Central upsets Red River at East Region tournament

The No. 8 seed Knights finished 15-for-28 from the 3-point line in knocking out the No. 4 Roughriders.

Grand Forks Central's Erick Paye eyes the basket against Grand Forks Red River's Zachary Kraft, Carter Byron and Logan Arason during elimination play the EDC boys high school basketball tournament at the Scheels Center on Thursday, March 3, 2022.
Dave Samson/Forum Communications

FARGO — With the season on the line, against a crosstown rival, Grand Forks Central put together perhaps its best shooting performance of the season.

The No. 8 seed Knights went 15-for-28 from 3-point range in knocking out No. 4 Grand Forks Red River 79-73 on Thursday in the consolation semifinals of the East Region tournament.

"We shot the ball well, probably the best we've shot all year," Central coach Dan Carlson said. "We've had ups and downs with that, but we had a number of guys today who hit shots."

Even 6-foot-3 sophomore center Erick Paye, known for bruising his way inside, helped out from the perimeter en route to an incredibly efficient performance.

Paye was 2-for-3 from long range on his way to a game-high 24 points. He was 10-for-11 from the floor. He added 16 rebounds.


Ross Wilber was 4-for-7 from the 3-point line to add 12 points, while Leo Strandell was 3-for-3 from 3-point range and Evan Whalen was 3-for-5 from deep.

Red River was led by Reis Rowekamp's 24 points. Zac Kraft added 17 points while post Carter Byron chipped in with 11.

Paine Parks, the seventh-leading scorer in the East Region at more than 17 points per game, finished with six points.

"I think we just really wanted to make them play longer possessions in halfcourt," Carlson said. "They run good sets, so we focused on taking away those sets and making them in halfcourt motion to force them to shoot tough shots."

Central now plays West Fargo in a state qualifier at 12:45 p.m. Saturday in Fargo.

"We've had our ups and downs, but we're a young team," Carlson said. "It's tough when you go through the EDC season and you have to fight through some adversity. They believe in themselves and what they can do. When you have some success, you can just build on it."

GF Central 79,GF Red River 73

Halftime: GF Central 32, Red River 30

Red River -- Reis Rowekamp 24, Zac Kraft 17, Carter Byron 11, Pearce Parks 7, Paine Parks 6, Gunnar Heuchert 5, Logan Arason 3


GF Central -- Erick Paye 24, Ross Wilber 12, Sam Strandell 11, Leo Strandell 11, Evan Whalen 11, Jack Simmers 6, Kendall Kjonaas 4

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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