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Grand Forks prep roundup: Riders roll past Valley City in girls basketball

Jade Azure leads Riders with 23 points

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Red River center Jade Azure (50) pushes through the Valley City defense for a rebound layup in the second half of Thursday's home basketball game. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

It was a big night for Grand Forks Red River’s Jade Azure. As a result, it was a big night for the Roughriders as well

Azure scored 23 points in leading Red River to an 80-51 win over Valley City on Thursday night in an Eastern Dakota Conference game in the Riders’ gym.

“Jade had a big night,” Red River coach Kent Ripplinger said. “She did a good job inside and we did a good job to find her.”

Azure tallied 10 field goals and three free throws while Red River duo Alex Page and Jocelyn Schiller each added 14 points as both also had two three-pointers.

Red River cruised to an early lead in the first half, at one point outscoring Valley City 16-2. The Roughriders kept the steady pace throughout the half to tally a 35-21 edge at halftime.

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Valley City showed some signs of life in the second half but couldn’t dig out of its double-digit hole against the Riders.

“We picked it up in the second half,” Ripplinger said. “Our guards were pretty effective and our half court defense was able to put some pressure on Valley City.”

Red River, which received votes in this week’s state Class A girls basketball poll, improved to 5-1 overall and will host West Fargo Sheyenne Friday night at 7:15 p.m.

Ripplinger was pleased with the overall Red River game.

We were able to knock down some shots,” said the Red River coach. “Our guards were pretty effective and our half court defense was able to put on some pressure. Anybody on any given night could lead us in scoring. I like the balance we have. I give a lot of credit for being able to find that person and take advantage of what we have.”

Schiller added a punch off the bench.

She’s our spark off the bench,” said Ripplinger. “She takes care of the ball well; she attacks the defense well. She adds some juice (nickname is Juice) to our game.”

Red River will play again Friday night against West Fargo Sheyenne.

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Davies downs KnightRiders

Fargo Davies scored twice in the first period en route to a 6-1 win over the Grand Forks KnightRiders on Thursday night in East Region girls hockey.

“We played fantastic for 17 minutes against a very talented team,” said Grand Forks coach Alex Hedlund. “We got down at the end of the first, and weren’t able to bounce back. We will learn from this and continue to get better every day.”

Kylie Autrey and Sage Kracke opened the scoring for Davies.

Emily Becker scored for Grand Forks, which received 30 saves in goal from Kaylee Baker.

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