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Tom Mix, Published December 17 2013

Wahpeton nets an EDC boys basketball win over Fargo South

FARGO – Whenever Fargo South hinted at making things interesting in the second half Tuesday, Wahpeton answered.

The Huskies refused to let the Bruins get into any kind of rhythm for an extended period of time and held on for a 67-54 Eastern Dakota Conference boys basketball victory at South High School.

Both teams got into early foul trouble and searched for points from their benches in the early going.

The No. 4-ranked Huskies got a total of 15 points from their bench – 13 of which came in the first half.

“I thought we got really good play off our bench during the first half,” Wahpeton head coach Jeff Ralph said. “We needed those guys, and they have proven they can play.”

Junior Ryan Matejcek and sophomore Austin Ralph each scored five points in supporting roles on Tuesday for Wahpeton (1-2, 1-1 EDC).

Both the Bruins and Huskies reached the double bonus with more than five minutes left in the first half.

“With all the rule changes this year, more guys are going to have to play, because that is how games are going to be called this year,” Jeff Ralph said.

Foul troubles and early turnovers kept South (0-2, 0-2) off balance most of the first half.

“We couldn’t get into any kind of flow in what we wanted to do offensively,” South head coach Mike Hendrickson said.

Senior forward Jack Christensen led the Huskies with 15 points. Sophomore point guard Carson Zarak and junior forward Blaze Irwin each added 14 points.

Zarak scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half and completed two three-point plays driving tough to the basket. He also was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.

“Those two three-point plays were big,” Jeff Ralph said. “Driving and scoring is what Carson does. He really bounced back at the free-throw line after going 1-for-6 in our loss to Fargo Davies last week.”

Team defense is what Zarak said played a big part in Wahpeton’s win.

“We got them into foul trouble early,” Zarak said. “We played well defensively and held (Colton) Lloyd in check for the most part. We didn’t let him go off and score 30.”

Lloyd finished with 20 points and was the only player for the Bruins to score in double figures.

A total of nine players scored for the Huskies.

WAHPETON (2-1): Grueneich 1 0-0 3, Ralph 2 0-0 5, Zarak 3 8-8 14, Christensen 5 3-4 15, Nelson 0 6-6 6, Irwin 5 3-5 14, Meyer 1 0-0 2, Matejcek 2 1-3 5, Dassenko 2 0-0 4.Totals: 21 21-26 68.

SOUTH (0-2): Lloyd 6 6-7 20, Poss 2 2-2 7, Weiler 0 2-2 2, Green 2 2-2 7, Kellen 2 0-0 4, Munzal 1 0-0 2, Gardner 0 2-2 2, Fahrman 3 2-4 8, Staigle 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 16-19 54.

Halftime: W 26, FS 19. 3-pointers: Grueneich, Ralph, Christensen, Irwin, Lloyd 2, Poss. Total fouls: FS 24, W 22. Fouled out: Gardner. Rebounds: FS 26 (Fahrman 6), W 26 (Dassenko, Christensen 5). Turnovers: FS 10, W, 5.

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Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562