FARGO — West Fargo Sheyenne’s coaching staff got after their bench a few weeks ago. They weren’t satisfied with the team’s average margin of victory or effort.

Earlier this week, the coaches quickly found out the root cause. The Mustangs were simply waiting for the postseason.

Since the East Region boys basketball tournament’s opening tipoff, Sheyenne’s mentality and effort has been turned up multiple notches. Just ask the team's three opponents, who were outscored 274-168 by the Mustangs in the tournament.

Top-seeded Sheyenne (23-1) dominated almost all 38 minutes of play as it picked up a lopsided 92-55 win over third-seeded Fargo Davies (19-5) in the East Region championship Saturday to defend its conference crown. Sheyenne downed Davies 68-48 in last year’s region title game.

West Fargo Sheyenne's Barika Kpeenu goes up for two in front of Fargo Davies' Jacob Prudhomme during their North Dakota Class A East Regions boys basketball championship game Saturday, March 6, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, Fargo.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
West Fargo Sheyenne's Barika Kpeenu goes up for two in front of Fargo Davies' Jacob Prudhomme during their North Dakota Class A East Regions boys basketball championship game Saturday, March 6, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

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With the win, the Mustangs grabbed their third region title in four seasons.

“It feels really great. I’m just proud of our team tonight on both ends of the court,” Sheyenne head coach Tom Kirchoffner said. “Holding them to 25 at halftime and starting the second half with a 13-0 run.”

Sheyenne set the tone early at Scheels Center at Sanford Health Athletic Complex, grabbing a 12-point lead six minutes in (21-9), and never took its foot off the gas. The Mustangs’ massive margin continued to mount as they pushed their win streak to 23.

“I wasn't expecting this type of margin, but I was expecting a victory for our ballclub. I feel like this team is a special team,” Kirchoffner said. “We got a lot of great basketball players. They play the right way. They let the game come to them.”

West Fargo Sheyenne's Jacksen Moni beats Fargo Davies' Brady Sauvageau to a rebound during their North Dakota Class A East Regions boys basketball championship game Saturday, March 6, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, Fargo.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
West Fargo Sheyenne's Jacksen Moni beats Fargo Davies' Brady Sauvageau to a rebound during their North Dakota Class A East Regions boys basketball championship game Saturday, March 6, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Since losing its season-opener, Sheyenne has outscored opponents by an average of 85.96-57.52 a game. The Mustangs have bested that margin during the playoffs, averaging 91.33 points per game, while their opponents averaged 56.

It’s been a sprint to the mountaintop since the Mustangs dropped the season-opening game.

Three of Sheyenne’s five seniors were the team’s top three scorers Saturday — a theme for the Mustangs bench, which is led by a seasoned core. Gage Anderson posted a game-high 20 points for Sheyenne. Jacksen Moni followed with 18 points and seven rebounds. Barika Kpeenu scored 12.

“The atmosphere was great. Our student section was great,” said 6-foot-10 senior forward Moni. “It was just fun to play. I think we played as a team today and played really great defense.”

Fargo Davies' Owen Hektner goes up for two in front of West Fargo Sheyenne's Jacksen Moni during their North Dakota Class A East Regions boys basketball championship game Saturday, March 6, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, Fargo.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Fargo Davies' Owen Hektner goes up for two in front of West Fargo Sheyenne's Jacksen Moni during their North Dakota Class A East Regions boys basketball championship game Saturday, March 6, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Davies junior Ian Motschenbacher, who has had the hot hand for the Eagles during the tournament, tallied a team-high 19 points, 14 of which came in the first half. The Mustangs readjusted their coverage once Motschenbacher, who dropped 34 points in the semifinals, got going.

“We put (James) Hagen on him, and that kind of slowed him down a little bit and got him out of his rhythm,” Kirchoffner said of Motschenbacher. “I think that was the difference right there, just making sure we take away their strengths, which is getting into the paint.”

Kirchoffner said without a doubt, he feels his team is playing at its best right now.

“We have a few things to work on, but right now, we’re almost there — and it’s a great time to almost be there, because it’s tournament time,” Moni said.

Fargo Davies' Ian Motschenbacher reaches for a rebound with West Fargo Sheyenne's Dominic Dosmann during their North Dakota Class A East Regions boys basketball championship game Saturday, March 6, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, Fargo.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Fargo Davies' Ian Motschenbacher reaches for a rebound with West Fargo Sheyenne's Dominic Dosmann during their North Dakota Class A East Regions boys basketball championship game Saturday, March 6, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

It took Davies four and a half minutes to get on the board in the second half. Owen Hektner opened the scoring for the Eagles as they tried to bridge the gap. Eighth-grader Mason Klabo put up seven second-half points to chip away at the margin, but Sheyenne never lost control of the game.

The Eagles averaged 85.62 points per game entering Saturday’s championship. Sheyenne won both regular-season meetings over Davies, with the largest margin of victory being 11 points.

“It was a big win but we know that next week, it’s a new week, and we have to come out again as hard as we can,” Moni said.

Sheyenne locked up the No. 1 East seed heading into next week’s state tournament. The Mustangs will play No. 4 West seed Mandan in the quarterfinals at noon Thursday in Bismarck. Second-seeded Davies will face third-seeded Bismarck Legacy at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Half: West Fargo Sheyenne 46, Fargo Davies 25

WFS: Anderson 20, Moni 18, Kpeenu 12, Dosmann 11, Leake 9, Nhial 7, Manson 7, Hagen 3, Mattson 3, Larson 2.

FD: Motschenbacher 19, Klabo 9, Hektner 6, Davis 6, Froslie 6, Sauvageau 5, Witte 2, Prudomme 2.

Fargo Davies' Raymond Brown goes up for two against West Fargo Sheyenne's Jah'Heem Leake during their North Dakota Class A East Regions boys basketball championship game Saturday, March 6, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, Fargo.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Fargo Davies' Raymond Brown goes up for two against West Fargo Sheyenne's Jah'Heem Leake during their North Dakota Class A East Regions boys basketball championship game Saturday, March 6, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

West Fargo Sheyenne's Gage Anderson goes up for two against Fargo Davies during their North Dakota Class A East Regions boys basketball championship game Saturday, March 6, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, Fargo.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
West Fargo Sheyenne's Gage Anderson goes up for two against Fargo Davies during their North Dakota Class A East Regions boys basketball championship game Saturday, March 6, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

West Fargo Sheyenne's Zander Newton grabs a rebound above Fargo Davies' Latrel Davis during their North Dakota Class A East Regions boys basketball championship game Saturday, March 6, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, Fargo.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
West Fargo Sheyenne's Zander Newton grabs a rebound above Fargo Davies' Latrel Davis during their North Dakota Class A East Regions boys basketball championship game Saturday, March 6, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor