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Boys' basketball on verge of EDC title

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Fargo, 58102

Fargo North Dakota 101 5th Street North 58102

The Packer boys' basketball team, coming off a solid win Monday against Fargo North, faces eight more days of zero games and a lot of practices before the final game of the regular season.

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What does a 15-3 team, in first place in the EDC, work on exactly with all that free time?

"Coach (Greg) Limke always knows how to spread it out," said junior Jason Moch. "We'll do some shooting one day and work on defense the next."

Not that the Packers are needing a whole lot of work on defense. In giving up just over 55 points-per-game, the Packers are more than five points better than the second best team in the conference. They even have the best defense in the state, more than three points a game better than Williston.

It's a defense that's served West Fargo well on its seven-game win streak against EDC competition.

"We're coming together as a team," said senior Michael Schnepf. "We're definitely playing good right now. We have a lot of guys stepping up and scoring some points right now."

West Fargo players say Monday's win over the Spartans was especially gratifying given that the Packers lost to North earlier in the season. Senior Tanner Farkas scored 22 points, while senior Seth Dye added 15.

"I know when we lost to Wahpeton early in the season we were really excited to pay them back, and we were able to do that," said Moch. "Now we got North, so we were able to avenge both of our EDC losses."

West Fargo's consistent play, as of late, has them one game ahead of Fargo South going into the two teams' season finale against one another in West Fargo on Feb. 21. The Packers won at South in last season's finale to win the EDC regular season title. The Bruins lost to West Fargo by 14 points early this season, meaning they'll have to beat the Packers by at least that much to steal the top seed for the EDC tournament from the Packers.

"We're not even going to worry about those scenarios," said Limke. "We're just going to plan on coming in and not worrying about the point spread."

Limke said there's plenty to do during the long break before the last game of the regular season. One thing needed is rest, with several players experiencing the aches and pains that come with playing five games in two weeks as the Packers have.

"We've got a lot to do," he said. "The biggest thing will be to keep the tenacity, and the attitude, the aggressiveness and the competitiveness up during this stretch. We have to keep going forward even though there is no game. Sometimes you have to make practice your game."

Farkas said the team is already thinking about the Bruins, historically West Fargo's biggest rival.

"We're extremely excited for it," he said. "It's pretty much the conference championship game of the year."

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