The Devils Lake girls and boys basketball teams are looking to come off of its holiday break with momentum.
The Devils Lake girls and boys basketball teams are looking to come off of its holiday break with momentum. On Thursday evening, the squads travel to Grand Forks for showdowns with Red River. It will a tough test for both Firebird programs as the Roughriders are off to strong starts on both the boys and girls side.
The Grand Forks Red River girls team is 6-0 on the season. Ranked third in the state, the Roughriders come into Thursday's matchup riding a wave of momentum. The team features a number of returners.
"They have gotten off to a really good start this season," Justin Klein, head coach of the Devils Lake girls basketball team, pointed out. "Red River has a traditionally strong program. You know it's going to be a tough game every time you play against them."
Senior guard Lexi Robson is a three-year start who brings a great deal of senior leadership to the court for the Roughriders. Grand Forks Red River had to fill several starting spot due to losses from graduation. That, however, hasn't effected the team one bit.
"Grand Forks Red River has a very good system. They do a very good job of plugging in new athletes despite losing quality players," Klein stated.
Devils Lake is 3-2 going into the game. The squad is coming off of a home victory over Minot.
"We are hoping to transition our intensity from our last game onto the road against Red River," the coach said.
On the boys side, the Roughriders are ranked fifth. Playing a tough schedule, Red River has a record of 4-2 going into the game against Devils Lake. The team has picked up big wins against EDC foes West Fargo and West Fargo Sheyenne while falling to the top two teams Minot and Fargo Davies.
"They are playing extremely well right now," Devils Lake head coach Derek Gathman said of the EDC opponent. "Grand Forks Red River has a lot of size, athleticism and depth. They bring a lot to table."
Austin Slaughter leads the way for Grand Forks Red River. The senior guard, who averages 24 points and eight rebounds a night, poses a challenge to any team he faces.
"Austin is just an excellent ball player. Not only is he a big body, but he plays like a guard and has the ability to shoot plus get to the basket," Gathman said.
The Roughriders are a tough opponent for the 2-4 Firebirds. Devils Lake, however, is looking forward to the opportunity to face another top team in the EDC.
"It's a tough game on the road. Grand Forks Red River is a good team," Gathman said. "But, I know our guys will be ready to go. We're not going to back down against anyone."