Paine Parks got a start Tuesday due to a teammate’s injury. The Grand Forks Red River sophomore took advantage of the opportunity.
Parks had a team-high 13 points and made key plays in a crucial Grand Forks Red River run. That helped the Roughriders to a 63-54 boys high school basketball win against visiting Grand Forks Central.
Parks was in the starting lineup when teammate Will Obioha was unavailable due to some soreness in his knee.
“We rested Will and Paine started and was a big factor,’’ Red River coach Kirby Krefting said.
The key-factor time was late in the first half. Central was within 25-24 after Caden Fultz hit a basket with 3:53 remaining before intermission.
But Red River pulled away by closing the first half with 12 unanswered points.
Bryce Enerson hit two free throws to start the run. Parks followed with a basket off a drive, then the sophomore hit a 3-pointer from the wing. A Parks steal led to an Enerson putback basket. After a late Central turnover, Kobe Springer completed the run with a 3-pointer with two seconds left in the half.
“That run definitely got the momentum going for us,’’ Krefting said. “Paine made some big plays. He’s a pretty even-keeled kid. The (rivalry-game pressure) doesn’t bother him.’’
Red River’s last three possessions -- and eight points -- of the half came off Central turnovers.
“We were doing fine up to that point,’’ said Central coach Dan Carlson, whose team was scoreless on its last six first-half possessions. “You score on a couple of those possessions and it’s not a bad situation. And we hadn’t been turning the ball over a lot up to that point.
“But things happened pretty quickly.’’
Parks got the first basket of the second half to put the Riders up 39-24. Red River maintained a lead ranging from 13 to 19 points until the final 1:40, when Central closed the game on a 9-0 run to pull close.
But that was the only run of more than five points in the second half for the Knights as Red River repeatedly was able to answer a Central basket with one of its own.
“We were more patient on offense,’’ Krefting said. “We played fast but we limited our turnovers. The kids played for the higher percentage shots today.’’
Enerson added 12 points and Brady Dvorak scored 11 in the balanced offense for the 12-5 Roughriders.
Ben Hoverson had 16 points to lead Central, with Alex Barbot adding 11 and Mason Gravseth 10.
“Red River got the pace it wanted,’’ Carlson said. “They got us stuck in that patient offense. We needed to get out a little more in transition.’’
The loss dropped the Knights to 6-11.