Smidt nailed a 3-pointer on the game's first possession and the Eagles never looked back in a 73-37 win.
Despite East Grand Forks Sacred Heart junior Jordan Tomkinson scoring 44 points and his team sprinting to an early 15-point lead, the Eagles came up short by 75-70 to Kittson County Central in a triple overtime Section 8A boys basketball game Friday. "Coming in, we were only giving up 49 points a game, so at a time there in the first half, we were on a pace of giving up 133 points. So I was concerned," KCC coach Chad Kujava said. "That's the first time I have ever had a team make 13 of 27 3-pointers against us."
During their first eight games this season, the Grand Forks Central boys hockey players never trailed. On Saturday, they only led for 35 seconds. But they were the most important 35 seconds—the last ones—as the Knights rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period for a bounce-back 6-5 win over Bismarck High at Purpur Arena. The game-winner was a one-timer from close range by Cameron Olstad, compliments of a cross-crease pass from Brock Reller.
As if Grand Forks Central's hockey opponents didn't have enough to worry about, meet Zachary Murphy. A junior winger, Murphy had a hat trick and added an assist as the Knights steamrolled yet another opponent, this time a 7-0 win over Bismarck Century, one of the top teams in the West Region. "I haven't had a hat trick for five years," Murphy said. "It was when I was 11 years old and in my second year of Pee Wees when I had my last one. "It's the first time I've been with the same linemates for a long, long time. We have a lot of chemistry going."
In posting his second shutout of the season Thursday, East Grand Forks Senior High goalie Tucker Brown had only one difficulty at keeping Warroad’s goal count at zero. “I tried to keep my head in it, but that’s hard to do when you don’t get many shots,” said Brown, who made a leisurely 13 saves as the Green Wave defeated the Warriors 4-0 in Section 8A play. “I looked up at the scoreboard and saw that we were seven minutes into the game before I had to make my first save.”