WEST FARGO — Fargo Davies bounced back from last week's upset loss with a 62-45 win over West Fargo in Eastern Dakota Conference boys basketball Tuesday night at West Fargo High School.
Coming off a win over West Fargo Sheyenne in a battle of the top two teams in last week’s state-wide poll last Friday, the Eagles traveled to Grand Forks Central on Saturday and suffered their first defeat.
Davies head coach Bart Manson said his team carried their sluggish play into the first half against the Packers. But they got back into a groove as they pulled away in the second half.
“(The loss) was a lesson for us,” Manson said. “You’ve got to line up and you’ve got to play every game. And we didn’t do that, we missed a lot of shots. You saw a resemblance of that coming into the first half tonight. And then finally in the second half we got it going again.”
West Fargo put up a fight in a back-and-forth final 5 minutes, 30 seconds of the first half that saw two ties and two lead changes.
Brett Limke hit a 3-pointer with 5:30 to go in the first half to make it a one-point game 15-14. And Carson Hegerle followed that up with a 3 of his own to give the Packers their first lead of the game 17-15. Cameron Van Dam answered with a layup to tie it at 17 and Justice Noel pushed the Eagles back on top 19-17.
West Fargo’s Blessing Reeves got a feed from Matt Miller and made a layup to knot the score 19-19. Bitz answered with a 3-pointer for Davies. The Eagles scored five straight points to go ahead 26-21, but Hegerle scored to make it a one-possession game 26-23 going into the break.
“The first half wasn’t pretty,” Davies senior Cole Hage said. “We were really flat. In the halftime locker room we talked and we needed to make an adjustment to bring more energy. We were sloppy and had turnovers, and we just needed to settle down and settle in.”
The Eagles responded in the second half. They went on an 8-2 run out of the break and kept the Packers at arm’s length from there. Davies’ defense clamped down and the offense built some momentum. Every time West Fargo scored, the Eagles had an answer as the Packers only scored consecutive baskets once in the second half.
“We came out of the break with some intensity,” Hage said. “Grayson (Haman) and Ty (Satter) hit some clutch 3s and then Cam (Van Dam) had a dunk that got us going a little bit. We were pretty flat today. We’ve still got to work on getting that energy back that we had early in the season. We still have a ways to go.”
Hage made a deep 2-point jumper with 10 minutes to go to push the Eagles lead to 11 at 46-35 and they just kept adding from there. They outscored the Packers 12-6 in the final four minutes as West Fargo was forced to take low-percentage shots.
“We talked about trying to keep them out of the paint and make sure we didn’t give them second chances,” Manson said. “There were a couple of times in the first half where they made 3s off offensive rebounds. We did a nice job in the second half of getting that cleaned up and it led to some baskets on the other end.”
Six-foot-8 senior post Hunter Lyman was a force inside for the Packers, scoring 18 points, including the Packers’ first five points. Hegerle added 14 points for the Packers.
Owen Hektner led the Eagles with 13 points, while Van Dam scored 12. Ty Satter chipped in 11 points and Grayson Haman added 10. Cole Hage scored all seven of his points in the second half.
FD: Hektner 13, Van Dam 12, Haman 10, Satter 9, Hage 8, Noel 7, Bitz 3.
WF: Lyman 18, Hegerle 14, Limke 5, Birrenkott 4, Pease 2, Reeves 2.