Greater Grand Forks high school notebook: Central's Jones climbs in wrestling poll

Erik Jones was a fourth-place finisher in the 2010 North Dakota Class A state wrestling tournament. It took a big tournament to vault the Grand Forks Central junior into second place in the coaches' poll this season.

Erik Jones was a fourth-place finisher in the 2010 North Dakota Class A state wrestling tournament. It took a big tournament to vault the Grand Forks Central junior into second place in the coaches' poll this season.

Jones is ranked second at 145 pounds in the Class A state poll, which came out this week. In the season's first two polls, Jones was ranked fifth at his weight class.

The big jump, Central coach Matt Berglund said, is because of how well Jones did at the Bismarck Rotary tournament earlier this month. The Rotary is one of the state's biggest tournaments; Jones finished third in the tournament at 140 and was the second-highest finisher among Class A entrants at the weight.

"The first two polls, you take them with a grain of salt," Berglund said. "It's the third one, which is pretty much based on the Rotary, that's the big one.

"Almost every team in the state is at the Rotary. It's a good measuring stick of everybody."


Jones is 21-1 this season, with his lone loss to top-ranked Drew Spaulding of Bismarck in the Rotary semifinal round. Jones has beaten some of the best -- he has a win against third-ranked Pat Tangen of Dickinson and two wins against No. 4 Peter Saintal of Fargo North.

While the success at the Rotary boosted Jones in the poll, the tournament wasn't all good. "Erik suffered an upper-body injury in a wrestleback match," Berglund said. "He still won two matches in the tournament after he got hurt. But he hasn't wrestled since."

Four other Grand Forks wrestlers have top-four spots in the latest poll. Central's Bryce Fish and Kaccee Morin are third at 140 and 152, respectively. Red River's top-ranked individual is Keaton Hanevold, who is third at 189.

The Roughriders' Billy Rerick is fourth at 140.

Something big in EGF

The East Grand Forks intracity boys basketball rivalry will be a matchup of similar teams.

Senior High plays host to Sacred Heart on Friday. Both teams look to the post for a lot of points. For the Green Wave, 6-foot-6 freshman Jim Warmack averages 13.8 points and 6-6 Nathan Carlson 12.5. Sacred Heart's 1-2 punch in the post is 6-7 Brett MacLeod (12.9 ppg) and 6-4 Austin LeTexier (10.8 ppg).

"The post play is huge," Eagles coach Joe Wasfaret said. "That's where we're both reliant for a lot of points."


Senior High has dominated the series in recent years. But this will be the second meeting this season, with the Green Wave managing a 39-28 win in the first game.

"We only lost by 11 and we played a horrible game," Wasfaret said. "We have to make the layups and the free throws that we missed the first time. We know they'll play tough defense."

GFC fit to be tied

Grand Forks Central has finished with ties in two of its last three boys hockey games, 3-3 to Devils Lake and 4-4 to Grafton-Park River, the latter a game in which the Knights rallied from a 4-2 deficit.

The ties are a good news-bad news situation for Central in its bid to catch East Region leader West Fargo.

"We at least got a point in each game," Central coach Tony Bina said. "But you get a tie and it doesn't separate yourself from the rest of the pack. It means that the next time we play those teams, we need a win and the two points to get that separation.

"This might be one of the most even East Regions I've seen in quite a while. We have six or seven teams that will be right up there at the regional."

Bina said the Knights could get anywhere from a first to a sixth seed. In the next few weeks, starting with a home game Tuesday against West Fargo, the Knights' schedule includes games against Grafton-Park River, Grand Forks Red River and Fargo North. "How we're seeded all depends on how we perform," Bina said.


Wave are hurting

East Grand Forks Senior High can clinch no less than a tie for the Gambucci Cup if the Green Wave beat Grand Forks Red River on Thursday in Grand Forks.

But the bid for the Cup, which goes to the top boys hockey team in Greater Grand Forks, will be tougher for the Wave because of injuries. Leading scorer Zack Lawdermilt (12 goals, 14 assists) and standout defenseman Gage Ausmus (3 goals, 5 assists) both have been out with injuries. Their return is unknown.

Without that duo, the Wave have been limited to one goal in three of their last four games.

"Those are big losses," Senior High co-coach Cory Chupka said. "Zack is an impact player and Gage is a playmaker from the back.

"We've been playing some tough competition lately. You go with what you have. We just need a couple of guys to capitalize when the scoring opportunities are there."

Senior High and GF Central both are 2-1 in Cup play, while Red River is 0-2. Senior High and Central both could win the Cup outright, while Red River still has a shot at tying for first place.

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