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Tom Mix, Published January 24 2013

No. 7 Grovers top Central Cass in boys hoops

FARGO – Central Cass and Fargo Oak Grove both entered Thursday’s boys basketball game undefeated in North Dakota Class B, District 2 play.

The Grovers were the team that escaped with their District 2 mark unblemished by scoring a 98-84 victory over the Squirrels at Gorder Gymnasium.

Oak Grove used an 18-0 run in the third quarter to key a second-half comeback against the Squirrels.

“That was a big run and helped us greatly, but most of all we needed to keep stopping them on defense,” 6-foot-2 senior forward Tyler Christianson said.

Central Cass led 51-43 at halftime.

Christianson completed a three-point play with 4 minutes, 44 seconds left in the third quarter to tie the game 55-55. On the Grovers’ next possession, Christianson nailed a 3-pointer to give Oak Grove its first lead of the second half.

The Grovers never trailed again.

Senior guard Jordan Funfar followed up Christianson’s 3-pointer with a 3 of his own, sending the home crowd into a frenzy.

Central Cass, which had pulled away from the Grovers with second-chance scoring opportunities in the first half, called a timeout to regroup.

“One thing we did well in the first half was we didn’t allow them a big run,” Central Cass head coach Mike Kegley said. “To start the third quarter, they got on a big run, and we couldn’t answer.”

Christianson finished with a team-high 24 points and nine rebounds. Funfar added 22 points, including four 3-pointers.

“We needed to stop them from getting offensive rebounds and we did that,” Christianson said of the second-half comeback. “We stopped them on defense, and that leads to our transition game getting easy buckets.”

Senior guard Ellery Bresnahan scored a game-high 28 points to pace Central Cass. Bresnahan scored his 1,000th point on Tuesday in the Squirrels win over Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock.

The North Dakota Class B, No. 7 ranked Grovers

(12-2, 4-0 District 2) outscored Central Cass 26-13 in the third quarter.

“That was some good Class B basketball,” Oak Grove head coach Kyle Card said. “It started with the rebounding. We chewed them out pretty good in the locker room about rebounding. When we did that, we got some easy baskets.”

Senior forward Alex Widmer finished with 18 points for the Grovers. Sophomore guard Carter Kretchman, who finished with 10 points for Oak Grove, converted on a key 3-pointer with 7:07 left. Central Cass (8-4, 3-1) had ended the third quarter on a 5-0 run to pull within five points of the Grovers.

Kretchman’s 3-pointer ensured the Grovers’ cushion never got to less than five the rest of regulation.

Central Cass junior forward Connor Rieniets finished with a double-double, scoring 15 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.

CC 24 51 64 84

OG 24 43 69 98

CENTRAL CASS (8-4): Bresnahan 9 7-10 28, Ebach 4 0-0 10, Breske 5 6-7 17, Voss 3 2-2 10, Rieniets 7 1-1 15, Radermacher 1 0-0 2, Larson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 30 16-20 84.

OAK GROVE (12-2): Berg 0 4-4 4, Widmer 8 2-4 18, Funfar 6 6-6 22, Christianson 9 4-5 24, Conant 1 5-6 7, Kretchman 3 3-3 10, Card 2 0-2 4, Olson 2 0-0 5, Adams 1 2-2 4. Totals: 32 26-32 98.

3-pointers: Bresnahan, Ebach 2, Breske, Voss 2, Funfar 4, Christianson 2, Kretchman, Olson. Total Fouls: CC 26, OG 21. Fouled out: Bresnahan, Ebach, Radermacher, Rieniets. Rebounds: CC 34 (Rieniets 14), OG 30 (Christianson 9). Turnovers: CC 10, OG 11.


Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562