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Tom Mix, Published March 02 2012

GF Red River scores win over West Fargo in East Region boys BB semifinals

FARGO – Grand Forks Red River head coach Jason Gregory said he has been emphasizing defense to his players lately.

The North Dakota Class A, No. 1-ranked Roughriders responded by holding West Fargo to the third-fewest point total they have given up to an opponent this season.

Red River’s stellar defense led the way in a 70-41 win over the Packers in the semifinals of the East Region boys basketball tournament on Friday at the Bison Sports Arena.

“We want to be playing our best defense this time of the year,” Gregory said. “We played hard tonight. We feel that when we play strong team defense, we have a good chance at being successful.”

Earlier this season, Red River held Fargo South and East Grand Forks (Minn.) to 40 points.

The Roughriders advance to play Fargo Shanley or Wahpeton in the East Region championship at 8:15 tonight.

Red River held the Packers to 21 percent shooting in the game and led 34-14 at halftime.

West Fargo had no players score in double figures and got no closer than within 17 points of the Roughriders in the second half.

“(Red River) got after us defensively,” West Fargo head coach Greg Limke said. “I thought they rebounded the ball well. They got second shots and we didn’t. When we did make a good play on offense, we weren’t able to finish, and a lot of that was their athleticism.”

Mack Arvidson scored 19 points to lead Red River (20-1). Roughriders junior Mac Kroeplin posted a double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Ricky Farroh added 14 points for Red River.

“We went out and executed our game plan offensively and did a good job of getting the ball inside,” Gregory said.

Travis Schock scored nine points and added 10 rebounds to pace the Packers (11-10).

West Fargo plays Grand Forks Central at 1:15 p.m. today in a Class A state tournament qualifying game.

“We’ve had two really good games with Central this year,” Limke said. “We know what they bring to the table. They have a lot of guys who can put the ball in the hoop. We’re going to have to come ready to play.”

RED RIVER: Arvidson 6 6-7 19, Kroeplin 4 8-9 16, Farroh 6 1-2 14, Burris 2 4-4 8, Anderson 2 2-2 6, Kemnitz 1 2-2 5, Hoplin 0 2-2 2. Totals 21 25-28 70.

WEST FARGO: Schock 4 0-0 9, Heisler 3 0-0 6, Johnson 2 2-4 6, Hogenson 2 1-2 5, Young 1 0-0 3, Bishoff 1 0-1 2, Sufi 1 0-0 2, Huber 1 0-1 2, Wolden 1 0-0 2, Uetz 0 2-4 2, Wentz 0 2-2 2. Totals 16 7-15 41.

Halftime: GFRR 34, WF 14. 3-pointers: Arvidson, Farroh, Kemnitz, Schock, Young. Total Fouls: GFRR 17, WF 19. Rebounds: GFRR 41 (Kroeplin 11), WF 37 (Schock 10). Assists: GFRR 11 (Kroeplin 3), WF 7 (three with two). Steals: GFRR 13 (five with two), WF 8 (Uetz 2). Turnovers: GFRR 9, WF 16.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 451-5651