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Tom Mix, Published January 27 2014

Kretchman brothers use basketball to stay close, despite playing on different teams


Tanner and Carter Kretchman do not play on the same high school basketball team, but the sport is what keeps them close as brothers.

Tanner, a 5-foot-11 all-state guard, plays for North Dakota Class A, No. 3-ranked Fargo Davies, while his younger brother Carter, a 5-9 guard, competes at Class B, No. 5-ranked Fargo Oak Grove.

Though they do not share the same court as prep players, the Kretchman brothers lock up in one-on-one battles, which they say are just as good.

“Those one-on-one games are always fun and they are always competitive,” Tanner said. “Playing one-on-one has always been a little more competitive because we come from a competitive family, and it has been somewhat of a replacement for not playing together.”

Carter said the exhibitions help keep each brother’s game sharp.

Proof of that can be found in any Davies or Oak Grove stat sheet this season. Both Tanner and Carter are having standout seasons.

Tanner is averaging 29 points per game for the Eagles and also averages 4.8 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game.

“Since he was a sophomore, I’ve seen Tanner make strides with his game each season,” Davies head coach Bart Manson said. “He is a dedicated player that puts the time in and it is nice to see him being rewarded for that on the court this season.”

Whenever possible, Carter catches Tanner’s games in person and vice versa. They are big fans of one another.

“When I watch him play, I try to play a little like him,” Carter said. “We are similar. Obviously, he is very successful at what he does so I try to play the game the way he does.

“Tanner’s strengths are his shooting, his range and his quick release. He can handle the ball and is very secure with it. He is a very solid passer, too.”

Carter averages 18.2 points per game and 4.5 assists per game for the Grovers. Like his older brother, Carter shoots nearly 50 percent from the field and excels at shooting from beyond the arc.

“Carter has the ability to keep the defender off balance,” Tanner said. “I think everyone is getting to know that he is a shooter, but now he has been penetrating well, and getting into the lane.”

The Kretchmans are a basketball family.

Their father, Craig Kretchman, played prep basketball at Sargent Central, winning a North Dakota Class B title in 1979 and later coached at Central Cass High School in the 1990s.

“Basketball definitely dominates the conversation most of the time,” Carter said. “Sometimes we take a break from it. Tanner and I both love to golf and we watch other sports like baseball and football.”

On the nights where Tanner and Carter are both in action, Craig and his wife Carla go to separate games and then rotate the next time both sons share a common game day.

When Tanner and Carter transferred from Kindred, N.D., three years ago the brothers went to schools where they had peers from playing youth basketball.

“We grew up playing travel basketball our whole lives,” Carter said. “We went to the schools where we were more comfortable with the people. Tanner played basketball with Andrew (Kozlowski) growing up, and I played against Isaac Olson and Christian Adams. So he was more comfortable playing at Davies and I was more comfortable going to Oak Grove.”

Even years after both brothers landed at separate metro schools, their individual successes and camaraderie always leads to the question: What if they played on the same team?

“That is always something to think about,” Tanner said. “But I think it has worked out well and is going to turn out well for both of us.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562