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Class A Boys Basketball Roundup: Grand Forks Red River survives Bismarck rally

BISMARCK -- Braedan Hanson took a practice approach with a berth in the state semifinals on the line.Hanson hit a pair of free throws with 9 seconds remaining. That thwarted a frantic Bismarck High comeback, icing a 73-66 Grand Forks Red River wi...

BISMARCK - Braedan Hanson took a practice approach with a berth in the state semifinals on the line.
Hanson hit a pair of free throws with 9 seconds remaining. That thwarted a frantic Bismarck High comeback, icing a 73-66 Grand Forks Red River win Thursday in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class A boys high school basketball tournament.
“We shoot free throws every day in practice,’’ Hanson said. “I just had to think about what’s it like in practices, take a deep breath, relax and hit them like in practices.”
The Roughriders held on after a strong defensive stretch sparked a 14-2 run to build a big lead. Red River held the Demons scoreless on five straight possessions in a spurt that saw the Riders expand their lead from 43-40 to 57-42 with 7:13 remaining.
Hanson had 16 points to lead the way for the Roughriders while also grabbing 11 rebounds. Carson Dennis added 14 points, Cody Robertson had a career-high 13 and Austin Slaughter added 10 points.
Bismarck (16-10) received a double double from Brayden Thomas, who had 23 points and 15 rebounds. Connor Hellebust scored 20 as the two dominated the Demons’ scoring.
Minot surges past Devils Lake
BISMARCK - Minot used a big surge to close the first half and start the second to run by Devils Lake 73-58 Thursday.
The Magicians closed the first half on a 12-2 run, then scored the first 10 of the second half.
Devils Lake stayed close to the Magicians for most of the first half, tying the score at 22 with 3:25 left on a Jagger Miller basket.
Fifteen seconds later, Chandler Albertson hit a free throw to break the tie. Then Minot blitzed the Firebirds, scoring 12 unanswered points in a 1:41 span.
Devils Lake never recovered. Minot stretched its run to 23-2 with a 10-0 run to start the second half capped by a pair of KyJuan Johnson 3-point baskets.
Jake Mertens had a game-high 24 points to lead the Firebirds, with Zach Dahlen adding 10.
Johnson and Justin Engg each scored 17 to lead Minot.
West Fargo tops Bismarck Century in overtime
BISMARCK - Joe Pistorius ad libbed a little. West Fargo is advancing as a result.
The sophomore guard drove the lane for the game-winning basket Thursday as the Packers beat Bismarck Century 67-65 in overtime in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class A boys high school basketball tournament.
Pistorius had the ball on the perimeter and drove the lane for a layup and the winning points with 28 seconds left. Century was off the mark on two shots on its final possession.
“We usually pass the ball off a screen on that play,’’ said Pistorius. “But (the defender) was overplaying the screen. So I faked using the screen and went the other way.”
With 1:13 left in the game, Pistorius drove for a layup and a 65-62 lead. But Dalton Feeney’s 3-point play with 40 seconds left knotted the score and setting up Pistorius’ game winner.
Creighton Pfau’s 20 points led the Packers. Aden and Pistorius each added 16, with Aden grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds.
Feeney had a game-high 23 points, with Adam Geiger adding 19. Lucas Mayer had a double double for the Patriots with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

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