By Tom Mix
NDHSAA Media Specialist
FARGO – Fargo North is back atop the NDHSAA Class A boys basketball scene and the Spartans did so in grand fashion only blocks away from their home turf.
North, playing in its first state championship game since 2006, defeated Grand Forks Red River 92-83 in the championship game of the 2023 NDHSAA Class A Boys Basketball State Tournament on Saturday, March 11 at the Scheels Center in the Sanford Health Athletic Complex (SHAC).
The Spartans were led by junior guard Jeremiah Sem, who scored 28 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the electric finale. Sem was named Tournament MVP following the game.
Sem got into foul trouble at the end of the game and needed to sit out a lengthy stretch of time in the second half, which allowed Grand Forks Red River to mount a comeback after they had trailed 50-36 at halftime.
With Sem on the bench, Red River’s Reis Rowekamp tied the game at 61-61 with 10:22 remaining by sinking two free throw shots. Minutes later, Red River’s Zach Kraft hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Roughriders up 69-65 with 8:02 to play. The lead changed three more times until North senior forward Welcome Muhoza got a shot to fall that gave the Spartans a 72-71 lead they wouldn’t relinquish thanks to the play of the Sem brothers – Jeremiah and the younger, yet equally electrifying Matthew.
The Sems combined for 51 points and were joined in double figures by junior Carter Zeller 15 points, 10 rebounds) and Muhoza, who finished with 14 points.
The Spartans tied a tournament record for points scored by a single team in a championship game (92 points by Williston in 1968 vs. Grand Forks Red River).
The Spartans and Roughriders’ slugfest full of scoring, big buckets, and momentum shifts fittingly broke the tournament record for most points scored by two teams in the championship game with 175 points. The previous record was Williston (92 points) and Grand Forks Red River (82 points) in 1968.
Red River was led by Rowekamp who finished with 23 points. Kraft added 20 points for the Roughriders.
The state championship is Fargo North’s fifth in program history. The Spartans also won Class A state titles in 2006, 2002, 1987 and 1977.
The Spartans and Roughriders both finished the 2022-23 season 19-8.
(selected by media covering the tournament)
Raymond Brown, Fargo Davies
Daniel Yorke, Fargo Davies
Darik Dissette, Minot High School
Ryan Erikson, Bismarck Century
Jaxon Kellog, Bismarck Legacy
Reis Rowekamp, Grand Forks Red River
Zach Kraft, Grand Forks Red River
Carter Zeller, Fargo North
Matthew Sem, Fargo North
Jeremiah Sem, Fargo North
Tournament MVP: Jeremiah Sem, Fargo North
Begin typing to search...