Top 5 area Minnesota girls and boys basketball rankings (Jan. 28)

Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton girls basketball team shook up the girls bball rankings, while the boys stay the same in this week’s area Minnesota high school basketball rankings.




1. Battle Lake (17-1)

Last week: 94-21 win at home over Rothsay; 55-24 win at Osakis

Next up: at Parkers Prairie, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; vs. Pelican Rapids at Concordia-Moorhead, Saturday, 6 p.m.; host Brandon-Evansville, 7:30 p.m., Monday

The Battlers continue to roll. Outside of a 68-61 loss to No. 3 Maranatha Academy, no team has come within 18 of them.

They’ve won nine straight since the loss. The Battlers have a big conference battle with Parkers Prairie (13-3) on Thursday, which will be a good test for Tony Ukkelberg, Nick Trosdahl, Andrew/Petric VanErp and company.


2. Hawley (13-3)

Last week: 62-40 win at home over Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton

Next up: host Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal, Thursday, 6 p.m.; at Crookston, Saturday, 5:30 p.m.; at Barnesville, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Hawley and point guard Dillon Omberg (left) have a big week coming up. Photo by David Samson/Forum

Big upcoming week for Hawley boys basketball with Crookston and Barnesville coming up.

There’s a good chance these will be the last two teams Hawley will face in order to get to state with Crookston leading 8AA North and Barnesville being behind Hawley in 8AA South.


3. Detroit Lakes (15-2)

Last week: 52-35 win at home over Little Falls; 62-61 win at home over Sartell-St. Stephen

Next up: host Park Rapids, Thursday, 7:15 p.m.; at Wadena-Deer Creek, Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Detroit Lakes had a nail biter against Sartell, but the Lakers got the win. Photo by Brian Basham/DL Newspapers

The Lakers have won three games in a row since losing to Crosby-Ironton. They are 6-0 in 8AAA and already beaten an Albany team they will most likely see in the section championship by 10.

Christian Hedstrom was the hero against Sartell, hitting a 3-pointer in the final 30 seconds and hitting two free throws in the final seconds to squeak out a win.

DL made state in 2012. Before that, the last time the Lakers went to state was 1918. Doesn’t look the Lakers will have that huge of a gap again.


4. Moorhead (14-5)

Last week: 87-57 win at home over West Fargo Sheyenne (N.D.); 62-60 win at home over Brainerd

Next up: at Bemidji, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; at Grand Rapids, Saturday, 3 p.m.

Matt Bye had 25 points in Moorhead’s 62-60 win over Brainerd on Tuesday. Photo by David Samson/Forum

Moorhead has won five straight since losing four of five and, more importantly, are 7-1 in section play.

The bad news is the one loss in section play came by 11 to St. Michael-Albertville, which is most likely the team the Spuds will see in the section championship.


5. Hillcrest Lutheran Academy (13-2)

Last week: 71-22 win at Ashby; 80-40 win at Hancock

Next up: host Rothsay, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; at Fargo Oak Grove (N.D.), Saturday, 5:30 p.m.; host Parkers Prairie, Monday, 7:30 p.m.

The Comets get a couple of good tests coming up in Oak Grove and Parkers Prairie.

Those would be nice confidence boosters for them, but that one loss in 6A will be hanging over their heads. The Comets are 11-1 in section play, but the one loss is by 20 to a Battle Lake team they will most likely see in the section title game.



1. Ada-Borup (16-0)

Last week: 63-49 win at home over Fertile-Beltrami; 69-31 win at Red Lake Falls; 83-21 win at Mahnomen

Next up: at Climax-Fisher, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; host Win-E-Mac, Monday, 7:30 p.m.

No team has come within 14 of Ada-Borup and a team that was within 16 of the Cougars recently lost by 31.

The Cougars have a big test against 14-2 Win-E-Mac coming up. The Cougars look good right now, but a win against Win-E-Mac would vault them into state-title-contender status.


2. Hawley (14-2)

Last week: 47-25 win at Breckenridge; 73-45 win at East Grand Forks; 70-62 loss at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton

Next up: at Crookston, Saturday, 5:30 p.m.

Hawley just dropped its first Class 2A game and it came to a team they will most likely see in the sub-section title game. If they don’t see D-G-F then it will be Pelican Rapids, who is coming on strong at 11-5.

The Nuggets beat Pelican Rapids by 10 and is 1-1 against D-G-F now. Things just became very interesting in 8AA South.


3. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (11-4)

Last week: 63-55 win at home over Frazee; 70-62 win at home over Hawley

Next up: at Breckenridge, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; host Moorhead, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Natalie Steichen came up big for D-G-F in the win over Hawley. Photo by Darren Gibbins/Forum

Huge week for D-G-F. Not only with the win over Hawley, but a big win over Frazee as well.

If anything, D-G-F at least puts some doubt in the heads of Hawley. After the Nuggets owned the Rebels in the first meeting of the season, D-G-F came back and handed Hawley its first Class 2A loss.

Everyone contributed for the Rebels, as they had nine different players score. Natalie Steichen and Anna Smith had 15 points each and Ally Reno added 12 points.

The scary thing about D-G-F is the Rebels have just three seniors on the team. Steichen is a freshman and Smith and Reno are juniors.

8AA South is up for grabs thanks to that win from the Rebels.


4. Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (16-2)

Last week: 52-50 overtime win over Brandon-Evansville at home; 43-42 overtime win at Henning; 60-58 overtime win at Morris Area

Next up: host Hancock, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; at Ashby, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Warriors had a big win over Brandon-Evansville, which will most likely be the team W-H-N sees in the 6A South championship.

Yes, W-H-N needed overtime to beat 6A South teams Brandon-Evansville and Henning by a combined four points, but a win is a win.

Regardless, the Warriors are seemingly the best option for which team will face Ada-Borup in the 6A championship game.

Unfortunately for the Warriors, since the two teams don’t play during the regular season, the benefit of the doubt will go to Ada-Borup until they prove otherwise.


5. Detroit Lakes (12-4)

Last week: 59-43 win at Pequot Lakes; 57-35 win at home over Wadena-Deer Creek

Next up: at Thief River Falls, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; host Perham, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

DL’s Hailey Jorgenson hit five 3-pointers in the win over Wadena-Deer Creek. Photo by Brian Basham/DL Newspapers

8AAA is brutal. Sartell-St. Stephen is 12-5, Detroit Lakes and Albany are 12-4, Alexandria is 12-2 and Thief River Falls is 15-2.

Alexandria is No. 5 in Class 3A QRF and Thief River Falls is No. 7. Albany is 24, Detroit Lakes is 22 and Sartell is 20.

That is a tough section tournament to get through.

DL doesn’t play Sartell or Albany in the regular season, is 1-0 against Alexandria and 0-1 against TRF with a rematch coming next.

Big test for the Lakers at TRF.


Chris Murphy can be reached at 701-241-5548 or Follow him on Twitter @SeeMurphsTweets for Minnesota prep updates and smart alecky remarks about sports, movies, music and life in general.




Pair of marquee boys basketball games being played Friday night in Fargo

FARGO – Friday is a big night for high school boys hoops in Fargo.

Two games in town that evening feature ranked teams locking up on the court and the hard part may be deciding which one to go to.

The two games are North Dakota Class A, No. 3-ranked Wahpeton at No. 4-ranked Fargo Davies and Class B No. 3-ranked Central Cass at No. 3 Fargo Oak Grove.

Both games figure to be highly competitive and will showcase some of the top players in the area.

I’ll be covering the Wahpeton-Davies matchup and my Forum colleague Chris Murphy will be providing coverage of the Central Cass-Oak Grove game.

Below is a breakdown of each game:


Tipoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Davies High School

Records and rankings: Wahpeton is ranked No. 3 in North Dakota Class A and is 11-1 overall with an 11-0 record in Eastern Dakota Conference play. … The Huskies sit in first place in the EDC. … Fargo Davies is ranked No. 4 in Class A and is 9-1 overall with an 8-1 record in the EDC.

The scoop on Davies: The Eagles are on a nine-game winning streak and haven’t lost since its loss to Wahpeton on Dec. 11 in the season opener. … Davies, the defending state champions, has done well in the first half of the season especially considering it lost two all-state players in Tanner Kretchman and Andrew Kozlowski from a year ago. … Following the Eagles’ 80-75 win over Red River Tuesday night I talked with Davies head coach Bart Mason about the upcoming game with Wahpeton. “The last time we played them their high-low game killed us,” Manson said. “That is something we are going to have to work on. The thing about Wahpeton is they beat do not themselves. They turn the ball over the least in our conference so we can’t afford to beat ourselves in that game with turnovers. We’ll have to be in the game, make run at the end and hopefully win it.” … The senior combo of Collin Larson and Austin Schultz has helped the Eagles to their fast start. Larson is averaging 16.5 points per game and Schultz checks in at 16.4 ppg. … Larson leads the EDC in 3-point shooting with 30 3-pointers made through 10 games. … Davies is averaging 76.1 ppg this season, which leads the EDC.

The scoop on Wahpeton: The Huskies are on a five-game winning streak since its 79-49 loss to No. 1-ranked Minot on Jan. 3 … Wahpeton has been ranked as high as No. 2 in the Class A poll this season and remains undefeated in conference play in large part because of its low number turnovers. … The Huskies have 108 turnovers as a team through 12 games (nine per game), which is tops in the EDC. … Wahpeton is led by 6-foot-5 senior forward Blaze Irwin, who is averaging 18.5 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game. … Irwin is committed to play basketball at Minot State. … The Huskies also have two solid distributing guards in Carson Zarak and Austin Ralph. … Both players are averaging more than the assists per game play in big role in the Huskies’ control game that doesn’t give away many turnovers.

Fargo Davies guard Austin Schultz, right, dribbles as Wahpeton guard Austin Ralph defends during the 2014 East Region championship game last March. Both players will be on the court Friday night when Davies hosts Wahpeton in an EDC game. Forum file photo.


Tipoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Gorder Gymnasium on the Fargo Oak Grove campus

Records and rankings: Central Cass – ranked No. 3 in North Dakota Class B – is 8-1 overall and 2-0 in District 2 play. … No. 5-ranked Oak Grove is 7-2 overall and 2-1 in District 2 play.

The scoop on Central Cass: The Squirrels opened the week climbing the Class B poll, however when Central Cass enters Gorder Gymnasium Friday night it will be looking to get back in the win column. … Central Cass suffered its first loss of the 2014-15 season Tuesday night – a 64-50 setback to Linton-HMB … A win against the Grovers would redeem the week in a big way and would be very significant in the District 2 race which figures to highly competitive with Northern Cass also being ranked in the statewide Class B poll. … Central Cass has a deep team with senior Adam Breske leading the way. Junior point guard Grady Bresnahan also can score so Oak Grove will have its hands full defensively.

The scoop on Oak Grove: The Grovers play at Lisbon tonight after nine days without playing a game. … Oak Grove’s previous game was a 77-76 double overtime loss to Northern Cass in Hunter, N.D. … The loss meant a drop in the Class B poll for the Grovers. … Oak Grove was the No. 2-ranked team the first five weeks of the season and now sits at No. 5. … The Grovers won the Class B state championship a year ago and seniors Christian Adams and Carter Kretchman were key contributors on that title run. … Both Adams and Kretchman are approaching the 1,000-point career scoring milestone and will likely have to lead the way in Oak Grove is to surge in the second half of the season. Central Cass matches up well with the Grovers and knowing each team’s personnel this game could turn into a shootout  meaning this game could very well come down to a handful of possessions in the fourth quarter.

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at Follow Mix on Twitter @MixMaster_TGM

Top 5 area Minnesota girls and boys basketball rankings (Jan. 21)

Some movement in the boys rankings with Detroit Lakes and Hillcrest losing, but all teams from last week remain in the rankings.

On the girls side, Detroit Lakes is back in at No. 5, after Frazee fell hard to Hawley.

Here’s the top area Minnesota high school basketball teams for the week of Jan. 21.



1. Battle Lake (15-1)

Last week: 54-34 win at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy; 78-33 win at home over Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley; 72-19 win at home over Ashby

Next up: host Rothsay, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; at Osakis, Monday, 7:30 p.m.

Well, Section 6A now belongs to Battle Lake. The Battlers have beaten the team they will most likely face in the sub-section title in West Central Area 61-32 and beat a team they could face in the section title game 54-34 in Hillcrest.

Hillcrest will get another crack at Battle Lake on the road on Feb. 17. As of now, only Park Christian, which the Battlers would not see until the section title game, could bring down Battle Lake.

Petric VanErp picked up his 1,000th career point for Battle Lake.


2. Hawley (12-3)

Last week: 71-61 win at home over Breckenridge

Next up: host Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Aaron Regnier (left) has been the perfect duo for fellow big man Ben Ellefson. Photo by Dave Samson/Forum

Hawley is a tough team to stop.

Breckenridge stopped forward Ben Ellefson the first time they met, went up 16 points and still lost because fellow post Aaron Regnier went off.

If you somehow stop both Ellefson and Regnier, you have to hope 3-pointers from Dawson Tusow, Dillon Omberg, Ben Steichen and Jordan Harms – who can also get to the basket – aren’t falling.

Ellefson dropped 32 on Breckenridge and Regnier added 16 in the second meeting and Breckenridge couldn’t find an answer for them. Ellefson is 160 points away from the 2,000th of his career and is within striking distance of his 1,000th rebound.

The Nuggets are 8-0 in 8AA, have yet to lose to a Class 2A team and seemingly have a date with Crookston for the section title.


3. Detroit Lakes (13-2)

Last week: 48-46 loss in overtime at Crosby-Ironton; 66-27 win at home against Detroit Lakes

Next up: host Little Falls, Friday, 7:30 p.m.; host Sartell-St. Stephen, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.

Corbin Duncan (left) has been one of many contributors for DL this season. Photo by Brian Basham/DL Newspapers

The good news for DL is the Lakers lost to a Class 2A team they will never see again.

More good news is they’ve already beaten the two teams they could probably see in the section championship game in Alexandria (54-49) and Albany (61-51).

DL answered its loss with a 66-27 dismantling of Pequot Lakes behind 14 points from Christian Hedstrom, 12 points from Trey Lyngaas and 10 points from Ben Hokanson.


4. Moorhead (12-5)

Last week: 76-48 win at Anoka

Next up: host West Fargo Sheyenne (N.D.), Friday, 7:30 p.m.; host Brainerd, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Cody Dorow has 25 or more points in each of the last three wins for Moorhead. Photo by Dave Wallis/Forum

Moorhead responded to losing four of five with rattling off three straight wins. Senior guard Cody Dorow dropped 30 against Anoka, 28 against Fergus Falls and 25 against St. Cloud Tech in the three-game win streak for the Spuds.

Dorow is catching fire at the right time for the Spuds.


5. Hillcrest Lutheran Academy (11-2)

Last week: 54-34 loss at home against Battle Lake; 70-41 win at Brandon-Evansville

Next up: at Ashby, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; at Hancock, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

That was a bad loss to Battle Lake. Not because Battle Lake is a bad team, but to fall by 20 to a team you may see in the section title game is tough, especially when you can only muster up 34 points.

Hillcrest will get another shot at Battle Lake on Feb. 17



1. Ada-Borup (13-0)

Last week: 72-41 win at home over Barnesville; 65-34 win at Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal; 80-20 win over Northern Cass (N.D.)

Next up: host Fertile-Beltrami, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; at Red Lake Falls, Monday, 7:30 p.m.; at Mahnomen, Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Ada-Borup coach David Smart picked up win No. 300 in the win over Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal and the Cougars keep on rolling.

No team has come within 16 points of Ada-Borup this season.


2. Hawley (12-1)

Last week: 60-37 win at home over Frazee

Next up: at Breckenridge, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; at East Grand Forks, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.; at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Frazee entered Hawley with a seven-game win streak. The Hornets left with a blowout loss.

It’s not very fair when the No. 2-ranked team in the state hits 12 of 18 3-pointers, 10 of which came from Olivia Olson and Mira Ellefson.

Those two are pretty much impossible to stop. Helps to have point guard Jody Noreen to handle the ball with Olson and Ellefson free to run wild.


3. Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (13-2)

Last week: 49-41 win at West Central Area

Next up: host Brandon-Evansville, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; at Henning, Friday, 7:30 p.m.; at Morris Area, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

That’s a big win over West Central Area for the Warriors, as that puts them in firm control of 6A South.

Problem, as always, is Ada-Borup looms in 6A North.


4. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton(9-4)

Last week: 66-64 win at Perham; 80-62 win at home over Park Rapids

Next up: host Frazee, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; host Hawley, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Allyson Brenna had 20 points to lead D-G-F over Perham. Not the best showing for D-G-F to squeak out one against a 4-9 Perham team, but it was on the road.

The real test is coming for the Rebels with Frazee and Hawley coming to town. D-G-F has Pelican Rapids on its tail for which team will face Hawley in the 8AA South championship.

D-G-F has a chance to prove they can win 8AA South next week.


5. Detroit Lakes (10-4)

Last week: 61-52 win at Staples-Motley; 59-43 win at home over Crosby-Ironton; 61-53 win at Moorhead

Next up: at Pequot Lakes, Thursday, 7:15 p.m.; host Wadena-Deer Creek, Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.

Detroit Lakes has won four straight games. Photo by Brian Basham/Forum

Detroit Lakes is back in the rankings after rattling off four straight wins.

Lakers are 3-1 in 8AAA and have beaten the team currently sitting atop the section in Alexandria 56-49 in the season opener.

DL has talent and seniors. Just have to put it together.


Chris Murphy can be reached at 701-241-5548 or Follow him on Twitter @SeeMurphsTweets for Minnesota prep updates and smart alecky remarks about sports, movies, music and life in general.


Fargo South standout place kicker Josh Weiler commits to U of Mary

FARGO – Fargo South standout athlete Josh Weiler has committed to play football at the University of Mary.

The 6-foot-1 senior kicker announced his decision via Twitter on Tuesday.

Weiler, who also plays soccer and basketball at South, was voted Eastern Dakota Conference special teams player of the year the last two seasons and was a member of the Bruins’ 2013 North Dakota Class 3A state championship team.

Josh Weiler, left, holds the Fargo South’s career and single-season records for extra points made. Forum file photo

This fall, Weiler made 47 of 51 extra points attempted and connected for three field goals helping South to a 8-3 record.

Weiler holds South’s school records for extra points made in one season (56 in 2013) and extra points made in a career (145 from 2012-2014).

The U of Mary Marauders play in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference – an NCAA Division II conference – and finished the 2014 season 5-6.

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at Follow Mix on Twitter @MixMaster_TGM

Central Cass boys hoops team keeps climbing the Class B poll

CASSELTON, N.D. – The North Dakota Class B boys basketball season is at full tilt now and few teams can boast the success the Central Cass boys basketball team has accumulated so far in the 2014-15 season.

The Squirrels are 8-0 overall and 2-0 in District 2 play.

As a result, Central Cass keeps shooting up the Class B boys basketball poll. Yesterday, the sixth poll of the 2014-15 season was released and Squirrels were voted the No. 3-ranked team in Class B moving up two spots from the Jan. 12 poll.

Here is a look at how the Squirrels have progressed in the Class B poll this year:

1st poll (Dec. 15) – No. 8
2nd poll (Dec. 22) – No. 7
3rd poll (Dec. 29) – No. 7
4th poll (Jan. 5) – No. 6
5th poll (Jan. 12) – No. 5
6th poll (Jan. 19) – No. 3

Not a bad climb for the Squirrels.

Central Cass hosts Linton-HMB at 7:30 p.m. today in a nonconference matchup and on Friday night the Squirrels travel to Fargo to play District 2 rivals Fargo Oak Grove. Tipoff for the game at Gorder Gymnasium is approximately 7:45 p.m. and I’ll be covering that contest for The Forum.

Central Cass is powered by the combination of Adam Breske and Grady Bresnahan. The pair combined to score 39 of the Squirrels’ 76 points in the team’s win against Carrington last Friday. A total of four players on scored in double figures for Central Cass in that contest so there are several options on offense for the Squirrels this season.

Central Cass junior guard Grady Bresnahan, right, has helped Central Cass to an 8-0 record this season. Forum file photo

Prior to this season, the last time the Squirrels cracked the Top 10 in Class B was the 2012-13 season when Central Cass spent two weeks ranked No. 10 (Dec. 24th and Dec. 31 polls of 2012-13 season).

Central Cass senior Adam Breske has helped the Squirrels boys basketball team to a No. 3 ranking in the North Dakota Class B poll this season. Forum file photo

The 8-0 start probably is starting to bring back memories of the 2011-12 Central Cass squad that won the Region 1 championship and was a perfect 19-0 during the regular season. The Squirrels were 25-0 heading into the state tournament before losing in the quarterfinals that year.

The highest Central Cass ever got in the Class B poll in 2011-12 was No. 3 in the last poll conducted that season on Feb. 6.

After the game against the Grovers, the schedule doesn’t let for the Squirrels.

On Jan. 29 Central Cass hosts No. 7-ranked Northern Cass. Two days later the Squirrels host Grafton, who received votes in the latest Class B poll and on Feb. 3 Central Cass hosts Hankinson, who is 9-1.

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at Follow Mix on Twitter @MixMaster_TGM



10 boys basketball teams set to play at 24th annual Oak Grove Shootout

FARGO – The basketball season is heating up and teams are starting to see the postseason creeping closer and closer in their schedule.

There are still plenty of regular season games left to be played however and a lot has yet to be determined.

This weekend, 10 boys basketball teams from across the region are heading to Fargo to play in the 24th annual Fargo Oak Grove Shootout.

I’ve covered this event several times since stepping into the North Dakota High School sports beat at The Forum. It is a good chance to see some teams that you might get to in the regular season and the fact that it takes place in the heart of the season usually means fans will see some top-notch basketball.

Here is the schedule:
1 p.m. – North Sargent vs. Richland
2:30 p.m. – Hankinson vs. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton
4 p.m. – Warwick vs. Central Cass
5:30 p.m. – Fargo Oak Grove vs. Barnesville
7 p.m. – Kindred vs. Fairmount Campbell-Tintah

GAME 1: The Bobcats (2-6) are on a three-game losing streak with loses to Hankinson, Oakes and Kindred. … Richland (3-4) already has defeated North Sargent once this season, a 63-52 win in the season opener Dec. 16 in Gwinner.

GAME 2: Hankinson (8-1) has started the 2014-15 season off well. … The Pirates were undefeated until Monday when it lost a tight game to No. 2-ranked Fargo Oak Grove 79-74. … Hankinson has a chance to get back on track with a game against the Rebels. … Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton is 7-6 and has had a rough patch of games losing three straight to Breckenridge, Barnesville and Waubun.

GAME 3: Central Cass is undefeated at 6-0 and are ranked No. 5 in the latest Class B poll. … The Squirrels go up against Warwick (4-7) … The Warriors have won three straight entering Saturday’s game.

GAME 4: The No. 2-ranked Grovers (7-2) are coming off a 77-76 double-overtime loss to Northern Cass on Tuesday and will be looking to rebound against Barnesville (9-3). … The Trojans are on a four-game winning streak.

GAME 5: Kindred and Fairmount-Campbell-Tintah started the week playing a game against each other with Kindred (5-3) winning 96-41 and the week will end with the two squads playing at the Fargo Civic Center.

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at Follow Mix on Twitter @MixMaster_TGM



Top 5 area Minnesota girls and boys basketball rankings (Jan. 14)

Moorhead is back in on the boys side and Frazee and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton is in on the girls side.

Hillcrest Lutheran Academy’s boys basketball team had the biggest week of any team with a big win over Park Christian.



1. Battle Lake (12-1)

Last week: 85-33 win at New York Mills; 61-32 win at home against West Central Area

Next up: at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; host Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, Friday, 7 p.m.; host Ashby, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Well, Section 6A South belongs to Battle Lake after the Battlers dismantled previously unbeaten West Central Area 61-32.

The Battlers are 8-0 in Section 6A and will find out if the entire section belongs to them, as they face off against Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, the leader of 6A North, on Thursday.

Usual suspects Petric VanErp, Nick Trosdahl and Tony Ukkelberg were all in double digits in scoring against West Central Area.


2. Detroit Lakes (12-1)

Last week: 80-58 win at Staples-Motley; 61-51 win at Albany

Next up: at Crosby-Ironton, Friday, 7:15 p.m.; host Pequot Lakes, Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.

Trey Lyngaas stepped up big for DL in the win over Albany. Photo by Brian Basham/DL Newspapers

If the Albany game was a preview for the 8AAA championship game then Detroit Lakes is mighty pleased, as the Lakers won by 10 on the road.

DL now has a firm hold on 8AAA and all the confidence to go with it.

The wealth keeps spreading, as Corbin Duncan, Ryan Cihak and Trey Lyngaas each had 12 points.


3. Hawley (11-3)

Last week: 73-35 win at home over Pelican Rapids; 57-29 win at home over East Grand Forks

Next up: host Breckenridge, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Another big game for Hawley’s Ben Ellefson (left), as the senior big man dropped 40 points against East Grand Forks. Photo by Dave Wallis/Forum

Another big night for Hawley senior forward Ben Ellefson, as he dropped 40 points against East Grand Forks.

Hawley is yet to lose to a Class 2A team, lost to two Class 3A teams by a combined six points and lost to a 4A team by 13.

Hawley has a QRF ranking of 112. The next best in 8AA South is Barnesville at 76.4 and the next best in 8AA is Crookston at 100.5.


4. Hillcrest Lutheran Academy (10-1)

Last week: 62-35 win at Underwood; 54-52 win at Park Christian; 70-57 at Breckenridge

Next up: host Battle Lake, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; host Wheaton-Herman-Norcross, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; at Brandon-Evansville, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Hillcrest was able to outlast Park Christian for a big section win between two 7-0 teams in 6A. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum

To not only knock off the one team that stood in its way of a 6A North title in Park Christian on the road, but to also beat a Class 2A team by 13 in Breckenridge, is pretty impressive for Hillcrest.

Comets senior forward Jake Isaac had a week. He scored 25 points against Underwood, Isaac had 19 and the game-winning putback against Park Christian and had 15 against Breckenridge.

Now that Hillcrest proved it can play for a 6A North title, the Comets will have to prove they can compete for a 6A title, as the Comets will host the leaders of 6A South in Battle Lake on Thursday.


5. Moorhead (11-5)

Last week: 79-37 win at home over St. Cloud Tech; 73-67 win at home over Fergus Falls

Next up: at Anoka, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.

Cody Dorow (right) dropped 28 points in a win over Fergus Falls for Moorhead. Photo by Dave Wallis/Forum

It’s hard to boot Park Christian for losing on a buzzer beater to a team they will most likely see in the sub-section title game.

Then again, it’s hard to keep Moorhead out when the Spuds are 6-1 in 8AAAA and two of their five losses have come to teams not in the state of Minnesota.



1. Ada-Borup (10-0)

Last week: 85-36 win at home over Waubun; 86-18 win at Lake Park-Audubon

Next up: host Barnesville, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; host Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal, Friday, 7:30 p.m.; at Northern Cass (N.D.), Monday, 7:30 p.m.

The blowouts continue for Ada-Borup, as the closest game the Cougars have been in is a 16-point win over Norman County East-Ulen-HItterdal.

The Cougars have beaten teams by an average of 43.7 points. That’s not fair.


2. Hawley (11-1)

Last week: 57-32 win at home over Perham; 57-47 win at Pelican Rapids

Next up: host Frazee, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Nuggets had three in double digits in points against Perham and shot 45.5 percent from the field in the win over Pelican Rapids.

Hawley is 6-0 in 8AA, have 8AA South wrapped around their finger and seemingly are destined for a date with Crookston for the 8AA title.


3. Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (12-2)

Last week: 68-34 win at Ortonville; 55-38 win at home over Richland(N.D.)

Next up: at Sissteon (S.D.), Thursday, 8 p.m.; at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, Saturday, 4 p.m.; at West Central Area, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.

Wheaton is yet to lose to a Class 1A team. The Warriors have a date with a team that could challenge them for the 6A South crown in West Central Area on Tuesday.

If they make it out of 6A South, the Warriors still have Ada-Borup to deal with.


4. Frazee (9-4)

Last week: 60-47 win at home over Henning; 49-40 win at home over Perham

Next up: at Hawley, Friday, 7:30 p.m.; vs. Crookston at Concordia, Saturday, 2 p.m.; at Roseau, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Kennady Barlund is help leading Frazee on a seven-game winning streak. Photo by Jason Groth/Perham Focus

The good news is Frazee has won seven in a row after starting the season 2-4 and are 5-3 against 8AA teams. The bad news is seven of those wins have come at home.

Hornets have a nice chance to prove that Kennady Barlund, Josi Tappe and company are for real with a game at Hawley on Friday.


5. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (7-4)

Last week: 48-45 loss at East Grand Forks; 55-45 loss at Barnesville

Next up: at Perham, Friday, 7:30 p.m.; host Park Rapids, Monday, 7:30 p.m.

Pretty terrible week for D-G-F. No excuse losing to a 4-9 East Grand Forks team and a 4-5 Barnesville team, but here we are.

Outside of Frazee attempting to give Hawley a run on Friday, it looks as though 8AA South will come down to Hawley and either D-G-F or Pelican Rapids.

Hawley handled D-G-F rather easily earlier in the season, but the Rebels will get another crack at them on Jan. 27.


Chris Murphy can be reached at 701-241-5548 or Follow him on Twitter @SeeMurphsTweets for Minnesota prep updates and smart alecky remarks about sports, movies, music and life in general.


North Dakota high school wrestling notebook

FARGO – The North Dakota prep wrestling season is starting to heat up. Duals highlight the weekdays and tournaments occupy the weekends here on out.

I figured now would be a good opportunity to catchup with the local high school wrestling scene in anticipation of the state tournament next month in Fargo.

I’ll start with Class A.

The Eastern Dakota Conference has been dominated by West Fargo and Grand Forks Central thus far. The Knights are 10-3 overall and 5-0 in EDC dual competition. West Fargo, winners of the last three Class A team dual state championships, is 8-1 overall and 4-0 in the EDC.

Be sure to circle Jan. 15 on the calendar as that is the date when the Knights and Packers hit the mat in Grand Forks. West Fargo also hosts Moorhead in a nonconference dual on Jan. 20.

West Fargo’s Jared Franek took first place over Garrett Aldrich of Albert Lea, Minn. during the 120-pound final match during the Rumble on the Red tournament at the Fargodome on Saturday, January 3, 2015 in Fargo, N.D. Carrie Snyder / The Forum

Two West Fargo grapplers – freshman Jared Franek (120 pounds) and senior Weston Dobler (170 pounds) – took home individual titles at the Rumble on the Red tournament last week at the Fargodome.

The Packers also travel out west this weekend for the Bismarck Rotary tournament.

Out west, Turtle Mountain, Bismarck and Bismarck Century are all undefeated in Western Dakota Association competition.

In class B, the second individual region polls of the season were released on Wednesday.

Region 1 teams have accounted for 14 of the 15 Class B team dual state championships in state history. Once again, Region 1 figures to be a key player in both the team and individual tournaments at state.

South Border – a co-op comprised of wrestlers from Ashley and Wishek – has won the last four team dual state titles and last two team individual crowns.

South Border senior 170-pound standout Brayden Kuntz is ranked No. 1 in Region 1 and was 16-2 after finishing fourth at the Rumble on the Red tournament. Forum file photo.

The Mustangs have three grapplers – Andy Nolz (145), Brayden Kuntz (170) and Trevor Meidinger (182) – ranked No. 1 in their respective weight classes.

Kuntz (16-2) took fourth at the Rumble on the Red tournament and lost a tight 7-6 decision to Dobler in the semifinals.

Oakes has three No. 1-ranked wrestlers. Grayson Roney tops the 126-pound division. Senior Erik Loepp holds the top spot in at 138 pound sin Region 1 and next month will be in search for his fifth career individual state championship. The Tornadoes also have Region 1’s top-ranked heavyweight (285) in junior Michael Kelly, who won a state championship a year ago in Bismarck.

Oakes senior Erik Loepp has won four individual Class B state championships and will be going for No. 5 next month in Fargo. Forum file photo.

Kelly (17-1) and Loepp (17-2) each wrestled to second place finishes at the Rumble on the Red tournament.

Ethan Elijah of Lisbon is the top-ranked 113-pound wrestler in Region 1.

Napoleon dominates the Region 1 rankings with five top-ranked grapplers.

In Region 2, Carrington takes the lead with seven wrestlers ranked No. 1. Cardinals with top-rankings include: Lucas Geisler (106), Matthew Neumiller (120), Walker Carr (145), Chaz Bauer (160), Brett Lyman (170), Riley Lura (182) and Brady Schroder (285).

Carr won the 145-pound weight class at the Rumble on the Red and is 17-0 this season.

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at Follow Mix on Twitter @MixMaster_TGM

Top 5 area Minnesota girls and boys basketball rankings (Jan. 7)

Moorhead was bounced out of the boys rankings for Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, which has a huge game looming with Park Christian on Saturday.

No changes on the girls side, as Ada-Borup and Hawley are in control in the top two spots.



1. Battle Lake (10-1)

Last week: 68-44 win over Fargo South (N.D.) at Fergus Falls; 68-29 win at Underwood

Next up: at New York Mills, Friday, 7:30 p.m.; host West Central Area, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Battle Lake answered its first loss of the season with two wins. It’ll be interesting to see if that loss will benefit the Battlers, seeing as over their head all last season was the fact they were undefeated. Then, the Battlers lost at the worst possible time: in the section championship game.

Tony Ukkelberg and Petric VanErp continue to lead the way for the Battlers. They can both jump out of the building and Nick Trosdahl is down low to clean up.

Battlers have a big one with West Central Area, which is currently 8-0 overall and 2-0 in 6A South. Could very well be a preview for the sub-section title game.


2. Detroit Lakes (10-1)

Last week: 64-48 win at Fergus Falls

Next up: at Staple-Motley, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; at Albany, Saturday, 3 p.m.

Sam Champa is one of many options DL has offensively. Photo by Brian Basham/DL Newspapers

The Lakers keep cleaning up against Section 8AAA teams, knocking off Fergus Falls.

The Lakers continue to get scoring from all over the place with Corbin Duncan getting 20, Ryan Cihak getting 16 and Christian Hedstrom adding 13 in the win against Fergus Falls.

Huge game coming at Albany for the Lakers. Albany is 9-1 overall and 1-0 in the section and this could be a preview of the section championship game.


3. Hawley (9-3)

Last week: 50-39 win at Perham

Next up: host Pelican Rapids, Friday, 7:30 p.m.;host East Grand Forks, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Jordan Harms (left) getting to the basket is a big reason Hawley is 9-3. Photo by Dave Samson/Forum

Hawley is 5-0 against section opponents and the Nuggets have five consecutive home games coming up.

The Nuggets trailed rival Perham 26-18 at half, but outscored the Yellowjackets 32-13 in the second half. The Nuggets hit seven of their 15 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.

Not sure last season’s team would have overcome a deficit like that on the road at Perham. This is a different Nuggets squad.

This is what has Hawley at No. 3 in the latest Class 2A QRF rankings.


4. Park Christian (10-2)

Last week: 59-57 win over Oakes (N.D.) at Jamestown Civic Center; 55-31 win at home over Ada-Borup

Next up: host Lake Park-Audubon, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; host Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, Saturday, 3:45 p.m.; at Norman County West, Monday, 7:30 p.m.

New contributors have come on as of late for Park Christian, but Zach Kvalvog is the biggest reason the Falcons are where they are. Photo by Michael Vosburg/Forum

It’s not all Zach Kvalvog for Park Christian of late. Mark Schwandt had 18 points in the win over Oakes and the Falcons had four in double digits in scoring in the win over Ada-Borup.

The Falcons have a big test coming on Saturday, as they welcome Hillcrest Lutheran Academy to town. HLA is 9-1 overall and 6-0 in Section 6A, whereas the Falcons are 10-2 overall and 6-0 in 6A.

This could very well be a preview of the sub-section championship game in 6A North.


5. Hillcrest Lutheran Academy (7-1)

Last week: 97-45 win over Pelican Rapids at Fergus Falls

Next up: at Underwood, Friday, 7:30 p.m.; at Park Christian, Saturday, 3:45 p.m.;at Breckenridge, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Jake Isaac got his 1,000th point of his career with 38 points against Pelican Rapids. He made all but two of the 17 shots he took from the field.

The Comets have options with Isaac, Chris Tungseth, Ben Herzog and Micah Jones, but they will need to prove they can get by Park Christian first. Their chance is Saturday.



1. Ada-Borup (8-0)

Last week: 98-31 win at Park Christian

Next up: host Waubun, Friday, 6 p.m.; at Lake Park-Audubon, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Ada-Borup is really good at girls basketball.

The Cougars play defense, run the floor and have shooters. Between Lexi Nelson, Morgan Miller, Lexi Merkens and Haley Poehler the Cougars are seemingly unstoppable.

Coach David Smart got career win No. 296 on Tuesday, all of which have come in 15 seasons with the Cougars.


2. Hawley (9-1)

Last week: 63-44 win at home against Fargo Oak Grove (N.D.)

Next up: host Perham, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; at Pelican Rapids, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Jody Noreen (left) runs the Hawley offense from the point guard position. She’s the floor general for the Nuggets. Photo by Bob Williams/DL Newspapers

Mira Ellefson continues to shine, scoring 23 points in the win over Oak Grove.

Nuggets are 4-0 in section play and have an interesting matchup with a Pelican Rapids team beginning to get fully healthy. As of right now, it looks like only Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton stands in Hawley’s way of a trip back to the section championship game and the Nuggets beat the Rebels handily already this season.


3. Verndale (6-0)

Last week: 59-36 win at Nevis

Next up: host New York Mills, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; host Staples-Motley, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Verndale is 4-0 in Section 5A, but will have to get by Browerville to just get out of 5A North.


4. Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (10-2)

Last week: 75-25 win at home over Rosholt

Next up: at Ortonville, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Wheaton is on top of 6A South, but what looms is a date with Ada-Borup for the section title if the Warriors can get by West Central Area.

Not an easy road to state.


5. Park Rapids (7-2)

Last week: 69-65 win at home against Perham

Next up: at Wadena-Deer Creek, Friday, 7:15 p.m.; host Staples-Motley, Monday, 7:15 p.m.; host Detroit Lakes, Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.

The thing that separate Park Rapids and the top of the 8AA North standings is a three-point loss to Pequot Lakes.

The Panthers have proven they can play with the best, but they have to prove they can beat the best to get to state.


Chris Murphy can be reached at 701-241-5548 or Follow him on Twitter @SeeMurphsTweets for Minnesota prep updates and smart alecky remarks about sports, movies, music and life in general.


Kretchman breaks Fargo Oak Grove’s career 3-pointer record

FARGO – Fargo Oak Grove senior Carter Kretchman rewrote one chapter in the school’s boys basketball record book this weekend when the Grovers grabbed a pair of wins at the Bismarck Shiloh Christian Invite tournament.

Kretchman – a 5-foot-10 guard – broke Oak Grove’s school record for 3-point field goals made in a career. He now sits at 120 3-pointers made, which is one more than former Grovers standout Evan Holt, who made 119 from 2009 to 2011.

Fargo oak Grove senior Carter Kretchman (10) is the school’s all-time leading 3-point shooter with 120 3-point field goals made. Forum file photo

Here is a list of the Oak Grove’s all-time top 3-point shooters:

1. 120 – Carter Kretchman (2012-present)
2. 119 – Evan Holt (2009-2011)
3. 117 – Zack Larson (2003-2006)
4. 107 – Jordan Funfar (2011-2013)
5. (tie) 104 – Christian Adams (2012-present)
5. (tie) 104 – Cory Samson (2006-2008)

Kretchman had an outstanding postseason last year helping the Grovers to a North Dakota Class B boys basketball state championship. He was named the state tournament’s most valuable player and his 3-point shooting had a lot to do with the Grovers’ postseason run.

Kretchman hit a total of 17 3-pointers during the Region 1 tournament at the Fargo Civic Center a year ago including seven in the championship game against Oakes.

Kretchman is also approaching another career milestone. He is 115 points shy of hitting 1,000 career points. Teammate Christian Adams is 84 points shy of 1,000 points.

Oak Grove is ranked No. 2 in the latest North Dakota Class B boys basketball poll. The Grovers are coming off a 67-64 win over Bismarck Shiloh Christian and a 66-57 win over Dickinson Trinity.

With Kretchman and Adams, the Grovers (4-1) figure to be one of the top teams contending for a chance to go to state in Region 1. Most of Oak Grove’s District 2 schedule remains left to be played and games against Kindred, No. 7-ranked Central Cass and Northern Cass are still ahead.

It should be some fun basketball to watch the remaining months of the season.

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at Follow Mix on Twitter @MixMaster_TGM