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Published January 16 2011

Boys basketball: Grovers glide to win

A regional television audience and a rivalry game could elicit a few jitters in some high school basketball teams.

Not Fargo Oak Grove. These guys are as loose as it comes.

Shayden Akason had 19 points to lead the No. 2 Grovers to a convincing

60-37 North Dakota Class B, District 2 boys basketball victory against Central Cass on Saturday at the Valley News Live/Scheels Shootout.

“I think we hustled and rebounded,” Akason said. “It was pretty sloppy in the first half. I think we kept our heads in it and our defense won this game for us.”

Central Cass (8-4) battled back-and-forth with Oak Grove for much of the first half. The Squirrels used solid team defense to limit the Grovers to 19 points with 2:39 remaining.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Akason and Dylan Dangerfield highlighted an 8-0 Oak Grove run to end the half. The Grovers (12-0) held a 27-18 halftime lead.

Central Cass helped out by struggling from the free throw line. The Squirrels were 4 of 17 from the foul line before halftime.

“I thought we played right with them in the first half to only be down nine,” Central Cass coach Troy Roesler said. “We played well, but they are a very good ball team and very well coached. You have to make your free throws to beat a team like that.”

The Grovers pulled away with a swarming defensive effort and a focused offense. Oak Grove outscored the Squirrels 20-12 in the third quarter to take a 47-30 lead. It was cruise control from there.

The Grovers drilled seven 3-pointers, including three by Akason. Dangerfield, Trey Larson and Evan Holt each finished with 10 points for Oak Grove.

Adam Ratchinski had 13 for the Squirrels. Central Cass finished 11 of 31 from the free-throw line.

“We just need to keep our heads in it and keep getting better every day in practice,” Akason said.

Oak Grove 15 27 47 60

Central Cass 9 18 30 37

OAK GROVE: Akason 6 4-4 19, Holt 3 2-2 10, Teigen 2 0-0 4, Dangerfield 4 1-2 10, Larson 3 3-4 10, Lloyd 3 0-0 6. Totals: 21 10-12 60.

CENTRAL CASS: Bresnahan 1 4-12 6, Ham 2 2-4 6, Zimmerman 2 2-6 6, Ueland 1 0-0 2, Ratchinski 5 3-4 13, Roesler 1 0-2 2, Sundquist 0 0-3 0. Totals: 13 11-31 37.

3-pointers: Akason 3, Holt 2, Dangerfield, Larson. Total fouls: OG 21, CC 14. Rebounds: OG 37 (Larson 11), CC 24 (Bresnahan, Zimmerman 4).

Inforum searchword: Oak Grove Grovers

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.

Hotzler’s blogs can be found

at www.areavoices.com