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Grovers claim ‘B’ crown

Fargo Oak Grove’s Carter Kretchman cuts down the nets after the Grovers defeated Rugby in overtime to win the Class B state championship on Saturday night in Grand Forks. Kretchman scored 36 points in the game. (Eric Hylden Forum News Service)

For four and a half minutes, Fargo Oak Grove was held scoreless to open the fourth quarter. The Grovers saw a six-point lead turned into a seven-point deficit.

There was no panic for the Grovers, however.

I saw the look in the kids’ eyes,” Oak Grove coach Kyle Card said. “We had leaders out there. They weren’t going to be denied. And with a special player like Carter Kretchman, you’re always in a game.”

Kretchman’s long-range accuracy did indeed spark the Grovers to the championship on Saturday in the North Dakota Class B boys high school basketball tournament. The Grovers rallied from a 48-41 deficit with 3:30 left in regulation to beat Rugby 68-58 in overtime.

After tying the game at 58 on a Kretchman trey from the top of the key with 41 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Oak Grove, which finished 26-2, held Rugby scoreless in overtime to pull away to the win.

Facing that 48-41 deficit, Kretchman hit two long treys from the top of the key and finished a 3-point play to rally Oak Grove to within 52-50. Oak Grove pulled even with 1:12 left on a Christian Adams 3-pointer. After Tanner Bernhardt hit a trey to put Rugby back up by three, Kretchman struck again for the tying shot. “He had ice in his veins,” Card said.

Kretchman also had confidence.

“They were playing good defense,” Kretchman said of Rugby in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. “We were in a slump. I knew I had to knock down some shots. I just let it fly.

“My teammates and coaches trusted me. It was just confidence.”

Rugby, meanwhile, was 0-for-10 from the field in overtime with two turnovers in the extra session.

I think we got them a little tired,” Card said. “When we got into overtime, I liked our chances. We’d made plays down the stretch. And we’ve played good defense all year.”

Rugby, which suffered its first loss after 27 straight wins, also was plagued by fouls. Three starters wound up fouling out.

North Star 60, Linton-HMB 49

Alex Weston found a spotlight moment to reach a career milestone.

The junior registered the 1,000th point of his high school basketball career Saturday. And it came in helping North Star defeat Linton-HMB 60-49 in the third-place game of the North Dakota Class B boys tournament at Alerus Center.

“It’s cool to get it at the state tournament,” the 6-foot-6 Weston said. “It makes it that much more special. It’s a good memory to have.

“But scoring doesn’t mean as much as winning.”

Linton-HMB answered with its own spurt. Two Andrew Small treys capped a rally that pulled the Lions to within 29-28 just 1:45 into the second half.

“We got it going a little bit,” Lions coach Dan Carr said. “It was looking good. But then they got us into a halfcourt game, where we had trouble with their length. Then they started hitting shots.”

North Star closed the third quarter on an 18-3 run. All five starters contributed points in the spurt, with Jayden Komrosky getting six to lead the run.

“Christian (Kvilvang) hit a shot to get us going there and we seemed to play more relaxed after that,” North Star coach Jeff Hagler said.

“We haven’t had that kind of balance lately. That was a big key.”

North Star maintained a lead of eight or more points throughout the final quarter.

Komrosky finished with 14 points to lead the Bearcats. Kvilvang and Weston each added 13 points, with Weston coming up one rebound shy of a double double.

Small had 15 points to pace Linton-HMB. Ryan Schneider had a double double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Class B state tournament

At Grand Forks

Third place

North Star 60, Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock 49

North Star 9 26 46 60

Linton 12 17 31 49

North Star — Johnny Heisler 8, Mathew Hunt 6, Austin States 6, Jayden Komrosky 14, Alex Weston 13, Christian Kvilvang 13.

Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock — Andrew Small 15, Austin Bernhardt 2, Brooks Flyberg 6, Jonathon Purintun 8, Ryan Schneider 12, James Schmaltz 6.

Fifth place

Cavalier 58, Beulah 56

Beulah 12 31 43 56

Cavalier 13 28 40 58


Beulah — Jett Hettich 6, Casey Walcker 16, Randi Julson 15, Landon Battest 10, Cole Messerschmidt 9

Cavalier — Ethan Brown 4, Chase Walton 2, Brock Robbins 23, Ryan Chrest 16, Blaine Steiger 2, Ryley Cleem 5, Deane Bjornson 6.

Seventh place

Flasher 66, New Town 59

New Town 14 24 34 59

Flasher 17 27 40 66

New Town — Dylan Bear 2, Wayne Fox 17, Daryl Grady 10, Joe Baker 14, Payton White Owl 6, Elijaoh Grady 10

Flasher — J.W. Froelich 3, Zack Schmidt 21, Kyle Miller 2, Brandon Braun 9, Peyton Gabrielson 5, Taylor Krenz 26