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Tom Mix, Published February 11 2012

West Fargo claims victory over Grand Forks Red River in girls hoops

WEST FARGO – The last time West Fargo played Grand Forks Red River, it didn’t sit well with Packers captain Erin Krogh.

Krogh and West Fargo had to wait a month for a chance to avenge the 66-46 loss to the Roughriders on Jan. 5.

The second meeting proved to be much closer.

Krogh scored 15 points to lead North Dakota Class A, No. 2-ranked West Fargo to a 53-50 win over No. 4-ranked Grand Forks Red River in Eastern Dakota Conference girls basketball on Saturday at West Fargo High School.

The 5-foot-11 senior hit three key 3-pointers for the Packers (15-1, 14-1 EDC) in the second half, scoring 13 of her 15 points in the game’s final 18 minutes.

“I knew (Erin) would play well for us in the second half, because she said she was irritated by the way we played the last time,” West Fargo coach Barb Metcalf said. “She had ice water in her veins and showed why she’s a senior captain … She took the bull by the horns.”

Krogh’s second-half performance was needed after the Packers fell behind early.

Red River (12-4, 13-2) shot 52 percent in the first half.

Leading the way for the Roughriders was Ashley Knecht. The senior forward scored 15 of her 18 points in the opening half, going 5-for-8 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.

Red River led 36-28 at the half.

West Fargo’s defense got more aggressive after halftime and Krogh started hitting shots.

“Once we got some stops on defense, things started to open up offensively,” Krogh said. “I had total confidence in my shots.”

Her first 3-pointer helped West Fargo tie the game 39-all with 6:58 left to play.

Shortly thereafter, Lexi Lennon scored to give the Packers their first lead.

Red River regained the lead, but Krogh wouldn’t let it stick. She hit back-to-back 3-pointers, giving West Fargo a 50-49 lead with 1:50 left. Krogh knocked down two free throws with 11.6 seconds left, making it 53-50.

Red River got a 3-point attempt from Knecht in the closing seconds, but it was off target.

That seemed to be the case the entire second half for the Roughriders.

Red River shot 17 percent (3 of 17) in the second half, and the Packers held Knecht to three points.

“We had a great first half offensively, but we just couldn’t make a shot in the second half,” Red River coach Kent Ripplinger said. “It wasn’t like we weren’t getting open looks either. We just couldn’t put the ball in the net.”

Hayley Miller and Amanda Levin each added eight points to help the Packers to their 10th consecutive win.

“I was proud of players’ defense, especially against a well-rounded team like Red River,” Metcalf said. “We were fortunate to come away with the win.”

GFRR (12-4, 13-2 EDC: Wheeler 2 0-0 5, Knecht 5 7-10 18, Steffen 1 0-0 2, Ripplinger 3 7-11 13, Bommersbach 1 2-2 5, LaDouceur 3 1-2 7. Totals 15 17-25 50.

WF (15-1, 14-1 EDC): Levin 3 2-3 8, Baltezore 1 0-0 2, E. Krogh 5 3-5 15, A. Krogh 1 1-1 3, Thorson 2-5 2-4 6, Lennon 2 2-2 6, Hummel 2 1-2 5, Miller 3 2-6 8. Totals: 19 10-14 53.

Halftime: GFRR 36, WF 28. 3-pointers: Wheeler, Knecht, Bommersbach, E. Krogh 3, Miller 2. Total fouls: GFRR 14, WF 19 Rebounds: GFRR 28 (Knecht 8), WF 32 (Thorson 8).

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 451-5750