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Published January 16 2011

Boys basketball: Lien and Widner lead Spuds past North

There was quite a bit to worry about but Corey Zimmerman just asked his team to keep chipping away.

So that’s what the Moorhead boys basketball team did.

They found ways to somewhat limit Fargo North’s Nick Schultz from scoring while trying to keep him from grabbing rebounds.

Throw in two 20-point efforts from Aaron Lien and Jared Widner and that’s how the Spuds snatched a 61-47 win over North on Saturday at the Valley News Live/Scheels Shootout at the Fargodome.

“What’s good for our team is they can slow him down,” Lien said. “That’s because their offense runs through him so slowing him down was good.”

Moorhead (9-0) arguably had a bit more to worry about than North (5-3) heading into the game. North hadn’t played since Jan. 8 while Moorhead had a game, a five-point win, over Grand Rapids on Friday.

Zimmerman said he was worried about how his team would respond given the turnaround after the Grand Rapids game.

It looked like the short rest might not have been a bad thing.

Defense came first and that’s why Lien and Widner both agreed stopping Schultz was a priority. Schultz still finished with 15 points, which was a team-high.

“They came out and did things well,” said North coach Dan Shultis. “They boxed out, got loose balls and fought for those loose balls. Then they’d have a guy like (Travis) Hand come down and hit a shot.”

Hand did chip in with nine points and eight rebounds, but it was Lien and Widner that did most of the damage.

Widner was a bit more quiet with how he scored compared to Lien.

Moorhead’s ball movement allowed Lien to get a few open jump shots and there was a stretch where he drove, picked up the foul and still scored.

“I guess one of the reasons I was able to score,” Widner said, “was because they had their smaller guards, who are 6-feet, guarding me, whereas I am 6-3. So that allowed to use my size and create shots.”

HALF: M 30, N 24

FARGO NORTH: Fiske 2, Bergeron 11, Syverson 8, Schultz 15, Ross 2, Mullen 5, Podoll 4.

MOORHEAD: Fernholz 4, Lien 20, Widner 20, Hand 9, Watnemo 8.

Inforum searchword: High school sports

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548