GRAND FORKS — Luke Lennon will make Grand Forks home next fall, having signed to play football at the University of North Dakota.
Grand Forks Red River High School boys basketball coach Kirby Krefting probably will be happy not seeing the West Fargo senior on the basketball court again.
Lennon’s big first half led the way Tuesday as the Packers pulled away to a 79-57 victory at Red River in Eastern Dakota Conference play.
“A kid like that, who’s big and athletic, you try to prepare for him,’’ Krefting said. “But he’s a tough matchup. He’s a good basketball player.’’
The Packers never trailed, building some space when they went on an 11-2 run for a 20-7 lead. Red River never regained the lead.
Lennon, the nephew of former UND football coach Dale Lennon, had eight points in the run. The 6-foot-5 senior, working from close range, scored 18 of his game-high 23 points in the first half, which ended with West Fargo ahead 34-20. Lennon also finished with six rebounds and five assists.
“Luke’s unguardable,’’ West Fargo coach Adam Palczewski said. “He finds his position and holds it. He’s really worked on his basketball skills. And he plays so hard; it’s a workmanlike 23 points.
“They tried to zone us defensively. We were able to pound the ball inside and it showed, getting up big early.’’
That early Packers spurt, Krefting said, “was a big momentum swing. We dug ourselves into a hole. And we didn’t put together many runs to dig out of it.’’
West Fargo also received 14 points from 6-foot-8 Hunter Lyman and 11 from 6-5 Carter Birrenkott.
That size helped West Fargo to 64-percent shooting accuracy (31 of 48). It helped the Packers hold Red River to 23-of-48 shooting (47 percent).
“Because of that length, they were forcing us to take jump shots,’’ Krefting said. “And those weren’t going in consistently for us tonight.’’
Red River’s biggest run of the game was six unanswered points in the second half, which could draw the Riders only within 52-35. The Packers' second-half lead ranged from 12 to 23 points.
“Our guards did a nice job of pressing fullcourt the whole game,’’ Palczewski said. “We made it tough for Red River to get into its offensive game.’’
Guards Matt Miller and Braxton Bruer added 15 and 10 points, respectively, for the 9-3 Packers.
Brady Dvorak and William Obioha each had 16 points to pace the 7-6 Roughriders.
WF: Luke Lennon 23, Matt Miller 15, Hunter Lyman 14, Carter Birrenkott 11, Braxton Bruer 10, Carson Hegerle 4, Nuradin Aden 2.
GFRR: Brady Dvorak 16, William Obioha 16, Khamani Steckler 6, Brett Klefstad 6, Cole Benson 5, Bryce Enerson 4, Kobe Springer 4.
Half: WF 48, RR 27.