« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Tom Mix, Published March 15 2014

Davies Eagles win their first boys team ND state title

MINOT, N.D. – The Fargo Davies boys basketball team shed its “new kid on the block” tag by qualifying for the Class A state tournament for the first time a year ago.

Saturday, the Eagles – in their fourth year as a program – earned “top dog” status with a 62-55 win over Bismarck St. Mary’s in the state title game at the Minot State Dome.

It is the first boys team state championship in school history.

“It is unbelievable,” said Davies senior guard Tanner Kretchman, who was named Mr. Basketball and senior athlete of the year following the game. “It is the first one in school history, and words can’t really describe how great it feels.”

Kretchman finished with a game-high 32 points and six assists for the Eagles (23-2).

The No. 2-ranked Eagles led 23-22 at halftime, but St. Mary’s took a 33-31 lead with 10 minutes, 27 seconds left to play when senior guard Darius Sparks connected on a 10-foot jump shot.

Following Sparks’ bucket, Davies tied the game four different times, but didn’t regain the lead until senior guard Andrew Kozlowski hit a 3-pointer with 4:52 remaining, making it 48-47.

“It comes down to confidence in those situations,” said. Kozlowski, who finished with 16 points. “It is hard to have confidence down the stretch, but my teammates trusted me with the ball there and luckily I came through.”

Davies never trailed after that.

Kretchman followed Kozlowski’s shot with two field goals on back-to-back possessions.

“When you have two guys like Tanner and Andrew, you always like your chances,” Fargo Davies head coach Bart Manson said. “Andrew hit a big shot at the end, and Tanner was huge as well. I’m going to miss those two next year. They made me look like a pretty darn good coach this season.”

Davies also clamped down defensively following the go-ahead shot by Kozlowski.

“We just kept battling, and once we got a big shot to fall, it would start to snow ball for us,” Kretchman said. “We felt like if we could get a few stops on defense we would have enough to get us the win. Playing tough on defense is what won us this game, which is the exact opposite from the other two games, but it turned out great for us.”

“We knew St. Mary’s was a great defensive team coming from the West Region,” Kozlowski added. “We found ways to make adjustments to start clicking more on offense and luckily they came late in the game.”

Sparks finished with a team-high 21 points for the No. 3-ranked Saints (20-5). St. Mary’s senior guard Ben Weisbeck added 15 points and 13 rebounds.

“It was going to come down to one little run and who was going make that run,” St. Mary’s head coach Brent De Kok said. “Unfortunately, it was Davies.”

Davies started the game 0-for-5 from the field on its first five possessions, and the Saints took advantage, taking an early lead they kept most of the first half. St. Mary’s early advantage never got to double digits allowing the Eagles to remain in striking distance.

With 1:07 left in the first, Kretchman connected for a 15-foot jump shot to give Davies a 21-20 lead – its first of the game.

The Saints answered on the next possession with a layup from Weisbeck. Davies held for one more shot before halftime and put the ball in Kretchman’s hand. The 5-foot-11 guard took it to the basket and got a layup to fall with five seconds remaining before the break.

DAVIES (23-2): Kretchman 12 6-7 32, Kozlowski 5 5-8 16, Larson 2 0-0 6, Berg 1 0-0 2, Schultz 1 0-3 2, Bates 1 0-3 2, Feeney 1 0-0 2. Totals: 23-55 11-21 62.

ST. MARY’S (20-5): Sparks 7 5-7 21, Weisbeck 6 1-2 15, Dvorak 1 4-4 7, Neff 1 1-2 3, Obritch 1 0-0 3, Nagel 1 1-3 3, Kopp 1 0-0 3. Totals: 18-56 12-19 55.

Halftime: D 23, StM 22. 3-pointers: D 5 (Kretchman 2, Larson 2 Kozlowski), StM 7 (Sparks 2, Weisbeck 2, Dvorak, Obritch, Kopp). Rebounds: D 33 (Bates 7), StM 43 (Weisbeck 13). Fouls: D 16, StM 24. Fouled out: Weisbeck. Turnovers: D 6, StM 14.

Third-place game

Bismarck Century 72,

Fargo South 58

Tyler Rudolph scored 10 points and added seven rebounds to help Bismarck Century to a 72-58 win over Fargo South in the third-place game of the North Dakota Class A state boys basketball tournament Saturday at the Minot State Dome.

Senior guard Colton Lloyd finished with 18 points, leading the Bruins (15-10).

Ramey Schatz and Ben Holen each added 11 points for the Patriots (23-2).

SOUTH (15-10): Lloyd 6 2-2 18, Poss 4 2-4 10, Kellen 4 3-5 11, Gardner 2 5-5 9, Fahrman 2 1-2 5, Green 1 0-0 3, Rozelle 1 0-0 2. Totals: 20-40 13-18 58.

BISMARCK CENTURY (23-2): Hutchins 3 2-2 9, Quist 2 0-0 6, Rudolph 5 0-0 10, Schatz 5 1-5 11, Holen 4 0-0 11, Wahlin 2 1-1 5, Feeney 2 0-0 4, Henderson 3 0-0 7, Kress 2 0-0 5, Little 2 0-0 4. Totals: 30-58 4-8 72.

Halftime: C 36, S 27.

3-pointers: Lloyd 4, Green, Hutchins, Quist 2, Holen 3, Henderson, Kress. Total fouls: S 14, C 18. Fouled out: Schatz. Rebounds: S 21 (Kellen 6), C 26 (Rudolph 7). Turnovers: S 17, C 10. Assists: S 10 (Lloyd 5), C 11 (Hutchins, Quist 3).

Fifth-place game

Wahpeton 60, Bismarck 59

Junior guard Thomas Nelson got a layup to fall with 2 seconds remaining to help Wahpeton to a 60-59 victory over Bismarck in the fifth-place game Saturday.

Senior forward Jack Christensen led the Huskies (19-6) with 23 points and eight rebounds.

James Iron Eyes finished with 22 points for the Demons (17-8).

BISMARCK (17-8): Schafer 2 6-6 11, Iron Eyes 9 0-0 22, Werner 4 1-2 9, Jones 0 2-2 2, Tharaldsen 4 1-4 9, Gibson 1 2-2 4, Keller 1 0-0 2. Totals: 21-49 12-16 59.

WAHPETON (19-6): Christensen 9 4-5 23, Meyer 1 1-2 3, Yaggie 0 1-2 1, Ralph 1 0-0 2, Zarak 3 6-8 13, Nelson 2 2-2 6, Irwin 5 1-2 12. Totals: 21-40 15-21 60.

Halftime: B 37, W 27. 3-pointers: Schafer, Iron Eyes 4, Christensen, Zarak, Nelson. Total fouls: B 16, W 16. Rebounds: B 23 (Werner 5), W 27 (Christensen 8). Turnovers: B 8, W 14. Assists: B 5 (Iron Eyes 3), W 5 (five with 1).

All-tournament team

Davies: Tanner Kretchman (MVP), Andrew Kozlowski; St. Mary’s: Darius Sparks, Ben Weisbeck; Bismarck Century: Tyler Rudolph; Fargo South: Colton Lloyd, Zach Kellen; Wahpeton: Jack Christensen: James Iron Eyes, Bismarck: Taylor Schafer; Minot: Dakota Halvorson; Shanley: Patrick Strom.

Coach of the Year: Darin Mattern, Bismarck Century

Senior Athlete of the Year: Tanner Kretchman, Fargo Davies.


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