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Tom Mix, Published February 01 2013

Fargo Davies knocks off No. 1 GF Red River in boys hoops

FARGO – Grand Forks Red River’s undefeated start to the regular season came to an end on Friday night.

Fargo Davies gave the North Dakota Class A, No. 1-ranked Roughriders their first blemish by posting an

85-79 overtime victory in Eastern Dakota Conference boys basketball at Davies High School.

“It is a huge win for us,” Davies head coach Bart Manson said. “It was truly a team win, and I was proud of all of our guys. Everybody competed. Everybody did their job and played their roles.

“Tonight, the biggest difference for us was we played with energy, we played with some passion, and we competed. That is what we needed to do.”

Both teams were knotted at 73-all at the end of regulation, forcing overtime. Davies (8-3, 7-3 EDC) jumped out to a 78-73 lead in overtime after David Olson, Andrew Kozlowski and Tanner Kretchman combined for five free throws.

Red River’s first points of overtime came with 56.8 seconds left when Blake Kemnitz got a layup to fall. That got the Roughriders to within three points, but that’s as close as they would get.

Olson and Ben Bitter each sunk pairs of free throws in the final 28 seconds of the game. Olson’s free throws with 19.7 seconds remaining made it a three-possession game.

“They are a really good team, and that was a big win,” said Olson, who finished with a team-high 22 points. “It’s always fun to win at home. We made our free throws at the end, handled the ball well and just took care of business.”

Davies got all of its points in overtime at the free-throw line, going 12 of 14 during the extra four minutes.

Kretchman and Kozlowski each finished with 20 points for the Eagles, who trailed by 14 points late in the first half. Davies closed the gap with a 12-0 run in the final minutes of the first and entered the locker room tied with Red River 37-37.

“We came out at the beginning of this game like we played last week against West Fargo, and we had to take some early timeouts,” Manson said. “We were able to tie it up at halftime, and I think that was huge for us.”

Red River was paced by Mac Kroeplin, who finished with a game-high 33 points. Kemnitz added 15 for the Roughriders.

Rebounding was where the Eagles both dazzled and dominated. Davies out-rebounded Red River 38-30, but got many crucial rebounds in the final minutes of regulation bot on the offensive and defensive end of the court.

“They are a good team,” Red River head coach Jason Gregory said. “They played harder than us at times tonight. Offensive rebounds absolutely killed us. … Every one of their players played hard. They got rebounds when they had to get rebounds and made shots when they had to make shots. They executed well.”

Davies senior Eric Peterson finished with a double-double, posting 10 points and 12 rebounds. Kozlowski scored Davies’ final seven points in regulation, hitting three jumpers on consecutive possessions.

“I was feeling good, but I got to give it all to my teammates,” Kozlowski said. “They found me when I was open. They knew I was playing well and they found me. It was nice. … We played well as a team tonight.”

RED RIVER (10-1): Kemnitz 6 1-1 15, Bartosh 6 0-0 12, Kroeplin 10 10-14 33, Hoplin 6 1-3 14, Robson 2 0-1 5. Totals: 30 12-19 79.

DAVIES (8-3): Kretchman 6 7-9 20, Berg 1 1-1 3, Kozlowski 8 2-5 20, Olson 7 7-9 22, Peterson 5 0-0 10, Barta 1 0-1 2, Bitter 2 2-2 6, Engel 1 0-0 2. Totals: 31 19-29 85.

Halftime: FD 37, RR 37. End of regulation: FD 73, RR 73. 3-pointers: Kemnitz 2, Kroeplin 3, Hoplin, Robson, Kretchman, Kozlowski 2, Olson. Total fouls: RR 20, FD 14. Fouled out: Bartosh, Kozlowski, Olson. Rebounds: RR 30 (Hoplin 9), FD 38 (Peterson 12) Turnovers: RR 11, FD 11.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562