N.D. EAST REGION BOYS BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT: Schreiner's late basket lifts Red River to win
Luke Schreiner spun Grand Forks Red River into the East Region boys basketball tournament semifinals. The sophomore used a slick spin move to free himself for the game-winning layup he scored with three seconds remaining in a 72-70 victory agains...
Luke Schreiner spun Grand Forks Red River into the East Region boys basketball tournament semifinals.
The sophomore used a slick spin move to free himself for the game-winning layup he scored with three seconds remaining in a 72-70 victory against Devils Lake on Thursday at the Alerus Center.
"I didn't think I would get that open," said Schreiner, who finished with a team-high 17 points. "I thought after I beat my defender I was going to look to kick the ball, but there was no one there."
Red River plays No. 1 seed West Fargo at 6 tonight in the semifinals. The winner earns a berth to the North Dakota state Class A tournament. Devils Lake plays Valley City at 2:30 p.m. in a loser-out game.
"How we respond is going to dictate our season," Devils Lake coach David Bitz said. "We have to come out as champions."
In a game that saw 21 lead changes and 10 ties, the Firebirds tied the score at 70 with 26 seconds to play after Jordan Mertens scored in the paint. Red River called timeout with 10 seconds remaining before taking the ball out near the midcourt stripe. The Roughriders tossed the ball into Schreiner in the backcourt.
The 5-foot-7 guard dribbled the ball to the foul-line area and then used a quick spin move to separate himself from a Devils Lake defender. Schreiner finished the play with a layup, giving the Roughriders a 72-70 lead.
"He just made a heck of a play at the end," Bitz said.
"I kind of felt it was going to come down to the end," Red River coach Jason Gregory added. "I was just happy we had the ball at the end."
B.J. Mertens paced Devils Lake with a game-high 20 points.
West Fargo 76, Valley City 31: An unlikely offensive weapon helped No. 1 seed West Fargo cruise to victory in the first round of the tournament.
Reserve guard Eric Driscoll poured in a career-high 17 points in the Packers' victory against Valley City.
"I kind of surprised myself a little, especially on the big stage like the (East Region)," said Driscoll, whose previous career high was four points. "When you get a chance like that, you always want to play as well as you can."
Driscoll made 7-of-8 shots from the field, including 3-for-3 shooting from 3-point range.
The 6-foot junior scored 14 of his game-high point total in the second half. Entering Thursday, Driscoll had 19 points this season as he had appeared in 16 games.
"It's a lot of fun when you see guys step up and they play a notch above what they did all season," West Fargo coach Greg Limke said of Driscoll.
West Fargo pulled away with a 16-0 run late in the first half. Senior Seth Dye sparked that rally with seven points, including a 3-pointer. The 6-foot-5 forward ended with 16 points and scored 12 of those in the first half.
Jon Reznecheck capped the key West Fargo rally, hitting two foul shots with 34 seconds remaining in the first half. The Packers led 39-12 at that point and would take a 25-point lead into halftime.
West Fargo shot 59 percent from the field in the first half, including 5-for-10 shooting from 3-point range.
"For the most part we moved the ball very well and that led to opportunities," Limke said. "I liked the unselfishness we showed. When you take good shots, it usually leads to shooting a good percentage."
Derek Elliott paced the Hi-Liners with 10 points. Joe Bruenjes added seven points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
Fargo North 70, Fargo Shanley 60: A change in mindset midway through the second half helped No. 2 seed Fargo North avoid the upset in the first round of the region tournament.
The Spartans scored a string of 10 consecutive second-half points to forge back into the lead en route to their 10-point win against Fargo Shanley.
"Shanley, they were hitting some tough shots and our defense didn't come out as intense as we needed," said North guard Jordan May, who scored a game-high 31 points. "Toward the end of the second half, we started playing ball."
Shanley took a 45-41 lead with 11 minutes, 53 seconds to play in the second half after Eric Jagim hit a 5-foot jumper in the middle of the paint.
"I thought we played defense, we took care of the basketball and we hit some shots," Shanley coach Leon Knodel said.
The Spartans took control after Jagim's hoop, countering with the next 10 points that started a 19-3 surge, which proved to be the difference.
North senior reserve Joel Finger scored four key points at the start of that game-changing stretch. May nailed a 15-foot pull-up jumper from the left wing that staked the Spartans to a 46-45 lead with 9:35 to play. North didn't trail from that point.
"Coach told us we need to play with intensity and passion and that is what changed at the end," said May, referring to North coach Dan Shultis.
North junior Zac Akers sank two free throws with 5:17 to play, staking the Spartans to a 60-48 lead. Those points capped the 19-3 run.
"We can't have a gap at that point of the game in scoring like we did," Knodel said. "North finished us off down the stretch."
Fargo South 73, Wahpeton 63: Dustin Herrmann and Jordan Allard combined for 52 points to lead the Bruins into the semifinals.
"Those two guys are men and we don't match up with them at all," Wahpeton coach Jeff Ralph said. "They killed us inside, which they should. I was proud of our kids. I thought we really played hard tonight."
A 6-foot-4 post, Herrmann finished with a game-high 28 points, hitting 10-of-17 shots from the field. Most of his points came in the paint.
A 6-6 forward, Allard added 24 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots. "When there are two big guys going inside, they have to decide which one are they going to cover," said Herrmann, who also grabbed eight rebounds.
Herrmann scored 16 points in the second half, helping the Bruins protect a seven-point halftime lead.
Wahpeton never led in the second half.
"We knew that is what we wanted to do," South coach Mike Hendrickson said of getting the ball inside. "I'm happy we got the ball to Herrmann like we talked about."