EDC boys basketball: Roughriders down Devils Lake on last-second play in state qualifier game
Grand Forks Red River defeated Devils Lake thanks to Carter Byron's three-point play with 3.3 seconds left on Saturday.
FARGO — Grand Forks Red River's Carter Byron converted a three-point play with 3.3 second left and the Roughriders knocked off Devils Lake 77-74 in a Eastern Dakota Conference state qualifier on Saturday at the Sanford Health and Athletic Complex.
The Roughriders' win nailed down a spot in the Class A state tournament.
Red River's Pearce Parks, who drained clutch shots to keep his team within reach of the Firebirds, said he wasn't surprised the game came down to the final seconds.
"We knew it was going to be a tough team," Parks said. "We battled all game and we prevailed at the end."
The first half was evenly contested, with both teams shooting 50 percent from the field, but Devils Lake found an edge and took a 39-33 lead into halftime.
The Roughriders reclaimed the lead early in the second half, but the Firebirds took advantage of Red River turnovers to retake the lead.
After the teams traded baskets, the game was tied 74-74 with nine seconds left, setting the stage for Byron's game-winner.
"That's what they've done all season," said Red River head coach Kirby Krefting. "We had some fast-break points and some transition buckets. It worked out well."
The Roughriders were 28 for 50 from the floor and 16 for 28 from the free-throw line.
Red River's Reis Rowekamp had 21 points, six assists and four rebounds. Byron had 10 points, eight rebounds and two assists. Zac Kraft had eight points and five rebounds.
The Firebirds shot 28 for 65 from the floor, including nine 3-pointers, and hit 9 of 14 free throws. The loss ends the Firebirds' season.
The Firebirds' Parker Brodina finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Wylee Delorme had 20 points, four rebounds and two assists and Oliver Wirth collected 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals.
The Roughriders' exciting win could be important heading into the state tournament, Krefting said.
"You've got to use that momentum," Krefting said. "Take everything you can into that next level. We're on a three step process — the first is the regular season, the second is the EDC tournament and the third is state. We are on that third step."