Rider golfers closing in on Shanley
Even when Grand Forks Red River’s golfers finally caught Fargo Shanley, Red River couldn’t beat the Deacons.
Shanley won every Eastern Dakota Conference regular-season meet; Red River was second in each. At Monday’s East Region meet, Shanley and Red River tied for first place, but Shanley won the tiebreaker of better score by its No. 5 golfer.
“The frustrating part was that we left the course not feeling that we played our best,’’ Red River coach Eric Sanders said. “But the closer we are to them, the better prepared we are for the next time we meet.’’
There’s one last meeting, when the North Dakota Class A girls high school state meet will be held Monday and Tuesday in Wahpeton. While Shanley has been the power in the EDC, Bismarck Century returns a veteran group from last season’s state championship team. Red River’s attention isn’t on either of those teams.
“If we focus on beating somebody else, we won’t play our best,’’ Sanders said. “It’s all about controlling the things we can control, to play our best. We are playing well right now.’’
Red River is led by seniors Lily Bredemeier and Lexi Laframboise. Bredemeier won a playoff to repeat as medalist at the regional and is a two-time top-10 placer at state.
“Lily has won two of our last three meets,’’ Sanders said. “She’s hitting the ball as well as anybody and she’s hitting clutch putts. Lexi has made some adjustments and she’s hitting as well as she has all year. And she has a great short game.’’
Braelyn Liang and Lydia Weippert have been Red River’s other most consistent scorers.
Central misses state
Grand Forks Central will have three individual qualifiers at the state golf tournament. But the Knights missed out on one of the region’s six state berths as a team. Central tied for sixth at the regional, but lost the tiebreaker.
“After getting fourth and fifth in meets all year, it was a big disappointment,’’ Knights coach Nathan Olson said.
Clara Hanson, Sydney Hanson and Chloe Haakenson qualified for state individually. Clara Hanson, who finished seventh in EDC in scoring average, is Central’s top qualifier. “Clar’s goal is to place in the top 15,’’ Olson said. “That’s a legitimate goal.’’
GF teams get top 2 seeds
Grand Forks Red River will be the No. 1 seed and Central the No. 1 at the East Region boys dual tennis tournament Thursday in Fargo.
Red River is undefeated, while defending state champion Central’s lone loss was to the Roughriders. But the change in format, from six singles and three doubles to a 3-2 lineup, could affect things in a balanced field.
“When you go to a 3-2, some teams get better,’’ GFC coach Max Weisser said. “If you have a couple of standouts, it gives you more room to be creative with your lineup. There are 5-6 teams that legitimately could get to state.’’
Both Grand Forks teams have their own standouts. It’s possible that, between Red River’s Kaden Johnson and Koby Kuenzel and Central’s Gary Wu and Logan Sandberg, Grand Forks could have four of the top five seeds in the singles regional.
“Those four will be right up there,’’ Riders coach Greg LaDouceur said. “We’ve had that in the past, but I wouldn’t say it happens frequently.’’