WAHPETON, N.D.-It's about 14 miles between Wyndmere, N.D., and Lidgerwood, N.D., but nobody cares about that anymore. That rivalry is gone. These days, the two communities are more concerned about how far it is to Bismarck.

That's where Wyndmere-Lidgerwood, a basketball co-op that started eight years ago, is headed.

The 74-67 win over defending champion Fargo Oak Grove on Friday night at the Blikre Activities Center sends the Warbirds to the North Dakota Class B boys state tournament next weekend.

"It's been a great time seeing the communities come together and bond over basketball," said junior forward Evan Braaten.

They've bonded over football since forming in that sport in 1987.

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"With basketball, it's brought us closer together," said Warbirds head coach Todd Hosford, the region coach of the year. "This crowd was amazing tonight and it brings the two communities together."

Senior Luke Foertsch made good on his promise after the semifinal on Thursday night of bringing a hard edge to the title game. He had 27 points, 10 rebounds 9 assists. That easily would have made him MVP of this game if they had that award.

But it was the play of Braaten that was probably unexpected to most people-except Hosford. He had 19 points after coming into the game averaging 6.5.

"I had a feeling, I told him before the game you're going to come up big," Hosford said. "He's an athletic kid who finishes well."

Both teams came in with a 20-2 record and both acted like it. It was 18-18 after one quarter, about as well-played of an eight minutes that you're going to find. Oak Grove led 34-33 at halftime.

There were eight lead changes in the third quarter alone, one that ended with the Grovers leading 46-45.

The Warbirds put their best foot forward a minute into the fourth. Trailing 50-45, Braaten hit two straight hoops followed by two free throws and Wyndmere-Lidgerwood led 52-50.

After the Grovers tied it, the Warbirds put together seven straight for a 59-52 advantage that ultimately proved to be the difference. Foertsch finished the spurt with a field goal and two free throws, the latter with 3:20 remaining.

Oak Grove never did put together much offense in the quarter. Braaten's two free throws with 1:12 left made it a 66-57 game and the Warbird fans sensed a trip to Bismarck. But with Oak Grove guard Andrew Christianson, whose shooting range is deep, the Grovers weren't out of it.

He hit two long treys, the second with 36 seconds left, and it was 68-63. Another Christianson bomb, this one from around 28 feet, cut it to 70-67 with 16 seconds left.

"We didn't make shots until late," said Oak Grove head coach Kyle Card. "It was their year."

Senior Wyatt Harles, however, countered with two free throws a second later and it wasn't long before the Warbird fans stormed the flooor.

"This was just a wild game," Braaten said. "First time in a championship game, I love working with these guys. I love running the floor and my teammates know that and they found the open guy."

W-L 18 33 45 69

OG 18 34 46 63

WYNDMERE-LIDGERWOOD: Foertsch 12 3-8 27, Jelinek 1 4-6 6, Braaten 8 3-4 19, Harles 3 4-4 12, Bohnenstingl 2 1-2 5, Vasquez 2 1-2 5. Totals: 28-57 16-26.

OAK GROVE: Christianson 8 3-43 22, Teigen 2 0-0 5, Anderson 5 5-6 16, Bolme 2 0-0 4, Rodriguez 8 0-2 16, Hoggarth 2 0-0 4. Totals: 27-56 8-14.

3-point goals: Harles 2, Christianson 3, Teigen, Anderson. Total fouls: W-L 14, OG 23. Rebounds: W-L 32 (Foertsch 10), OG 34 (Hoggarth 9). Assists: W-L 14 (Foertsch 9), OG 5 (Anderson 2). Turnovers: W-L 16, OG 21.

Third place

Kindred 50, Maple Valley 46

Kindred 6 15 29 50

Mpl Valley 6 15 30 46

KINDRED: Duchscherer 7 2-2 17, Schaffer 2 2-4 7, A. Freier 1 0-0 3, Hall 0 1-2 1, Braaten 2 0-2 4, Rustad 4 1-2 10, Freitag 2 1-1 5, Keller 1 1-1 3. Totals: 19-46 8-14.

MV: Pierce 1 0-0 2, Adam Punton 2 0-0 4, Arthur Punton 6 3-4 16, Johnson 3 0-0 8, Smith 2 2-2 6, Kasowski 1 3-3 5, Killoran 2 0-2 5. Totals: 17-42 8-11.

3-point goals: Duchscherer, Shaffer, A. Freier, Rustad, Arthur Punton, Johnson 2, Killoran. Total fouls: K 12, MV 17. Fouled out: Kasowski. Rebounds: K 32 (Freitag 10), MV 24 (Smith 6). Assists: K 7 (Schaffer, M. Freier 2), MV 5 (five with 1). Turnovers: K 9, MV 10.