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Tom Mix, Published March 08 2012

Mandan pulls out OT win against West Fargo at ND Class A state boys basketball

FARGO – With desperation starting to set in for West Region top-seeded Mandan, Devin Coyle made two shots.

The first, a jumper with four seconds to play in regulation, forced overtime. The second, a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left in overtime, put Mandan ahead for good.

Both baskets were key in the Braves’ 67-62 win over West Fargo during the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class A state boys basketball tournament Thursday at the Fargodome.

“I hate losing and so do the other eight seniors on the team,” said Coyle who is a Mr. Basketball finalist. “Between the nine of us and the other guys that came in, we knew we had to make some shots. The heart we played with that second half, we knew we wanted to move on to the next round. We really picked it up.”

Mandan (18-5) advances to play Grand Forks Red River in the semifinals at 1 p.m. today.

Coyle, who cooled considerably early in the second half, led all scorers with 26 points and was 6 of 14 from beyond the arc.

“Devin has enough faith in himself that he’s going to make the next one,” Mandan head coach Jason Horner said. “I’ve seen him do it for four years … He’s amazing.”

The Braves built an early lead with perimeter shooting. Aaron Janz and Coyle each converted three 3-pointers in the first half.

Mandan held a 30-21 lead with three minutes left to play in the first half, but West Fargo closed the half on a 12-0 run to take a 33-30 halftime lead.

“(Mandan) had a good rally early and we were able to stop that,” West Fargo coach Greg Limke said. “We got our feet under us. We started believing we could be in the game and played well for most of the game.”

Justin Heisler paced the Packers (12-11) with 22 points. Andy Young and Brady Rotert added 18 and 11 points, respectively, for West Fargo, which plays Bismarck St. Mary’s in the consolation semifinals at noon today at the Bison Sports Arena.

West Fargo led 57-44 before Coyle scored his first points of the second half with 4 minutes, 11 seconds left in regulation. Coyle’s two free throws started a Braves’ 10-0 run.

The Packers didn’t make a field goal in the final 4:11 and were 3 of 8 from the free-throw line, allowing the Braves to force extra time. Coyle’s 3-pointer was the only field goal of the overtime period.

“We’re proud of our guys for believing we could beat the top team from the west,” Limke said. “We showed that we belonged here at the state tournament … It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t close the door when we had the opportunity.”

WF (12-11): Heisler 8-15 4-6 22, Young 5-9 8-9 18, Rotert 4-13 3-9 11, Uetz 2-6 0-0 6, Hogenson 2-3 0-2 4, Schock 0-6 1-2 1. Totals 21-53 16-28 62.

MANDAN (18-5): Coyle 8-19 4-4 26, Janz 4-13 1-1 12, Westby 3-12 5-6 11, Watson 4-7 0-0 8, Marcellais 2-4 0-0 4, Collins 1-7 2-2 4, Schmidt 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 23-66 12-13 67.

Halftime: WF 33, M 30

3-pointers: Coyle 6, Janz 3, Heisler 2, Uetz 2. Total fouls: WF 14, M 18. Rebounds: M 59 (Janz 13), WF 29 (Rotert 8). Assists: M 10 (Westby 10), WF 6 (Hogenson, Schock 2). Turnovers: WF 10, M 14.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 451-5651