AREA NOTEBOOK: Red River has beaten Central 12 straight times in boys basketball
Dan Carlson has been on both ends of the Grand Forks boys basketball rivalry. In his first two seasons as Grand Forks Central's head coach, Carlson picked up wins in five of the six games his Knights played Red River. Since then, however, the Rou...
Dan Carlson has been on both ends of the Grand Forks boys basketball rivalry.
In his first two seasons as Grand Forks Central's head coach, Carlson picked up wins in five of the six games his Knights played Red River. Since then, however, the Roughriders are on a 12-game winning streak against Carlson and the Knights.
"It definitely bothers us, without a doubt," Carlson said of the intracity losing streak. "In the big picture, it's just another game. A loss is a loss. But this is the big game, the rivalry.
"Red River has had some good teams. But we've had our chances to win some close games with them. Those (losses) eat at you."
The rivalry resumes Thursday in a doubleheader at Central High School. The Grand Forks boys teams play at 5:45 p.m., followed by the Central-Red River girls game.
Red River coach Jason Gregory can't relate to Carlson's angst. Gregory has coached the Roughriders since the 2007-08 season; he's 12-0 against the Knights.
"I've never really thought about it," Gregory said. "I'm sure it would bother me if we started losing to them. Losing 12 straight to anybody would bother you.
"Obviously, there is some luck involved in that streak. We've played some close games. One play can make the difference, and we've been able to execute and make those plays."
Three of the wins in the Riders' current winning streak were determined by five or fewer points. The other nine were wins by 10 or more points.
Thursday figures to be a close game. Entering the weekend, Red River had a 4-1 record, the one loss by two points. Central was 3-2, with both setbacks by two points.
Red River has had the dominant scorer with Chad Bartosh (24 ppg), with Shayden Keplin averaging 10.8 points. Central has four double-figure scorers in Jake Mussman (18 ppg), Treion Davis (13.4 ppg), Jaylon Butler (13.2 ppg) and 3-point specialist Jack Wavra (10.6 ppg).
"Offensively, we're better than we have been," Carlson said. "That's what has propelled us. We'll have to deal with Red River's length and athleticism, and Bartosh is as good as anybody in our conference. And we haven't done a real good job of slowing the dominant scorers we've faced."
GF teams short on experience
The Grand Forks girls basketball teams have a lot in common.
"We match up pretty well," first-year Knights head coach D.J. Burris said. "We're both small in size. We both play a lot of guard types. Experience-wise, it's about the same. We're both pretty young and inexperienced."
Central lost its first four games, only once scoring more than 47 points. Lindsey Shimpa (9.8 ppg) and Angelica Medrano (7.3 ppg) lead the Knights. Central is without post player Jess Longtin, who has suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Red River, 3-3 entering the weekend, has won the last four intracity games. The Roughriders have shown a little more offensive punch, averaging 58.3 points with Callie Carlson (10.8 ppg) and Jennifer Trader (9.5 ppg) leading the way.
"Offensively, we aren't real consistent," Red River coach Kent Ripplinger said. "Central probably says the same thing about itself. So it is as simple as: Can we go out and defend and rebound. The team that does that takes the pressure off the offense."
Another dual event
Most North Dakota Class A regular-season wrestling tournaments have individual formats, with brackets for each weight class. But Grand Forks slants towards the dual matchups.
In December, Central hosts the annual Sertoma dual tournament. And, on Friday and Saturday, Red River hosts its annual dual multiple. Every Class A team except Bismarck Century, Bismarck St. Mary's, Fargo Davies, Jamestown and Valley City is scheduled to participate.
Why are Grand Forks wrestling events both in dual formats? "I have no idea," Red River coach Bruce Moe said. "They've been around longer than I have.
"I think there is a lot of interest in duals. You always have some good matches going on. Fans are interested in those."
Competition begins at 3 p.m. Friday and at 9 a.m. Saturday. The big dual will match defending state champion West Fargo against Bismarck at 6 p.m. Friday in a rematch of last season's state dual final, won 31-26 by the Packers.
"It should be a very close dual," Moe said. "There will be quite a few head-to-head matches against high-ranked kids."