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Jeff Kolpack, Published February 20 2012

Grovers get valuable contributions from freshmen to win in Region 1

FARGO – Alex Widmer was hanging around the 3-point arc at the Fargo Civic Center earlier Monday during a team shoot around. He found his spot, draining a few right in a row.

So with just over a minute remaining and his Fargo Oak Grove team tied with Milnor, Widmer drained another one from the same spot – only this one counted. The shot lifted the Grovers to a 77-73 victory in the first round.

“I was confident in it,” Widmer said.

A junior, Widmer is one of the elder statesmen of the team. Junior Jordan Funfar led the Grovers with 15 points, but a trio of freshmen – Carter Kretchman, Christian Adams and Issac Olson — accounted for 33 points – including the first 19 of the fourth quarter.

“They belong to be out there,” Widmer said. “They have some talent.”

The win spoiled a 29-point night by Milnor’s Briton Bussman. The sophomore, however, had to leave for most of the final minute because of a cut.

His basket with 15 seconds left chopped the Grover lead to 75-73. Milnor then stole the inbounds pass but an off-balance shot was off and Funfar sealed it with two free throws.

“We’re moving on,” said Oak Grove head coach Kyle Card.

They’re moving on the heels of 14 points each from Kretchman and Adams and five fourth-quarter points from Olson.

“Sometimes they make freshmen mistakes but we learned to live with it,” Card said. “It’s why we played them at the beginning of the year to get them ready for this.”

OG 16 32 52 77

M 14 35 49 73

OAK GROVE: Kretchman 4 2-2 14, Card 1 1-2 3, Widmer 4 2-2 11, Funfar 4 1-2 15, Adams 4 4-8 14, Christianson 2 4-4 8, Olson 2 0-0 5, Conant 4 0-2 8. Totals: 25-61 15-22 77.

MILNOR: Roeder 2 0-0 4, Bussman 11 6-8 29, Martinson 2 0-0 4, Seefeldt 3 1-1 7, L. Mund 1 1-4 3, Hansen 2 2-5 8, W. Mund 7 4-7 18. Totals: 28-54 14-23 73.

Total fouls: OG 22, Milnor 21. 3-point goals: Kretchman 4, Widmer 2, Funfar 3, Adams 2, Olson, Bussman, Hansen 2. Rebounds: OG 31 (Christianson 7); Milnor 25 (Bussman 7).

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia