The Stephen-Argyle offense is about as middle-of-the-pack as it can get. Of the 19 teams in Minnesota Section 8A girls high school basketball, eight are averaging more points than the 52.7 points a game averaged by the Storm. Yet Stephen-Argyle sits atop the section, at 14-0 the lone undefeated team remaining in 8A, and is fifth in the Class A state QRF rankings. Success is all about defense. "We don't score a lot of points,'' S-A coach Dan Lindgren said. "I think we have the capabilities of scoring more. But we rely on our defense.
Julian Benson, all 5-foot-11 of him, had a tall order Monday. He had to defend 6-foot-8 Win-E-Mac center Brekken Lindberg. "That's a tall guy,'' Benson said. "I've never guarded anybody that big. It definitely was a new experience. I had to have his back side and get some help from my teammates.'' Benson and his East Grand Forks Senior High teammates offset the Patriots' height with their athleticism. The Green Wave pulled away, closing on a 17-7 run, to claim a 67-57 boys basketball win at Senior High.
The added dimension to Bryce Enerson's game showed again Saturday. The junior's inside-outside game sparked Grand Forks Red River to a 67-49 boys high school basketball win against visiting Wahpeton. Enerson had team highs of 17 points and 15 rebounds. The junior hit a 3-point shot early in the first half and also had six points on offensive rebound putbacks. The 3-pointer was his 11th of the season—seven more than Enerson made all of last season.
RED LAKE FALLS, Minn.—Making the transition from Bantam A to high school varsity hockey was something Zak Kennett anticipated would take time. "I was expecting some adjustments, having to get used to things,'' Kennett said. "High school hockey is faster paced, the guys are bigger, there's more hitting. "It's been a bit of a surprise.'' That's because the Red Lake Falls sophomore has been a dominant scorer from Game 1 for the Eagles.
Sometimes Grand Forks Red River's defense has been stingy. Sometimes, not so much. On Thursday, the defense literally stole a win. The Roughriders had 27 steals and forced 36 turnovers, the defense leading Red River to a 61-30 girls high school basketball win against visiting Grand Forks Central. "We have to play defense more consistently,'' Red River coach Kent Ripplinger said. "Tonight it was good. This was one of our better defensive efforts this season.''
In Grand Forks Central's last boys high school basketball game, Alex Barbot only attempted three field goals. He didn't score a point. What a difference it was Thursday. Barbot led a three-pronged attack as the Knights scored a 77-66 road win at Grand Forks Red River. Barbot scored a career-high 24 points. Chris Demuth added 23 points and Mason Gravseth, with a strong post game, added a career-high 17 points to go with 11 rebounds.
Since joining the Grand Forks Red River boys basketball program 16 years ago, Kirby Krefting can't recall another season in which the Roughriders had only one senior starter. Dan Carlson goes back even farther at Grand Forks Central, joining the Knights' coaching staff in the 1993-94 season. This is the youngest starting lineup he can recall—like Red River, with one senior starter. "You go through cycles,'' Carlson said. "I don't think it happens very often that both teams are in the kind of cycle we're in. "We have strong junior and sophomore classes.''
A steady diet of trips to the free-throw line proved to be a cure for East Grand Forks Senior High's offensive problems. The Green Wave were 28-of-38 on free throws Saturday afternoon. That was the difference in a 61-51 girls high school basketball victory against visiting Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton. The win came after the Wave managed only 26 points in a loss to Pelican Rapids in their previous game. "We didn't know how this would go after that game,'' Wave junior Haley Burger said. "But we played a lot better.''
The scoring drought ended for Grand Forks Red River High School's boys hockey team Saturday night. As a result, the Roughriders' losing streak also came to an end. After three consecutive setbacks, Red River scored a 3-0 win over visiting Devils Lake. The three goals were one more than the combined total the Riders had scoring during the losing streak. "It's a relief,'' Riders coach Bill Chase said. "The kids were pressing, trying to do too much, too much individual stuff. But when the puck went in, we started playing a lot better as a team.
The first time Roseau played East Grand Forks Senior High, the Rams accumulated a season-high goal total. That 9-0 win in December wasn't the norm for the team, Rams girls hockey coach Steve Huglen said. "Low-scoring teams have been more typical for us,'' Huglen said. "Our offense has been a little up and down. Our defense has been pretty good and pretty consistent.'' The rematch Saturday afternoon was more of a defensive struggle. But again Roseau won with a shutout, this time by a 2-0 score at the East Grand Forks Civic Center.