Red River boys basketball rediscovers offense in overtime to hold off Central

Red River scores 10 of the first 11 points in overtime to squash Central comeback

Grand Forks Red River's Reis Rowekamp attempts a 3-pointer while Grand Forks Central's Jack Simmers defends on Feb. 3, 2023, in the Red River gym.
Michael Bogert / Special to the Herald

GRAND FORKS — For much of Grand Forks Red River's rivalry game against Grand Forks Central on Friday night, the balance of the scoring trio of Reis Rowekamp, Zachary Kraft and Pearce Parks kept the Roughriders' offense humming.

In the last four and a half minutes of regulation, however, the Red River offense was out of sorts and the Riders didn't make a single field goal in that stretch as the Knights came roaring back.

Fortunately for the Riders, the big three came out firing again in overtime.

Rowekamp, Kraft and Parks accounted for 10 of the first 11 points in the extra session as Red River held off Central 75-67 in the Red River gym.

Rowekamp, a 6-foot-4 senior, finished with 24 points and was 4-for-7 from beyond the arc. His 3-pointer with 1:26 left in overtime to stretch the Red River lead from four to seven was likely the dagger for the Knights.


"Reis, lately, has done a good job getting to the basket but his perimeter (shooting) hasn't quite been there," Red River coach Kirby Krefting said. "But once he hits one or two, he'll get a few more. I'm proud of the way he played."

Rowekamp's overtime heroics wiped out what was otherwise a remarkable comeback for the Knights.

Red River led 58-50 with 4:47 left in regulation when Kraft scored in transition. But Central's strong 6-4 post Erick Paye muscled his way to three straight buckets inside including an emphatic dunk to cut the Red River lead to 58-56 with 2:13 left.

Grand Forks Central's Erick Paye dunks against Grand Forks Red River on Feb. 3, 2023, in the Red River gym.
Michael Bogert / Special to the Herald

After Kraft hit two free throws to stretch the lead back to four with two minutes to go, Central's Jack Simmers hit two clutch baskets. Simmers hit a 3-pointer with 1:20 left to bring Central within 60-59.

Simmers, a 6-0 junior guard, then hit a mid-range turnaround to give Central its first lead since 2-0. His basket with 30 seconds left gave the Knights a 61-60 edge.

With 9 seconds left, Kraft was fouled on a drive. He hit his first free throw to the game at 61, but his second foul shot misfired. Central advanced the ball to halfcourt and called a timeout 5.4 seconds remaining.

Central never had a chance for the game-winning basket as Red River deflected a pass to the interior in the final seconds and the buzzer sounded with the ball still loose on the floor.

For Red River, Parks and Kraft each had 17 to complement Rowekamp. Logan Arason added nine and Carter Byron had eight.


Paye led Central with 19, while Cole Wilber had 13, Jack Simmer 10 and Leo Strandell and Ross Wilber both had nine.

"At halftime, we had missed so many shots so to be down (31-23) I said it could be a lot worse," Central coach Dan Carlson said. "I told them we have a chance now. They bought in to that. Possession by possession they got stops. Ross hit some shots and Jack hit some. Defensively, we were solid and that kept us in it and allowed us to make that run at the end.

"In overtime, they had the momentum. We couldn't get anything going and couldn't get the bucket to draw it closer. They hit free throws down the stretch, too."

GF Red River 76, GF Central 67

Halftime: GFRR 31, GFC 23

GFC – Erick Paye 19, Cole Wilber 13, Jack Simmers 10, Leo Strandell 9, Ross Wilber 9, Noah Lund 4, Kendall Kjonaas 3

GFRR – Reis Rowekamp 24, Pearce Parks 17, Zac Kraft 17, Logan Arason 9, Carter Byron 8

Grand Forks Red River's Zachary Kraft drives to the hoop against Grand Forks Central on Feb. 3, 2023, in the Red River gym.
Michael Bogert / Special to the Herald

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

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.
What To Read Next
Get Local


Must Reads