Grand Forks Red River’s starting unit had a 35-25 scoring advantage over Grand Forks Central starters Tuesday.
The Roughriders’ second five almost outscored Central’s starters as well. Depth and defense led Red River to a 60-30 girls high school basketball win against Central.
The Roughriders used 10 players extensively in improving their record to 11-6. The second unit totaled 23 points.
“Our bench made a big impact,’’ Red River coach Kent Ripplinger said. “We have a good bench. They come in and get after it. Tonight we didn’t skip a beat with them. They can wear teams down.’’
The Rider reserves started a decisive second-half run.
Central was within striking distance at 34-22 after Haley Gereau made a field goal with 13:49 left. But Red River reserves scored 10 of the next 12 points. Kaylee Lancaster hit a pair of 3-point shots and Jade Azure scored three baskets from close range.
“Kaylee made Central go out and guard her on the perimeter when she knocked down a couple of threes,’’ Ripplinger said. “That opened things up for Jade. She’s hard to guard one-on-one down low.’’
After Central scored, Red River answered with a 14-0 run to build a 58-26 advantage and put away the win.
Red River’s depth advantage “is something we run up against all the time,’’ Knights coach D.J. Burris said. “It’s a big factor. They had kids coming off the bench and making big plays.’’
Turnovers also contributed to the outcome.
Central had 29 turnovers to Red River’s 14. Red River had a 30-10 advantage in points off turnovers.
“That’s the game right there,’’ Burris said. “We didn’t take care of the ball. And a lot of our turnovers were unforced.’’
Red River had 17 steals, with Shelby Frank getting three and five other players getting two apiece.
“Defensively we played well,’’ Ripplinger said. “We kept pressure on their ballhandlers. Eventually I think we wore them down with our harassing defense. Ella (Fosse), Claire (Leach) and Jocelyn (Schiller) are pretty pesky defenders out front.’’
Red River led only 26-15 at halftime, but pulled away with a 34-15 second-half scoring advantage.
“We got more aggressive on offense in the second half,’’ Ripplinger said. “We hit some threes and got some steals that led by basket. Those things get the energy going.’’
Jasmine Sondrol led Red River with 11 points, with Leach and Alex Page adding nine each. Azure’s eight points led the reserve unit.
Haley Gereau scored 11 points to lead 4-12 Central.