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Tom Mix, Published January 08 2013

Packers hit 10 3-pointers in boys basketball win over Valley City

WEST FARGO – It is hard to pinpoint what contributes to a team getting off to good start in any given basketball game.

But it is a safe bet that the West Fargo boys basketball team would take the start they had in Tuesday’s 80-49 Eastern Dakota Conference win over Valley City at West Fargo High School every game if they could.

Of course, that’s highly unlikely, but the Packers’ 15-0 run to start the game did the trick.

So what was the key to that start?

“I think it was two things,” West Fargo head coach Greg Limke said. “Our defense got in in the flow and that led to some good offense. I also thought our passing was what created some good shots. They were unselfish.”

Junior guard Travis Schock and senior forward Caleb Mattila fueled the Packers’ 15-0 outburst. Schock scored the game’s first seven points and Mattila followed with the next eight points off of three baskets, two of which came from beyond the arc.

The Packers shot 59 percent from the field in the first half and led 46-20 at halftime.

West Fargo was 10 of 12 (83 percent) from beyond the arc in the first half. Schock was a perfect 5-for-5 in 3-point attempts and finished the game with 21 points.

“My teammates gave me great passes,” Schock said. “They were hot too. The whole team was I guess. Everybody was feeling it.”

The Packers finished 10 of 16 in 3-pointers, but Schock’s touch was hard for his teammates to ignore.

“When Travis got hot they kept going to him and that was good,” Limke said. “His shot selection was excellent. He got himself started driving to the basket early in the game and also played well on the defensive end. Those things led to some opportunities for him to make some 3-pointers.”

Senior forward Justin Heisler added 16 points and five rebounds for the Packers (5-2, 5-2 EDC). Mattila finished with 15 points.

Valley City committed 23 turnovers and were outrebounded 30-21. Senior forward Chase Carpenter posted 20 points and seven rebounds to pace the Hi-Liners (3-5, 0-3).

“I thought we made some gains with our basketball IQ,” Limke said. “We paid closer attention to the scouting reports than we have been earlier in the season and those are the things you look for as the season progresses.”

VALLEY CITY (3-5): Nelson 1 0-0 3, Svenningsen 1 1-2 3, Denholm 3 0-0 8, J. Lentz 4 0-0 11, Carpenter 7 4-4 20, T. Lentz 2 0-0 4. Totals: 18 5-6 49.

WEST FARGO (5-2): Heisler 6 4-4 16, Mattila 5 3-4 15, Schock 8 0-0 21, Rotert 3 0-0 7, Wolden 1 0-0 3, D. Hogenson 2 0-0 5, Sample 1 0-0 2, Johnson 5 1-2 11. Totals: 31 8-10 80.

Halftime: WF 46, VC 20. 3-pointers: Nelson, Denholm 2, J. Lentz 3, Carpenter 2, Mattila 2, Schock 5, Rotert, Wolden, Hogenson. Total fouls: VC 9, WF 8. Rebounds: VC 21 (Carpenter 7), WF 30 (Heisler 5). Turnovers: VC 23, WF 18.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562