Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
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Boys basketball East Grand Forks 62, Barnesville 60: Sam Votava's 19 points led East Grand Forks Senior High to a home win over Barnesville on Tuesday night. Julian Benson added 14 for the Wave. Senior High shot 50 percent from the field. The teams were tied at 32 at halftime Grand Forks Central 62, Valley City 58: Grand Forks Central received balanced scoring in its home win over Valley City on Tuesday night. Debyn Johnson led Central with 18 points while Chris Demuth and Jacob Ohnstad each added 13.
UND and Northern Arizona are two teams that have been in a growing process throughout the season. That's probably why mistakes were made by both teams at critical times during Saturday's Big Sky Conference game before 1,970 fans at The Betty. But UND grew a little more than its opponent after its 86-81 overtime win over Northern Arizona. The Fighting Hawks overcame a near collapse at the end of regulation and Northern Arizona's 80 percent second-half shooting to improve to 5-10 in the Big Sky and 10-17 overall while NAU dropped to 1-13 and 4-23.
Most Big Sky Conference teams don't mind the fact that North Dakota is set to leave the league next season, simply because it seems like trains, planes and automobiles are needed to get to Grand Forks. "I think it was cheaper for us to go to Hawaii this year than North Dakota," said Idaho State women's basketball coach Seton Sobolewski.
In the past, there have been games the UND women's basketball team should have won but lost. On the flip side, there have been games UND should have lost but won. One can put UND's contentious 80-67 win over Weber State on Thursday night before 1,604 fans at The Betty in the latter category. UND, somehow, overcame a handful of obstacles against Weber State, the Big Sky Conference leader, to improve to 4-8 in the league and 11-12 overall. Weber dropped to 8-3 and 16-6.
Virgil Hill is coming back to North Dakota to promote another night of boxing. The former light heavyweight champion, who grew up in Grand Forks, will promote a boxing card Saturday night in Fargo The headline bout will be Ron Cruz against Ravshan Hudaynazarov for the Global Boxing Organization super welterweight championship. The night of boxing is set for the Delta Hotel in Fargo. There will be approximately eight amateur fights on the card and six pro bouts.
The last time Faith Dooley started a basketball game was when she was a senior at Central Cass High School. That was four seasons ago. Since that time, she went on to become one of UND's all-time volleyball greats, leading the Fighting Hawks to back-to-back Big Sky Conference championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances.
Before the game, there was little doubt as to the best team in the Big Sky Conference. Montana had put to rest any doubt with 10-straight wins—including six consecutive on the road. The Griz left The Betty on Saturday just as happy as they came into the building, taking a hard-earned 72-67 win over North Dakota before 2,089 fans. It was their 11th straight triumph and school-record seventh consecutive road victory.
Girls basketball Fargo Davies 51, GF Red River 50: Grand Forks Red River had the final possession but couldn't come up with the win against Fargo Davies on Friday night. Jadyn Sondrol led Red River with 18 points while Kenady Steffan (14) and Maggie Steffen (10) also were in double figures. Raegan Linster led Davies with 10 points.
UND would like to forget its early second-half performance against Montana State. Then again, the Fighting Hawks may need to recall that poor showing if things unravel again at some point during the remainder of the season. UND went from good to bad and back to good again in a roller-coaster 75-74 win over Montana State on Thursday night in a Big Sky Conference game before 1,885 fans at The Betty.
UND begins the second half of the Big Sky Conference men's basketball season tonight against Montana State. The Fighting Hawks are 2-7 at the break and 7-14 overall. But the past three months can be forgiven, considering the Hawks—under coach Brian Jones—usually play their best basketball in February, which is labeled as the moving month in the collegiate ranks. Also, Jones can remind his players of his coaching days at Iowa, where he was part of a program that caught fire in March.