FARGO — A lot can happen in a year, and the West Fargo Sheyenne boys basketball team is proof. The Mustangs went from missing state a year ago, to rolling into next week's North Dakota Class A state tournament the No. 1 seed from the region, accomplishing a hefty feat to do so.
Second-seeded Sheyenne reclaimed the East Region crown, winning it for the second time in three seasons, against top-seeded Fargo Davies in a 68-48 victory, Sheyenne's first win over the Eagles since 2018.
The Mustangs (22-2) held Davies (22-2) to its lowest output of the year, the Eagles' first game under 50, to reach the region mountaintop at Scheels Center at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex.
"It feels amazing. I'm so happy for these guys," Sheyenne head coach Tom Kirchoffner said. "These seniors, they deserved it, they worked hard. I'm just proud of them."
Sheyenne dropped a 69-68 overtime game to Davies a little over a week ago. Kirchoffner said nothing was different about the team's game plan Saturday.
"The other night we played them, we played a great game plan, we just didn't come down with some situations, we didn't handle the ball," Kirchoffner said. "Tonight we did that. We learned from our mistakes. Every game is a learning experience. Next week, there's no more learning experiences, we gotta be ready to go."
The Mustangs started fast, putting on a show for the sea of fans in blue and orange piled into the SHAC.
Sheyenne drilled five 3-pointers, with the help of Chuck DuBois who went 2-for-3 from the 3-point range, grabbing a 26-15 lead with four minutes to go in the first half. Zion Dettmann stretched the margin as he sank a pair of free throws.
"I just think that they wanted it more tonight," Davies head coach Bart Manson said. "Our guys laid down in that first half."
The Mustangs weren't going to give the third matchup of the year against Davies easily, and they made it known on both ends of the court, holding Eagles leading scorer Cameron Van Dam to three points in the first half.
"We didn't line up and play tonight," Manson said. "If you don't line up and play, you get beat."
Down by seven entering the second half, Davies chipped away at Sheyenne's lead with help from Van Dam, who put up 12 points in the first 11 minutes of the second half.
Sheyenne's strong field half carried into the second half, as the Mustangs grabbed a game-high 17-point lead at 57-40.
"We've been working for this all year, and we came together as a team today and got a big win," said Sheyenne senior Blake Berg, who had 16 points. "I can't explain it. This is one of the best feelings right now. Now we gotta go to next week, state tournament, and get that done."
Manson said Davies "kind of played" themselves out of the game in the first half.
"We've been playing together our whole lives, this is all of our seniors, our senior group is together," Berg said. "Just feels good to get this win."
Davies, which averages around 78 points per game, shot 19 of 55 for 34%.
"The way these guys share the basketball, they move the basketball so well. But the way they play defense, they are just one connected unit," Kirchoffner said. "They rebound well and they run together. It's amazing to watch."
FD: Van Dam 18, Hage 11, Hektner 9, Noel 6, Satter 3, Haman 1.
WFS: DuBois 18, Berg 16, Dettmann 12, Moni 10, Leake 6, Kpeenu 5, Terhark 1.
Half: WFS 30, FD 23.
All-Eastern Dakota Conference team
Grant Nelson, Devils Lake; Cameron Van Dam, Grayson Haman, Ty Satter, Cole Hage, Fargo Davies; Cayden Rickard, Fargo North; Kevin Hardy, Fargo South; Brady Dvorak, Grand Forks Red River; Mason Gravseth, Grand Forks Central; Talon Hoffer, Fargo Shanley; Tyler Terhark, Blake Berg, Zion Dettmann, West Fargo Sheyenne; Payton Zaun, Valley City; Tyler Tollefson, Wahpeton; Hunter Lyman, Matt Miller, West Fargo.
East Region senior player of the year: Grant Nelson, Devils Lake.
East Region coach of the year: Bart Manson, Fargo Davies.