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BOYS BASKETBALL: Davies handles Red River

FARGO - On a mission to win its ninth straight game, the Fargo Davies boys basketball team didn't leave much up to chance Tuesday night. The Eagles led beginning to end in an 85-70 Eastern Dakota Conference victory against Grand Forks Red River a...

FARGO – On a mission to win its ninth straight game, the Fargo Davies boys basketball team didn’t leave much up to chance Tuesday night.

The Eagles led beginning to end in an 85-70 Eastern Dakota Conference victory against Grand Forks Red River at Davies High School.

“We knew if we could jump out against Red River early it would help us,” said Davies senior guard Collin Larson, who is committed to play college basketball at Concordia. “We came out with a lot of energy and everybody was making their shots.”

Larson finished with 21 points to lead the Eagles (9-1, 8-1 EDC).

Davies – ranked No. 4 in Class A – remains in second place in the EDC standings with the victory.

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The Eagles seized control early hitting plenty of mid-range jump shots.

Davies senior guard Austin Schultz connected for six of Davies’ 17 field goals in the first half and finished the game with 19 points.

“We talked about being aggressive offensively and look for the open guy,” Davies head coach Bart Manson said. “Red River has a lot of size. They are long, so you have to create space and look for opportunities to score. We just made shots in the first half, and that was nice to see. More importantly, we took good shots. We are starting to get more comfortable out there and we are continuing to develop our identity.”

Red River got to within five points of the Eagles with four minutes, 45 seconds left in the first half when senior center Bryce Bommersbach hit a jumper to make it 29-24.

Davies answered with a 15-3 run to close out the first half fueled by 3-pointers from Larson and junior guard Connor Rayl.

The Eagles led 44-27 at halftime.

Red River (4-4, 4-3 EDC) was plagued by turnovers the entire game and committed 10 in the first half.

“We had way too many turnovers,” Red River head coach Jason Gregory said. “We didn’t execute on offense and Davies got any shot they wanted to take. We knew they could score, but we didn’t want to give them 85. I thought if we could hold them in the 70s we would have been OK, but we just played too inconsistent.”

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Red River was without injured starter junior forward Carson Dennis. Gregory said the team has had an up and down year with its lineup due to injuries and illness.

Sophomore guard Mark Toe led the Roughriders with 18 points – all scored off the bench.

Davies started the second half on an 8-0 run and at one point led by 30 points, but Red River cut that margin in half twice, including the final score.

Sophomore guard Matthew Veit added 14 points for the Eagles and senior forward Erik Engel finished with 12.

Davies hosts No. 3-ranked Wahpeton 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Wahpeton defeated Davies 61-49 in the season opener for both teams.

“I think we are a little bit different from the first time they saw us,” Manson said. “Of course they are a very good team so we’ll have a tough one Friday. We were playing a lot of kids at the beginning of the year to try to find out who could play and what their roles might be.”

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