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Published March 09 2010

North Dakota Class B, Region 1 boys basketball tournament: Disaster averted, Grovers roll to 22-0, top Tornadoes

Fargo Oak Grove boys basketball coach Kyle Card said he witnessed his team do things they’ve never done before on Monday. But it wasn’t a good thing.

Card’s undefeated and No. 2-ranked Grovers stumbled and fumbled their way to a 59-44 victory against scrappy and physical Oakes in the first round of the North Dakota Class B, Region 1 tournament at the Fargo Civic Center.

“That’s been our tendency for awhile,” said Card, whose team improved to 22-0. “We come out flat in the first quarter. For a regional tournament, I don’t know why they do that. (Oakes) outhustled us, they outrebounded us and they deserved to win as much as we did. We just made enough plays down the stretch.”

Oak Grove appeared to be put off its game in the first half by Oakes’ physical defense.

The Grovers missed open shots, tossed passes past the outstretched arms of teammates and committed 12 turnovers before the break.

Oakes also wasn’t sharp on offense, but the Tornadoes’ toughness was evident from the start.

It all added up to a close game.

Led by 13 points from Dylan Dangerfield, Oak Grove held a slim 30-22 halftime advantage.

Grovers scoring leader Sam Olson was held scoreless in the first half.

Oakes (7-16) scratched and clawed for nearly every hoop.

Tanner Zetocha had 10 points to lead the Tornadoes at the break.

“(Oakes) played hard,” said Dangerfield, who finished with 21 points. “We didn’t come out with intensity and they hung with us. They played a good game.”

Oakes clawed their way to within four points of the lead with 5 minutes, 52 seconds remaining.

However, the Grovers answered every late rally to make sure they never relinquished the lead.

Zetocha finished with 18 points and five rebounds for the Tornadoes.

Oak Grove will take on Maple Valley at about 7:30 p.m. today in the semifinals.

“It’s the semifinals now,” Card said. “We’ve got to come out and put four quarters together. Maple Valley is a very good team. They are playing well and they have a great point guard. So we have to be ready to go.”

Oakes 14 22 28 44

Oak Grove 17 30 43 59

OAKES (7-16): Forward 0 0-0 0, Petersen 2 0-2 4, Ladwig 3 0-0 6, Maddocks 1 0-0 2, Hagen 1 1-2 3, Zetocha 8 2-3 18, Hogness 0 0-0 0, Kuipers 0 2-2 2, Breitbach 0 0-0 0, Ptacek 3 3-3 9. Totals: 18 8-12 44.

OAK GROVE (22-0): Hesby 2 0-2 5, Akason 3 3-4 10, Teigen 0 0-0 0, Lloyd 1 0-0 2, Dangerfield 7 5-6 21, Zaeske 2 0-1 4, Richards 0 1-2 1, Olson 3 2-2 8, Larson 3 2-2 8. Totals: 21 13-19 59.

3-point goals: Hesby, Akason, Dangerfield 2. Total fouls: O 21, OG 21. Fouled out: Ladwig. Rebounds: O 39 (Zetocha 5), OG 35 (Olson 11). Assists: O 5 (Petersen, Kuipers 2), OG 17 (Olson 5). Turnovers: O 29, OG 22.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562