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Tom Mix, Published March 05 2013

West Fargo tops Fargo South in East Region boys basketball quarterfinals

WEST FARGO – The two regular-season meetings between the West Fargo and Fargo South boys basketball teams were split down the middle.

The rubber matchup was played Tuesday, and it was the Packers that claimed a 55-51 victory over the Bruins during the quarterfinals of the Eastern Dakota Conference tournament at West Fargo High School.

West Fargo – the No. 4 seeded team in the tournament – pulled away from No. 5-seeded South in the second half. The Packers executed a 8-2 run that was capped off by a layup by Luke Johnson, which gave West Fargo a 49-41 lead with 5 minutes, 57 seconds left.

South never got closer than two points to the Packers the rest of regulation.

“It was actually a lot higher score than I thought it would be,” West Fargo head coach Greg Limke said. “Our teams know each other so well and that usually leads to some pretty good defense. Both teams were aggressive and got after it.

“We knew South would give it all they had. We had to handle and respond to them and we are proud that we did that.”

West Fargo (13-7) advances to play East Region No. 1-seeded and No. 1-ranked Grand Forks Red River in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at the Bison Sports Arena.

West Fargo junior guard Travis Schock led all scorers with 20 points.

“It was a big game for us,” Schock said. “We know they were going to be prepared and we had to be ready for them. We wanted it. The whole team was into the game. Everyone was diving on loose balls.”

South (10-10) plays Fargo North in a loser-out game at 3 p.m. on Friday at the Bison Sports Arena.

“It was like a prize fight,” Fargo South head coach Mike Hendrickson said. “It was two heavyweight teams going back and forth. … Coach (Greg) Limke shook my hand at the end and said ‘that was fun.’

“I hate to say it was fun because we got beat, but it was just two teams that really got after each other.”

South senior point guard Paxton Lloyd paced the Bruins with 18 points. Lloyd hit a 3-pointer with 1:32 left to play cutting West Fargo’s lead to 53-51.

Six-foot-5 senior center Derek Hogenson, who finished with 14 points and nine rebounds, hit two free-throws with 59.6 seconds remaining to seal the victory.

West Fargo was 14 of 15 from the free-throw line.

“I thought we were really good at the free-throw line,” Limke said. “That was critical.”

FARGO SOUTH (10-10): C. Lloyd 3 2-2 9, P. Lloyd 7 2-3 18, Schweitzer 3 0-0 7, Kellen 2 4-4 8, Fahrman 4 1-6 9. Totals: 19 9-15 51.

WEST FARGO (13-7): Heisler 3 0-1 6, Mattila 1 0-0 3, Schock 6 6-6 20, Rotert 3 0-0 8, Hogenson 4 6-6 14, Johnson 1 2-2 4. Totals: 18 14-15 55.

Halftime: FS 24, WF 23. 3-pointers: C. Lloyd, P. Lloyd 2, Schweitzer, Mattila, Schock 2, Rotert 2. Total fouls: FS 15, WF 12. Rebounds: FS 32 (Kellen 10), WF 29 (Hogenson 9). Turnovers: FS 17, WF 11. Assists: FS 7 (C. Lloyd 3), WF 7 (Wolden, Heisler 2). Steals: FS 6 (Gardner 2), WF 12 (Heisler, Rotert 3).

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562