GREENBUSH, Minn.—Jake Taggart has been the early-season scoring leader for Badger-Greenbush-Middle River. The Gators, however, aren't reliant on any one or two players for big point production. When Taggart managed only two points in a game last week, the Gators still had a season-high 79 points in a win against Red Lake County. "We've had really good balance,'' B-G-MR boys high school basketball coach Kent Christian said. "We've had different guys step up every night.
East Grand Forks Senior High had scored more than six goals in three of its first eight games this season. On Saturday, the Green Wave had six in the second period alone. In a matchup of two of the top-ranked teams in Minnesota Class A boys hockey, No. 5 Senior High rolled to a 7-1 win over No. 3 Alexandria at the East Grand Forks Civic Center. A dominant second period was the impetus as the Wave rolled past a veteran Alexandria team that was runner-up in last season's state tournament. The second period was Senior High's largest one-period outburst of the season.
From the field, it was a slight advantage for the Grand Forks Red River girls basketball team. But, Red River coach Kent Ripplinger said, "It's hard to guard the free-throw line.'' Visiting Devils Lake High School had a big advantage in free throws as the Firebirds scored a 78-67 win Friday. Devils Lake had 42 free-throw attempts. The Firebirds made 34—20 more free throws than Red River made. "We usually get to the line quite a bit,'' Devils Lake coach Justin Klein said. "But 42 attempts—that's probably double what we normally get.
Kara Ellis and Aleah Hangsleben had combined to score one goal in East Grand Forks Senior High's first 11 games. On Thursday, each scored a goal in a 61-second span. That third-period outburst lifted the Green Wave to a 2-1 girls high school hockey win over visiting Thief River Falls. "We've been talking about needing other girls to step up, that we can't rely on the same few people scoring all the time,'' Wave coach Brian Larson said. "It was nice to see two girls without many points step up and score.''
ROSEAU, Minn.—Few, if any, Minnesota girls basketball teams start the season with a one-two punch comparable to Roseau with sisters Kacie and Katie Borowicz. What develops in an otherwise new look lineup could well determine if Roseau High School can win its fifth consecutive Section 8AA championship. Besides the Borowicz sisters, both of whom were all-state selections last season, the only players back with any extensive varsity experience are Julia Braaten and Emma Waling. The two were reserves on last season's Class AA state runner-up team.
Roseau returns two all-staters from last season's Minnesota Class AA state runner-up girls basketball team in sisters Katie and Kacie Borowicz. Grand Forks Red River graduated only two players from last season's 18-8 team. The Roughriders' depth and experience had the advantage Saturday. Red River opened its season with a 90-71 win against the visiting Rams.
Brady Dvorak's primary role a year ago was playmaker. The junior is still the point guard and main ballhandler for the Grand Forks Red River High School boys basketball team. But Dvorak was a finisher as well as a passer Saturday. Dvorak scored a career-high 28 points, leading the Roughriders to a 78-45 win against visiting Roseau in the season opener for both teams. Dvorak's scoring was well above the 6.6-point average he finished with last season, when he also averaged 4.5 assists as the Red River point guard.
A 16-for-25 performance at the free-throw line wasn't up to what Grafton coach Laurie Sieben hoped her girls basketball team would be shooting. What the Spoilers lacked in consistency, however, they made up for with timeliness. Grafton made 3-of-4 free throws in the final 36 seconds to hold off Sacred Heart High School and claim a 69-68 road win Thursday. "That's not good enough,'' Sieben said of the 64 percent free-throw accuracy. "But we hit free throws when we needed them. They pulled it together at the end.''
Crookston showed good balance in its season-opening girls basketball game Tuesday. At crunch time, however, Emma Borowicz was the go-to player. The sophomore scored seven points in a 10-0 run, helping stretch Crookston's lead to 60-40. The Pirates went on to a 62-52 road win at East Grand Forks Sacred Heart High School. "We have multiple girls who can score,'' Crookston coach Darin Zimmerman said. "Emma is one of those. And she isn't afraid of those situations. She attacked the basket.
While the power play isn't a finished product for East Grand Forks Senior High, it was a difference maker Saturday. The first two Green Wave goals were on the power play. They added two more late goals in pulling away to a 4-1 win against visiting Delano. "I didn't think we were that good on the power play,'' Senior High coach Tyler Palmiscno said. "Part of that is because we haven't had the opportunity to work on it that much in practice. "But that was the difference. We don't win without the power play.''