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Greg DeVillers / Forum News Service, Published January 30 2014

Kretchman scores 37 as Eagles top Roughriders

GRAND FORKS – Grand Forks Red River had depth. Fargo Davies had Tanner Kretchman.

On Thursday night, the individual heroics of Kretchman prevailed.

The senior guard poured in 37 points, including a key field goal with just more than a minute remaining, as Davies edged the Roughriders 67-65 in Eastern Dakota Conference boys basketball.

“Tanner’s good, no question,” Davies coach Bart Manson said of the senior guard, who entered the game leading the EDC with a 29-point scoring average. “He can shoot. He’s nifty with the ball. And he’s hard to guard because he can find his teammates.”

Red River pulled within one point of the Eagles twice in the final three minutes, the second time when Chad Bartosh drove the lane and scored on a finger-roll layup to cut the deficit to 65-64 with 2:09 left.

But Kretchman answered with a pull-up jump shot from 12 feet out on the right side for a 67-64 advantage with 1:08 left.

“He jump-stopped, then put on a head fake that got our guy up,” Red River coach Jason Gregory said. “We still got a hand in his face and (Kretchman) made a tough shot. That was big.”

A Jake Robson free throw cut the lead to 67-65, but Red River was unable to convert on a long shot at the buzzer.

Davies pulled out the win after trailing 40-33 at halftime. “We just had to chip away in the second half,” Manson said. “We played with a little more energy.

Davies (9-2) started the second half on a 10-3 run and led by as much as 55-49. Red River (7-4) used an 11-2 run to go up 60-57 with 4:52. But Davies responded with six unanswered points, four by Kretchman, for a 63-60 lead with 3:07 left.

“Any time you can make a run like that late in the game, it gives you confidence,” Manson said. “And we needed that. We’ve never won up here before.”

Bartosh had 12 points to lead Red River, which lost a two-point game to the Eagles for the second time this season. Ryan Enerson, Shayden Keplin and Ty Straus added 10 points each.

“We didn’t execute very well offensively in the second half,” Gregory said. “And Chad was sitting a lot with foul trouble. That hurt.”

Half: GFRR 40, FD 33

FD: Kretchman 37, Kozlowski 9, Berg 8, Schultz 6, Geffre 6, Bates 1.

GFRR: Bartosh 12, Enerson 10, Keplin 10, Straus 10, Soleim 8, Landowski 5, Hanson 5, Kroke 3, Robson 2.

DeVillers writes for the Grand Forks Herald