WATCH: West Fargo boys take down top-ranked Davies
FARGO — Hunter Lyman knew he needed to do something special for his first varsity start, and the 6-foot-8 junior center did just that.
Lyman scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds as West Fargo went into Fargo Davies and upset the top-ranked Eagles 78-72 in Eastern Dakota Conference boys basketball action Thursday.
Having already established himself off the bench as a key compliment to starting center Luke Lennon, Lyman looked unguardable in the paint for much of the night.
He also provided the best individual moment of the game midway through the second half, when he caught a pass in the low post, then executed a perfect spin move around Eagle center Cameron Van Dam before finishing at the rim. This basket was part of a 10-0 run that put the Packers comfortably ahead for the rest of the night.
"I've been working on (my spin move) for the last couple years," Lyman said. "I thought I'd just throw it in the game and it worked."
The spin move is just one element Lyman has been working to perfect, and after a strong start to the season as a reserve, West Fargo coach Adam Palczewski said the time had come to work him into the starting five.
"He's a talented kid," he said. "He's just been working harder and harder, and giving more of himself to the team," Palczewski said. "It was time to let him shine. He prepared himself for three years now to be in this position. That's the effort we expect from him every night."
Lyman got plenty of help from his low-post mate Lennon, who added 16 points and six rebounds.
The duo flourished thanks in part to a key injury on the Davies side. After hurting his ankle in practice Wednesday, 6-5 center Jaden Klabo was held out. Coach Bart Manson called the injury day-to-day and doesn't expect it will lead to a prolonged absence.
Van Dam, a 6-6 junior, proved to be a strong substitute early, scoring seven quick points in the first half. But after he picked up his fourth foul just 38 seconds into the second half, the Packers were able to seize momentum with him on the bench.
Braeton Motschenbacher led Davies with 25 points, including a personal 5-0 run that gave the Eagles a 37-32 lead at halftime.
Though saying his team was flat at several moments Tuesday, Manson credited West Fargo for handing Davies its first defeat, and expects to see more tight battles with the Packers down the stretch this season.
"They were dynamite tonight," he said. "They did everything they needed to do. They took us out of a lot of stuff and made us work offensively. It's a long year. We've just got to battle back to get back in the win column."
Saying he entered the night knowing his team could play with anyone, Palczewski said his group had to work to avoid feeling complacent after proving it on the court Thursday.
"Davies is the best program in the EDC," he said. "They are year-in-year-out. They're always the measuring stick. I'm just really proud of our guys for sticking in there. (But) there's no rest. Any team can have one good game then be bad the next night. So we need to work on our consistency and keep playing."
WF: Bruer 12, Miller 10, Hegerle 6, Birrenkott 9, Lyman 23, Moton 2, Lennon 16
FD: Satter 0, Roos 3, Motschenbacher 25, Hektner 4, Thom 2, Haman 9, Van Dam 11, Hage 12, Hensel 6