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Tom Mix, Published January 23 2014

Last-second 3-pointer lifts Red River over Fargo South in boys hoops

FARGO – It will not go down as the prettiest buzzer beater in Grand Forks Red River history, but senior guard Jeff Landowski’s aim was true Thursday.

Landowski connected for an off-balance 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds remaining to help the Roughriders to a 54-53 Eastern Dakota Conference boys basketball win over Fargo South.

Red River (6-3, 5-2 EDC) trailed by two in the final minute and on its final possession of the game, put the ball in the hands of All-EDC forward Chad Bartosh, who immediately drew a triple team.

Plan B was Landowski, and he delivered.

“Chad was triple teamed, and I thought he was going to force a shot, but he made the right decision in passing me the ball,” said Landowski, who finished with five points. “I know a lot of people probably thought it looked like I took a dumb shot, but I knew once it left my hand it was going in.”

Bartosh led all scorers with 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Red River.

“I was almost going to call a time out when Chad had three guys on him,” Red River head coach Jason Gregory said. “Jeff was our wrap around guy, and he was in the right position to put up a shot. The game came down to one break and luckily it went our way.”

Red River tied the game at 51-51 with 1:21 left to play when senior forward Jacob Robson hit the back end of two free-throw attempts.

Seventeen seconds later South senior guard Dontae Gardner got a floater in the lane to fall, putting the Bruins (6-5, 5-4 EDC) up 53-51.

“We defended the final minute of the game very well,” South head coach Mike Hendrickson said. “We did everything we talked about in our final timeouts. Before the game we talked about this game likely coming down to one small thing and unfortunately it didn’t go our way.”

South rattled off a 14-0 run in the first half and led 24-10 with eight minutes remaining in the first half, but the Roughriders came back.

The Bruins went on a seven minute scoring drought and Red River only trailed 26-23 at halftime.

“We had stretches of seven, six and four minutes where we just didn’t score points and you can’t do that and expect to win,” Hendrickson said.

Senior guard Colton Lloyd scored 15 points and collected five rebounds for the Bruins. South’s Noah Poss attempted a half-court shot as time expired, but it was off target.

Bartosh scored 17 of 19 points in the second half. The Roughriders also got a lift from junior guard Shayden Keplin, who added eight points in the final 18 minutes.

“Once we calmed down a bit we got more comfortable,” Gregory said. “Our intensity wasn’t there at the beginning of the game and that’s something we have struggled with all season.”

RED RIVER (6-3): Bartosh 7 4-5 19, Keplin 3 0-0 8, Hanson 1 0-0 2, Robson 0 1-2 1, Soleim 3 0-0 8, Landowski 1 2-2 5, Kroke 1 0-0 2, Enerson 3 3-6 9. Totals: 19 10-15 54.

SOUTH (6-5): Lloyd 6 6-9 15, Poss 6 0-0 13, Kellen 3 0-1 6, Gardner 7 0-1 14, Fahrman 1 1-2 3, Staigle 1 0-1 2, Munzal 0 0-2 0. Totals: 22 7-16 53.

Halftime: S 26, RR 32. 3-pointers: Bartosh, Keplin 2, Soleim 2, Landowski, Lloyd, Poss. Total fouls: RR 13, S 17. Rebounds: RR 37 (Bartosh, Enerson 10), S 24 (Lloyd, Poss 5). Turnovers: RR 17, S 5.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562