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Tom Mix, Published March 13 2013

North Dakota Class A state boys basketball tournament preview

West Fargo vs. Bismarck, 2 p.m.

West Fargo Packers

Coach: Greg Limke

Record: 15-7, No. 1 seed from East Region

State tournament history: West Fargo is making its eighth consecutive trip to state and the 26th overall. … The Packers have won state titles in 1983, 1991 and 1992.

Road to state: West Fargo finished the regular season 12-7 before posting its biggest win of the season in the region semifinals, knocking off top-seeded Grand Forks Red River 59-58. … The Packers beat Fargo Davies

65-58 to win its first East Region crown since 2010.

Key players: The Packers are led by All-EDC players Travis Schock, a 6-2 junior who averages 12.4 ppg, Derek Hogenson, a 6-5 senior who averages 11.6 ppg and 6.0 rpg. Senior forward Justin Heisler averages 9.7 ppg and 5.0 rpg.

Bismarck Demons

Coach: Steve Miller

Record: 14-8, No. 4 seed from West Region

State tournament history: Bismarck is making its 20th consecutive state appearance, the longest active streak in Class A, and are making their 65th appearance, the second most in state history. … Bismarck has won 12 state titles, the last coming in 2010.

Road to state: The Demons finished the regular season 12-7 before losing a region opener to Mandan 56-54. It bounced back with a 75-36 win over Jamestown and a

65-59 win over Minot.

Key players: Bismarck is led by the All-WDA duo of junior guard Taylor Schafer, who averages 17 ppg, and senior forward Troy Hausauer, who averaged 13.7 ppg in three postseason games.

Bismarck Century vs. Grand Forks Red River, 4 p.m.

Bismarck Century Patriots

Coach: Darin Mattern

Record: 16-6, No. 2 seed from West Region

State tournament history: The No. 4-ranked Patriots are making their 20th state appearance. … Century won state titles in 1984 and 2011.

Road to state: Finished the regular season 14-5 and opened the West Region with a 63-52 win over Williston in the quarterfinals. … The Patriots topped Minot 58-52 in the semifinals, but fell to top-seeded Bismarck St. Mary’s 63-50 in the championship game.

Key players: The Patriots are led be the All-Western Dakota Association players Tyler Rudolph, who averages 14.4 ppg and 9.0 rpg and Robert Hutchins, who averages 11.1 ppg.

Grand Forks Red River Roughriders

Coach: Jason Gregory

Record: 20-2, No. 3 seed from East Region

State tournament history: No. 1-ranked Red River is making its second straight trip to state and its 16th overall appearance. … The Roughriders defeated Fargo Shanley 78-74 in last season’s state championship game. Red River also won it all in 1969.

Road to state: Finished the regular season 18-1 and opened the East Region tournament with a 71-59 win over Fargo North in the quarterfinals. … After getting upset by West Fargo in the semifinals, the Roughriders recovered to defeat Wahpeton 54-50 in a state-qualifying game.

Key players: The Roughriders are led by the All-Eastern Dakota Conference duo of Mac Kroeplin (20.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and Chad Bartosh (15.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg).

Fargo Shanley vs. Bismarck St. Mary’s, 6 p.m.

Fargo Shanley Deacons

Coach: Shane Alderman

Record: 18-4, No. 4 seed from East Region

State tournament history: Shanley is making its fourth straight trip to state and its 27th overall appearance. … Shanley won state titles in 1997 and 1998.

Road to state: The No. 3-ranked Deacons finished the regular season 16-3 before losing to Fargo Davies 67-57 in the region semifinals. The Deacons beat Fargo South 79-62 in a state-qualifying game.

Key players: The Deacons are led by the All-Eastern Dakota Conference trio of A.J. Jacobson, a 6-6 senior who averages 25.9 ppg and 12.9 rpg; Patrick Strom, a 6-2 junior who makes nearly 43 percent of his 3-pointers and averages 19.6 ppg; and Dylan Alderman, a 6-foot-2 senior who averages 11.7 ppg and 6.5 assists per game.

Bismarck St. Mary’s Saints

Coach: Joe Mueller

Record: 19-2, No. 1 seed from West Region

State tournament history: The No. 2-ranked Saints are making their 24th state appearance. … St. Mary’s lost to Grand Forks Red River in the quarterfinals last season. … The Saints won the state titles in 1951, 1972 and 2004.

Road to state: St. Mary’s cruised past Mandan 71-48 in the region semifinals before beating Bismarck Century 63-50 in the championship game.

Key players: The Saints are led by the All-Western Dakota Association trio of juniors Scott Nagel (10.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg), Darius Sparks (15.1 ppg) and Ben Weisbeck (16.6 ppg).

Fargo Davies vs. Mandan, 8 p.m.

Fargo Davies Eagles

Coach: Bart Manson

Record: 16-6, No. 2 seed from East Region

State tournament history: The Eagles – in their third year as a program – are making their first state appearance.

Road to state: Davies defeated Fargo Shanley 93-88 in the region semifinals to clinch a state tournament berth, but lost to West Fargo 65-58 in the title game.

Key players: The Eagles feature a trio of All-Eastern Dakota Conference players in senior forward David Olson, who averages 16.6 ppg and 8.4 rpg; junior guard Andrew Kozlowski, who averages 16.0 ppg and 6.0 rpg and junior Tanner Kretchman, who averages 24.2 ppg and 4.5 apg.

Mandan Braves

Coach: Jason Horner

Record: 10-12, No. 3 seed from West Region

State tournament history: The Braves have qualified for the last five state tournaments and are making their 38th appearance. Mandan lost to Grand Forks Red River in the state semifinals last season. … Mandan has won five state championships, most recently in 2009.

Road to state: The Braves lost to Bismarck St. Mary’s 71-58 in the region semifinals, but scored a 63-47 win over Dickinson in a state-qualifying game.

Key players: The Braves are led by WDA senior athlete of the year Erron Collins, who averaged 14.7 ppg in the WDA tournament, including a 23-point effort against Dickinson. … Senior forward Daniel Peterson scored a buzzer-beater layup in the Braves’ win over Bismarck in the quarterfinals of the WDA tournament.