Boys basketball: Red River holds off frantic rally for win over Grand Forks Central
Three-point baskets sparked a frantic comeback by Grand Forks Central on Friday night.
In the end, however, two clutch treys allowed Grand Forks Red River to hang on and claim a 68-63 boys high school basketball win at Central High School.
Central was down 49-28 with 11:25 remaining. But the Knights, hitting seven 3-pointers the rest of the way, twice rallied to within one point. But first Bryce Enerson, then Brady Dvorak hit treys to extend the Roughriders' lead back to four.
"We didn't shoot well from behind the 3-point line for the game,'' said Red River coach Kirby Krefting, whose team was 5-of-17 on 3-point attempts. "But we hit some big ones at the end. Those are guys who have the green light. They're good shooters.
"It wasn't one big shot to win it. It was several big shots. Our boys showed poise.''
Central pulled to within 57-56 with 3:04 left on a Chris DeMuth trey. Enerson answered with a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
After Parker Brown scored a three to pull Central back to within 60-59, Dvorak sank a 3-pointer from the right baseline with 1:55 left. Cole Benson followed with a basket and Brett Klefstad hit a free throw for a 66-59 Riders lead with 56 seconds left.
Central rallied behind its 3-point shooting, as the Knights finished 13-of-23 from behind the line. Five Knights hit two or more 3-pointers.
"I didn't know if we had time to catch up,'' Central coach Dan Carlson said. "But when you're hitting threes like that, I guess you do. Almost.
"We've had games like that before where we've gotten hot. We said we had to get a bunch of threes. We moved the ball, got good looks and hit them.''
Even with the 21-point lead, Krefting said, "any time a team has shooters like (Central), you never feel comfortable.''
Central used a 14-0 run, highlighted by two Mason Love treys, to get within 49-42 with 7:05 left. Central kept whittling away at the Riders' lead until cutting it to one.
"Dvorak and Enerson hit two big shots,'' Carlson said. "If they miss even one of those, we felt we were in business. They (Roughriders) weren't hitting shots in the second half; that helped us get back. But they hit the big shots.''
Benson's 19 points led Red River, with Dvorak adding 16 and Klefstad 15.
Alex Barbot and Mason Gravseth each had 14 points to lead Central, with Gravseth also grabbing 12 rebounds. Brown and Love added 10 apiece.