EGF teams renewing basketball rivalry

Only a few miles separate the East Grand Forks Senior High and Sacred Heart high schools. In boys basketball, however, the time separation has been years.

Only a few miles separate the East Grand Forks Senior High and Sacred Heart high schools. In boys basketball, however, the time separation has been years.

That ends tonight. Weather permitting, Sacred Heart plays at East Grand Forks Senior High at 7:30. It will be the teams' first meeting between since the 2011-12 season, when Senior High beat the Eagles 53-21.

Why the intracity game ended, neither school's athletic director doesn't know.

"It was before our time,'' Senior High athletic director Scott Koberinski said. "Sacred Heart wanted to play us last year but our schedule was already full. The two coaches wanted to play the game this year and we were looking for games.

"I don't know what's transpired in the past. But I think playing each other is a good thing. It's two local teams. Even though we play in different classes, I think it draws interest. We already play each other in volleyball, softball, baseball and girls basketball. I think there's a bit of a rivalry.''


Sacred Heart is the smaller of the two schools. But the Eagles have more than held their own.

Sacred Heart beat the Green Wave in volleyball this fall. In the 2015-16 school year, the Eagles won the intracity matchup in softball, volleyball and girls basketball, while Senior High beat Sacred Heart in baseball.

Still, Sacred Heart athletic director Tom Crummy said, "I don't know if you can call them (Green Wave) the underdog when we play.''

Knights hurting

Grand Forks Central is trying to bounce back after a winless 2015-16 boys basketball season. That effort is being hampered by health issues.

Senior Aaron Knutson, last season's leading scorer and rebounder, is sidelined with mononucleosis. Debyn Johnson, the third-leading scorer last season, has been slowed by an ankle injury. Both have had minimal practice time; neither is expected back for at least a few weeks.

In addition, Jake Grochowski (back) hasn't been available.

"It definitely makes it difficult for now,'' Central coach Dan Carlson said. "Those guys are a major part of what we hope to do. But those are things out of our control. You just have to deal with it. But our issue last year was our inability to score and this takes some of our top scorers out of the lineup.''


In a season-opening loss to Turtle Mountain on Saturday, the Knights did get 21 points from Jacob Ohnstad as well as six points and 15 rebounds from Michael Nelson.

"When those kids who are out are some of your leading scorers, you have to find other spots where the points will come from,'' Carlson said. "In the long run, we'll be a deeper team. It will give other kids opportunities to step up.''

Balance in Sertoma

Grand Forks Central hosts the annual Sertoma dual wrestling tournament Friday and Saturday. Determining the opening round was a task for Central coach Jeff Welsh.

"We try to arrange the first round so that the eight or so teams we figure have the best chance of reaching the final eight aren't matched up,'' Welsh said. "This year that was tough to do because, realistically, there are 11 or 12 teams with a legitimate chance to be in the championship quarterfinals.

"I think we have one of the more competitive first-round matchups, but there are probably four of those.''

The Knights wrestle Badger-Greenbush-Middle River at 4:30 p.m. Friday, while Red River meets defending champion Bismarck Century in a 3 p.m. first-round match. "We want a stronger match,'' Welsh said. "The last thing I'd look at is what might benefit us as far as (an easy) win.''

What To Read Next
Get Local