No. 1 Fargo Davies tops No. 3 West Fargo Sheyenne in boys hoops, move to 9-0

January 4, 2019 10:45 pm

By Tom Mix
NDHSAA Media Specialist

WEST FARGO, N.D. – Being a No. 1-ranked team doesn’t go without challenges along the way. Fargo Davies – who has spent the first five weeks of the 2018-19 NDHSAA boys basketball season at No. 1 in the NDAPSSA poll – faced a challenge Friday, January 4.

Said challenge was a road Eastern Dakota Conference game against No. 3-ranked West Fargo Sheyenne – 2018 NDHSAA Class A runners up. The Eagles handled the midseason test emerging with a 77-62 win over the Mustangs.

There will be more challenges in the weeks to come, but walking away with a win at Sheyenne served as another indicator that Davies means business this winter.

“We played well as a team,” said Davies senior guard Harrison Thom, who finished with 15 points. “We did not make stupid mistakes, took care of the basketball and made our open shots. We also played great team defense. We mixed up our pressure on them. Sometimes we were man (defense) and sometimes we were in a zone. I think that confused them and we did not give them many open looks.”

Davies was led by senior Braeton Motschenbacher, who poured in a game high 26 points.

The Eagles are now 9-0 overall and 8-0 in the EDC. Davies’ lone non-conference win came against Bismarck Century – the defending state champions.

“When we played Century our first game, that was a big statement game for us and this one was another statement game,” Motschenbacher said.

Junior Cole Hage (13 points) and senior Jaden Klabo (10 points) joined Motschenbacher and Thom is double figures. Defensively, Davies kept Sheyenne from making lengthy runs in the second half. Sheyenne entered the game averaging 76.5 points per game.

“I don’t think people realize how good of a defensive team we are because we are long,” Davies head coach Bart Manson said. “We make things tough on teams to get shots and you saw that (Friday).”

Sheyenne was led by senior Christian Kuntz, who scored 17 points.

At 9-0 Fargo Davies is in the exact same spot it was in a year ago, but the early success did not carry over into the postseason as Davies missed the 2018 NDHSAA Class A state tournament going 1-2 in the East Region Tournament.

Motschenbacher, an All-State second team selection in 2018, said building team chemistry and playing with grit will be important for Davies down the stretch. The 6-foot-2 guard also said the way last season ended serves as a motivator.

“We use it to fuel us,” Motschenbacher said. “We are not going to that spot again.”

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