Sacred Heart continues unbeaten season with win over Warren-Alvarado-Oslo

Sam Gapp scores 27 to spark 72-65 victory.

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Sacred Heart's (from left) Sam Gapp, Isaac Zavoral, Kobe Tomkinson, Josiah Sundby and Zach Martin react as Tomkinson is fouled after scoring in the first half Tuesday, January 11, 2022 at Sacred Heart.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald<br/>
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EAST GRAND FORKS — When your team is 11-0, you've found all sorts of ways to win.

For East Grand Forks Sacred Heart on Tuesday night, that was surviving an opponent's 22-2 run.

The Eagles, led by Sam Gapp's 27 points, survived the Warren-Alvarado-Olso spurt late in the first half en route to a 72-65 win over the Ponies in the Sacred Heart gym.

"It's a big accomplishment," Sacred Heart coach Destry Sterkel said of his team's unbeaten record. "It's incredible. We've played hard teams. It feels like we're 30-0 with all the work we've done. It's all about staying in the moment and focusing on how I can be better today than I was yesterday."

After the Ponies' 22-2 run in the first half that turned a 25-11 deficit into a 33-27 advantage, the teams traded leads eight times early in the second half.


But Sacred Heart pulled away in the final three minutes — keyed by its role players.

Leading 61-56, 6-foot-4 senior center Zach Martin made a physical move inside, which was quickly followed by a steal and finish by Sacred Heart 5-foot-6 sophomore point guard Josiah Sundby, whose left-handed finish gave the Eagles a nine-point advantage with 2:50 left in the game.

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Sacred Heart's Josiah Sundby dribbles around Warren/Alvarado/Oslo defenders Tuesday at Sacred Heart.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald<br/>

"They played great," Sacred Heart senior Kobe Tomkinson said of the role players. "Josiah was bringing the ball up and handling the pressure with ease and Isaac Zavoral came in off the bench and had like five steals."

The Ponies dropped to 8-4. Junior forward Tyson Mortimer finished with 23 points, while senior guard Gavin Gullikson ended with 14 points. Junior 6-6 center Jackson Woinarowicz added 10 points.

"(Warren-A-O) will be competing for the subsection championship," Sterkel said. "They're talented. They're no slouch, and it's going to be even harder to head over to Warren in a couple of weeks."

Gapp, an athletic 6-1 senior, scored both inside and out en route to a game-high 27 points. Tomkinson and Martin each scored 12 points, while Ethan Arntson had 10.

"They were more physical," Warren-A-O coach Christian Erickson said. "I felt like they outrebounded us and the loose balls went their way."

The Eagles will be tested again Thursday night when they host Northern Freeze.


"(The players) are excited," Sterkel said. "They bring the energy to practice. They're unselfish. These seniors went 14-13 as sophomores and 10-10 last year and struggled a little bit. This is their moment. They're excited to take it and run. We have bigger goals than just being undefeated right now."

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Warren/Alvarado/Oslo's Jackson Woinarowicz shoots under the basket as Sacred Heart's Zach Martin defends Tuesday, January 11, 2022 at Sacred Heart.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald<br/>

EGF Sacred Heart 72,

Warren-A-O 65

Halftime: Sacred Heart 39, W-A-O 36

Warren-Alvarado-Oslo – Mortimer 23, Sedlacek 7, Gullikson 14, Schroeder 4, Woinarowicz 10, Steer 2, Pierce 5

Sacred Heart – Gapp 27, Zavoral 3, Sundby 2, Arntson 10, Erickson 3, Denney 4, Martin 12, Tomkinson 12

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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