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Tom Mix, Published February 27 2014

Oak Grove tops Oakes in Region 1 boys basketball championship

FARGO – Fargo Oak Grove’s Carter Kretchman entered Thursday’s North Dakota Class B, Region 1 boys basketball championship game already having hit 10 3-pointers in the tournament.

The 5-foot-9 junior guard didn’t go cold in the Grovers’ biggest game of the season. In fact, he was as dialed in as ever.

Kretchman connected for seven 3-pointers to help lead Oak Grove to a 75-51 win over Oakes at the Fargo Civic Center.

“It was mostly open looks that my teammates got me,” said Kretchman, who finished with 26 points. “Shots were going in all around.”

Kretchman finished the three-game tournament with 77 points and was 17-for-21 from beyond the arc.

“It seemed like whenever there was a loose ball, it wound up in Kretchman’s hands,” Oakes head coach Brandon Bata said. “When he is open, he is going to knock them down, but him hitting those shots wasn’t the only thing that buried us. We didn’t respond well enough to their physical play. That led them to hit some of those wide-open shots and put us in a hole.”

With the win, the No. 2-ranked Grovers (23-2) advance to the state tournament set for Mar. 6-8 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. The state tournament is being seeded for the first time this season. Seeding and pairings will be determined at approximately 10 p.m. today.

Oak Grove was playing in its fifth consecutive Region 1 title game, but had lost the previous two. The Grovers last earned a state berth in 2011.

“It was a great team victory,” Kretchman said. “It is big because the last two years left a sour taste in our mouths.”

“It feels great to be going back to state,” Oak Grove senior Austin Promersberger added. “I’m so happy for my teammates.”

Oakes (12-13) jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but the Grovers quickly recovered, going up 21-15 after the first eight minutes.

Kretchman scored 12 points in the first quarter, with the other nine points coming from junior guard Christian Adams. Adams finished with 21 points and five rebounds.

“I knew we were going to get some shots to fall, but we just had to keep the pressure on them and wear them down,” Oak Grove head coach Kyle Card said. “I think we did that. We didn’t let their runs get to us, and we picked up our defensive intensity.”

Senior forward Nick Card collected a double-double, posting 11 blocks and 12 rebounds for the Grovers.

“We came out and played as a team,” Adams said. “We needed to do what we have been doing all year, and that is getting up and down the court. No one was being selfish. We worked the ball around until we found the open man.”

Ethan Zetocha led the Tornadoes with 14 points.

Milnor defeated Enderlin 95-77 in the third-place game. Milnor senior Briton Bussman scored 43 points for the Bison (23-2) and was named Region 1 senior athlete of the year.

O 15 26 37 51

OG 21 34 55 75

OAKES (12-13): C. Zetocha 3 2-2 9, E. Zetocha 6 0-0 14, Meehl 5 1-3 13, Bartholomew 1 0-0 2, Quandt 1 0-1 2, Meier 1 0-1 2, Belyayev 3 0-0 6, Scheuring 1 0-0 2, Kuipers 0 1-2 1. Totals: 21 4-9 51.

OAK GROVE (23-2): Kretchman 9 1-1 26, Adams 9 2-4 21, Promersberger 6 0-1 12, Dangerfield 1 0-1 2, Card 3 0-0 6, Olson 3 1-2 8. Totals: 29 4-9 75.

3-point goals: Kretchman 7, Adams, Olson, C. Zetocha, E. Zetocha 2, Meehl 2. Total fouls: O 11, OG 15. Rebounds: O 23 (Meehl 5), OG 30 (Card 12). Turnovers: O 12, OG 15.

Third-place game

Milnor 95, Enderlin 77

E 26 41 52 77

M 26 47 68 95

ENDERLIN (16-9): D. Lindgren 9 2-3 25, Gibson 1 3-4 5, Dixon 5 0-0 10, Kittelson 4 0-3 8, Hurlburt 6 0-0 16, Lindemann 1 0-0 2, Gillund 2 0-0 4, P. Lindgren 0 2-2 2. Totals: 30 7-12 79.

MILNOR (23-2): B. Bussman 17 7-7 43, Mund 9 3-4 21, Martinson 2 0-0 4, Marlatt 0 2-2 2, Yagow 7 2-5 18, Weber 1 0-0 3, Goolsbey 1 0-0 2, Schutt 1 0-0 2. Totals: 38 14-18 95.

3-point goals: Lindgren 5, Hurlburt 4, Gillund, B. Bussman 2, C. Yagow 2. Total fouls: E 13, M 12 Rebounds: E 27 (Hurlburt 8), M 39 (Mund 18). Turnovers: E 11, M 7.

Awards

Region 1 senior athlete of the year: Briton Bussman, Milnor

Region 1 coach of the year: Brad Woehl, Kindred

Region 1 athletic director of the year: Michael Solie, North Sargent


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