N.D. CLASS A STATE BOYS BASKETBALL: Red River advances with 73-57 win
FARGO -- Grand Forks Red River may have come out a little too anxious on defense Thursday. The Roughriders eventually found the right dose of pressure to post a 73-57 win over Bismarck St. Mary's during the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class...
FARGO -- Grand Forks Red River may have come out a little too anxious on defense Thursday.
The Roughriders eventually found the right dose of pressure to post a 73-57 win over Bismarck St. Mary's during the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class A state boys basketball tournament at the Fargodome.
"Our defense really settled down," Red River coach Jason Gregory said. "We quit gambling, we started rebounding and we got back on defense and quit giving up layups."
"We defended well in the half-court set and limited them to one shot for the most part, which enabled us to get running on the other end."
Red River (21-2) advances to play West Region top-seeded Mandan in the semifinals at 1 p.m. today.
St. Mary's got off to a good start and matched Red River step for step on offense in the first half. Scott Nagel led the way for the Saints early on scoring 12 of his 16 points in the first half. Red River led 38-34 at halftime.
After the break, the Roughriders simplified its defense and clamped down on the Saints. St. Mary's was held to 23 points in the second half, which sealed the win for Red River.
"We played good in the second half and picked it up defensively," Red River senior Mack Arvidson said. "It feels pretty good to get past the first round, which our team hasn't done in a while so it's good to break that streak."
Arvidson, a Mr. Basketball finalist, finished with 15 points and 16 rebounds.
Red River's Mac Kroeplin led all scorers with 22 points and added seven rebounds.
"We knew it was going to be a physical game and I think our defense slowed them down," Kroeplin said. "It was all about defense in this one."
Gregory said the defensive theme will carry over into today's semifinals matchup with the Braves.
"The big thing will be how we defend and rebound," Gregory said. "They are a big strong, physical team and we'll have to be able to contest their shots."
St. Mary's (14-9) plays West Fargo at noon today in the consolation semifinals at the Bison Sports Arena.