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Tom Mix, Published March 09 2013

West Fargo tops Fargo Davies in East region boys basketball title game

FARGO – West Fargo senior forward Justin Heisler knew the shots would eventually fall on Saturday night for the Packers.

The shots did fall late in the game and at a rapid rate for West Fargo during a 65-58 win over Fargo Davies in the championship game of the North Dakota Class A, East Region boys basketball tournament at the Bison Sports Arena.

Heisler connected for a 3-pointer with 1 minute, 47 seconds left in regulation to give West Fargo a 58-55 lead and from there it never looked back. Heisler’s big shot also marked the first time West Fargo – which trailed by as much as 14 points early in the first half – seized the lead.

“I knew we couldn’t miss shots all game,” Heisler said. “We got the misses out of the way and there were a lot of big shots that got us going.”

West Fargo (15-7) ended the final 2:19 of regulation on a 13-3 run to clinch its first East Region crown since 2010.

“It came down to some tight possessions at the end of the game,” Fargo Davies head coach Bart Manson said. “We didn’t take care of the ball at the end of the game. We also got killed on the glass rebounding the ball tonight and that was the deciding factor.”

Heisler paced the Packers with 19 points and seven rebounds. West Fargo outrebounded Davies 35-25.

West Fargo clinches the No. 1-seed from the East and will play No. 4 West Region seed Bismarck at 2 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the state tournament on Thursday at the Bismarck Civic Center.

The Packers have qualified for the last eight state tournaments (2006-2013) and will be making their 25 state appearance in program history.

Fargo Davies opened the game on 11-2 run and built its largest lead of the game when Andrew Kozlowski connected for 3-pointer to make it 18-4 in favor of the Eagles with 8:40 left in the first half.

“We started out so poorly,” West Fargo head coach Greg Limke said. “We hat keep grinding and keep battling. I didn’t know if we were ever going to get to 40 tonight. Credit our guys for battling and not giving up. I’m really proud of that.”

Tanner Kretchman scored 21 points for the Eagles. Kozlowski and David Olson each added 16 points for Davies.

Fargo Davies (16-6) enters state as the No. 2 seeded team from the East and will play West Region No. 3 seeded Mandan at 7:45 p.m. in the quarterfinals.

Derek Hogenson added 17 points and 11 rebounds for West Fargo.

WEST FARGO (15-7): Heisler 8 2-2 19, Hogenson 7 3-3 17, Schock 3 4-5 10, Johnson 4 0-0 8, Rotert 3 0-0 8, Huber 1 0-0 2, Mattila 0 1-1 1, Eisenzimmer 0 0-0 0, Wolden 0 0-0 0, Holland 0 0-0 0, Sample 0 0-0 0, Birrenkott 0 0-0 0. Totals 26-56 10-11 65.

DAVIES (16-6): Kretchman 6 4-6 21, Kozlowski 7 1-2 16, Olson 6 3-4 16, Schultz 1 2-2 5, Bitter 0 0-0 0, Barta 0 0-0 0, Peterson 0 0-0 0, Berg 0 0-0 0. Totals 20-52 10-14 58.

Half: FD 29, WF 25. 3-point goals: Heisler, Rotert 2, Kretchman 5, Kozlowski, Olson, Schultz. Total fouls: WF 14, FD 14. Rebounds: WF 35 (Hogenson 11), FD 25 (Olson 8). Turnovers: WF 12, FD 11.

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Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562