West Fargo Sheyenne boys BB team looking to build on runner up finish
January 7, 2019 4:00 pm
By Tom Mix
NDHSAA Media Specialist
WEST FARGO, N.D. – Coming off its finest year as a program to date, the West Fargo Sheyenne boys basketball team is hoping to build on what’s now a pretty solid foundation.
The continuity is there this winter as several returning upperclassmen look to keep the Mustangs near the top of the Eastern Dakota Conference. One of Sheyenne’s top returners – senior All-EDC guard Christian Kuntz – said this year’s Mustangs squad has a similar identity to the 2017-18 squad that finished the year runners up at the NDHSAA Class A State Tournament.
“We like to shoot a lot of 3’s, get up and down the floor and get as many possessions as we can,” said Kuntz, who averages 20 points per game.
Sheyenne (8-1, 7-1 EDC) is among the top shooting teams in the EDC with a team field goal percentage of 47.80%.
Sheyenne lost two All-EDC players to graduation in Kemal Hajric and Zach Westphal. Westphal was a first-team All-State selection as well. In the early going this season, Sheyenne head coach Tom Kirchoffner said the Mustangs’ rotation is full of players able to make impactful contributions.
“We have a lot of guys that care about one another and that’s something that didn’t leave last year’s team.” Kirchoffner said. “These guys know how to play as a team. We’ve had four different leading scorers through nine games.”
Sheyenne started the 2018-19 season 8-0 before losing to No. 1 Fargo Davies on Friday, January 4 at Sheyenne High School. Davies defeated Sheyenne 77-62 using a zone defense to great success in the second half.
“We knew the zone was coming,” Kirchoffner said. “We prepared for it, but our shots didn’t drop. I’m telling my guys to keep shooting because that is our mentality. They’ll drop next time.”
Kuntz led Sheyenne with 17 points followed by juniors Tyler Terhark (14 points) and Chuck DuBois (13 points).
“We battled back from a pretty big deficit in the first half and showed some mental toughness there,” Kuntz said. “We learned more from this loss than we would have if we had won so that will help us down the stretch.”
Sheyenne is next in action Friday, January 11 at Fargo South High School. Sheyenne’s second meeting with Davies is set for Tuesday, February 12.