Firebirds take home two wins from Huskies

Chris Harris, DLJ Sports
Devils Lake's Joseph Frelich (2) goes up for a shot with Wahpeton's Munezero Desire on the defense during the first half of a NDHSAA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 14, 2020 in Devils Lake.

One game was a blowout, another was with a little less comfort but both were on the right side of good as Devils Lake girls and boys each took Eastern Dakota Conference wins Friday against visiting Wahpeton.


Four players scored in double digits, led by North Dakota State commit Grant Nelson's 19 points as the Firebirds pulled away in the second half for the 64-49 victory over the Huskies.

After three consecutive 3s, two of which by Nelson, the Firebirds (11-7, 11-6) had the early 11-2 lead with just under three minutes into the contest. However the Huskies inched by in, behind the shooting of Corbin Cornelius whose 3-pointer with 6:12 left before halftime gave Wahpeton its first lead of the game. Tyler Tollefson basket with six seconds gave the Huskies the one point lead into the locker room.

"We weren't playing discipline basketball and if we are going to play undisciplined, Wahp is going to beat us at that game," said Firebirds head coach Derek Gathman. "They are a very disciplined team, well coach and they don't give up easy things. You have to earn them.

"We began playing more disciplined on offense and defense and that was literally the difference in the game."

The Firebirds opened the second half on a 16-4 run that was capped off by two Kyler Longie free throws with 10:19 left in regulation and Devils Lake was in control from there on.

Ben Heilman finished with 14 points, Michael Widmer added 12 for the Firebirds who are a half game out of third place in the EDC with three games remaining.

Cornelius scored 18 points, 12 of those from beyond the arc and Munezero Desire had 11 points to lead the Huskies (5-12, 4-12).

Wahpeton at Devils Lake boys box score

Wahpeton 26 23 — 49

Devils Lake 25 39 — 64

WAHPETON (2-15, 2-14 EDC) 

Cornelius 18, Desire 11, Matejcek 6, Bertels 5, Hansen 4, Tollefson 4, Thimjon 1, Hockert 0, Manock 0. Totals 19 5-8 49

DEVILS LAKE (11-7, 11-6)

Nelson  19, Heilman 14, Widmer 12, Frelich 10, Newton 3, Fee 2, Longie 2, Hofstad 2, DeCoteau 0. Totals 19 19-33 64.


No. 1 Devils Lake 76, Wahpeton 50

The last unbeaten team in Class A, the top-ranked Firebirds had 10 players to score, led by Karli Krogfoss and Abby Johnson who each scored 11 points apiece and overwhelmed the two-win Huskies.

The Firebirds (18-0, 17-0 EDC) led 27-9 eight minutes into the game and was ahead by 31 at halftime. The Firebirds concluded the week with back-to-back easy wins after needing a second half comeback on this past Tuesday to end the week at 3-0.

"We game planned for these two teams (Fargo North and Wahpeton) and they were the lower teams in the conference. We came out and did what we were supposed to do and I was satisfied," said Firebirds head coach Justin Klein. "Tuesday night, I was a little disappointed with our play early on but we got better in the second half.

"But it was a good week. Anytime you have three games that you have to prepare for mentally is tough but now we have to prepare and practice for Davies and another tough game against Sheyenne at home."

Laila Gourd and Jailyn Martinson both scored 10 points each for Devils Lake.

Jordyn Kahler led all scorers with 17 points for the Huskies (2-15, 2-14).

Wahpeton at Devils Lake girls box score

Wahpeton 18 32 — 50

Devils Lake 49 27 — 76

WAHPETON (2-15, 2-14)

Kahler 17, Koolmo 11, Kjar 4, Allard 4, Romereim 2, Pulskamp 2, Habiger 2, Pithey 2, Motl 2, DeVries 2, Hill 0. Totals 18 13-17 50

DEVILS LAKE (18-0, 17-0)

Johnson 11, Krogfoss 11, Martinson 10, L. Gourd 10, Dahlen 8, Swenson 6, M. Gourd 6, Brown 6, May. Barendt 6, Ja. Frelich 0, Je. Frelich 0, Wilhelmi 0, Nelson 0. Totals 30 11-16 76.

Chris Harris can be reached at