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Greg DeVillers / Forum News Service, Published January 03 2013

GFRR tops West Fargo in boys basketball

GRAND FORKS – Matt Anderson has expanded his game inward.

The Grand Forks Red River senior sparked a key second-half run with three close-range baskets Thursday, helping the Roughriders beat visiting West Fargo 68-51 in a boys basketball game.

A year ago, Anderson made almost as many treys (17) as he did two-point baskets (24). But the 6-foot-3 guard-forward has become more of a force around the basket.

“I was all outside last year,” Anderson said. “I can go inside or outside this year. I don’t have a preference. The inside game has grown on me. It’s all about the matchups for us.”

While West Fargo never led, the Packers were within 43-35 when Nick Eisenzimmer hit a long 3-point shot with 12 minutes, 2 seconds remaining.

Red River answered with a 10-3 run to go up 53-38. Three of those baskets came from Anderson in the low post, twice on layups and another on a turnaround jumper in the lane. Chad Bartosh also had a pair of layups in the spurt, one of those on the break off a steal.

“The athletic ability and the height are there for Matt,” Red River coach Jason Gregory said of Anderson’s increased use in the post. “And we look for matchups. They were in a smaller lineup at that point, and we were able to find the right matchup.

“And that (spurt) opened up the outside. The shots were easier to come by after that.”

That showed right away as the Roughriders extended their lead to 58-41 when Mac Kroeplin hit a 3-pointer from the right wing and another from 15 feet on the right side. “After Mac hit those shots, we were feeling pretty good,” Gregory said.

Kroeplin came close to a triple-double, finishing with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 8 assists. Bartosh added 15 points, Anderson 13 and point guard Blake Kemnitz scored 11 in what has become a trademark balanced offense for the Roughriders, who improved to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the Eastern Dakota Conference.

Travis Schock had 13 points, with Eisenzimmer and Caleb Mattila adding nine each for the Packers.

“We played well in spurts,” West Fargo coach Greg Limke said. “Early on, we had the tempo going our way, a moderate pace. Red River is better if they’re running. We didn’t want a race-horse type of game. But when we had to play catch-up, it was not to our advantage.”

West Fargo dropped to 4-2 overall and in the EDC.

Half: GFRR 33, WF 25

WF: Huber 1, Heisler 7, Mattila 9, Eisenzimmer 9, Schock 13, Rotert 3, Hogenson 2, Johnson 7.

GFRR: Dufault 3, Bartosh 15, Kemnitz 11, Anderson 13, Kroeplin 18, Hoplin 8.

DeVillers writes for the Grand Forks Herald