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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Wheeler-led Red River drops Knights

Grand Forks Red River guard Andi Wheeler started Tuesday's game against Grand Forks Central with a variety of shots. She scored off an offensive rebound and on a long jumper, free throws, a drive to the basket and a 3-pointer. Five minutes into t...

Grand Forks Red River guard Andi Wheeler started Tuesday's game against Grand Forks Central with a variety of shots.

She scored off an offensive rebound and on a long jumper, free throws, a drive to the basket and a 3-pointer. Five minutes into the game, the junior had 11 of her team's first 12 points.

It was only the beginning to what proved to be Wheeler's night.

Behind Wheeler's game-high 22 points, including 15 in the first half, the Roughriders downed the rival Knights 53-46 in the Red River gymnasium.

Red River improved to 3-4, while Central dropped to 1-7.

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"We came out hard," said Wheeler, who was 9-for-13 from the field. "I thought we finally played to our full potential."

"Andi shot real well," Red River coach Justin Schommer said. "She didn't force anything. As a point guard, she has to help lead the offense, but she also has to shoot when she's open."

After Wheeler helped build Red River an early 21-5 lead, though, the Knights charged back.

Central ended the first half on a 20-8 run. The stretch was led by Katelyn Renden's six points and ended with a Leigh Schreiner 3-pointer with 13 seconds left in the half. Suddenly, Red River led just 29-25.

"I'm proud of the way we came back," Central coach Jean Roise said.

After a strong finish to the first half, the Knights took their first lead at 33-32 on two Emily Gowan free throws. Central tied the game for the fourth time at 46 with two more Gowan free throws with 5 minutes, 21 seconds left.

The Knights didn't score again, however. Red River's pressure defense didn't allow the Knights to get a good look at the basket down the stretch.

Over the last three minutes, Sarah Smith and Wheeler made baskets, while Vanessa Riski completed a three-point play for the final margin.

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"We got a couple baskets to go and defensively we did a good job at the end," Schommer said. "We did a good job of rebounding."

The Roughriders were 22-for-49 from the field, while the Knights were 15-for-42.

"We gave up some easy shots," Wheeler said. "But we held on, and that's what's important."

Kylee Renden had 11 points to lead Central. Freshman guard Haley Labahn chipped in with nine and Katelyn Renden seven for the Knights.

"We expended a lot of energy (with the comeback)," Roise said. "But give Red River credit, they played great defense at the end. We weren't even able to get into our offensive sets."

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