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Tom Mix, Published March 14 2014

Davies tops South in Class A state boys basketball

MINOT, N.D. – The offense produced by the Fargo Davies boys basketball team this season has been well documented.

Davies added to its offensive prowess Friday with an 82-66 win over Fargo South in the semifinals of the North Dakota Class A boys basketball state tournament at the Minot State Dome.

The No. 2-ranked Eagles shot 61.5 percent (32-for-52) from the field during the game and pulled away from the Bruins in the second half.

Tanner Kretchman led Davies with 31 points, but the 5-foot-11 senior guard wasn’t alone in filling out the team’s totals on offense.

Junior guards Austin Schultz and Collin Larson provided plenty of backup. Schultz and Larson combined for five 3-pointers in the game.

“Before the game, we talked about the X factor being who would be the extra guy that would make shots for us,” Fargo Davies head coach Bart Manson said. “Collin Larson made a couple shots and Austin Schultz was just huge. That was the difference. It opened up so many other things for us.”

Schultz finished with 20 points and Larson added six points.

“When you have guys on your team like Andrew (Koszlowski) and Tanner you find open shots because they attract a lot of defensive attention,” Schultz said. “You just try to knock them down and they were falling. It felt good.”

Davies (22-2) plays No. 3-ranked Bismarck St. Mary’s in the title game at 8 p.m. today. The Eagles – in their fourth year as a program – are making their first championship game appearance.

“It is every kid’s dream to play in a state championship game and we have that chance (today),” Manson said. “That was the big thing about (Friday) was just getting there. (Today) we’ll line up against a great St. Mary’s team and we’ll see what happens.”

South (15-9) led much of the first half before the Eagles retook the lead with 5 minutes, 45 seconds left before halftime when Kretchman got a layup to fall. Davies led 38-37 at halftime.

“It definitely was a momentum builder for us,” Kretchman said of Davies rally. “I thought we started to get going at the end of the first half and it carried over in the second half. That was our goal. We needed to get the momentum and keep it going our way early in the second half.”

The Eagles were 70 percent (7 of 10) from beyond the arc in the second half.

“We started the game with a different type of defense to force them into different things,” South head coach Mike Hendrickson said. “(Our players) did everything we asked them to. Davies just made shots.”

Senior guard Noah Poss finished with 21 points to pace South and senior guard Colton Lloyd added 18 points for the Bruins.

The Bruins play Bismarck Century in the third-place game 3:30 p.m. today.

SOUTH (15-9): Poss 7 3-3 21, Lloyd 5 8-11 18, Kellen 6 0-0 12, Gardner 4 0-0 9, Fahrman 1 3-5 5, Rozelle 0 1-2 1. Totals: 23-50 15-21 66.

DAVIES (22-2): Kretchman 11 6-8 31, Schultz 8 1-1 20, Kozlowski 4 1-2 9, Geffre 3 0-0 6, Berg 2 0-0 6, Larson 2 0-0 6, Feeney 2 0-2 4. Totals: 32-52 8-13 82.

Halftime: D 38, S 37. 3-pointers: S 5 (Poss 4, Gardner), D 10 (Kretchman 3, Schultz 3, Larson 2, Berg 2). Rebounds: S 22 (Kellen 8), D 27 (Feeney 8, Kozlowski 8). Assists: S 18 (Lloyd 10), D 15 (Kozlowski 7). Fouls: S 12, D 18. Turnovers: S 11, D 12.

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