ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Moorhead rolls St. Cloud Tech, heads to section semifinals

MOORHEAD - The spotlight may have been on the seniors of the Moorhead boys basketball team Tuesday, but it was a junior who stole the show in the Class 4A, Section 8 quarterfinals.

0225-S-Bye.jpg
Moorhead’s Matt Bye jumps between St. Cloud Tech players Jake Martig, left, and Brevyn Spann-Ford during the quarterfinals of the Minnesota Class 4A, Section 8 boys basketball tournament Tuesday. Carrie Snyder / The Forum

MOORHEAD – The spotlight may have been on the seniors of the Moorhead boys basketball team Tuesday, but it was a junior who stole the show in the Class 4A, Section 8 quarterfinals.

It was the last game six Spud seniors would ever play at Moorhead High School, and junior Matt Bye honored them with a game-high 28 points in a 73-57 drubbing of St. Cloud Tech.

“I was trying to play for them and play like they’d want me to play and play hard,” said Bye, who was a rebound short of a double-double. “The first couple of possessions I got in the lane and that got me some confidence. Then, I hit a couple 3s and kept with the flow of the game.”

Moorhead – the No. 2 seed – will take on No. 3-seeded Rogers at St. Cloud State at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the section semifinals.

“It’s going to take a good defensive effort to get by Rogers,” Bye said. “They got a couple good big guys, who can score inside. They have a couple guys on the wings, who can cut and drive.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The Spuds (21-5) beat Rogers 66-50 on Dec. 5 in the only matchup between the two this season. The Spuds bring a 12-game winning streak into the section semifinals, while Rogers (18-9) brings an eight-game winning streak of its own.

The Spuds have thrown the 16-point win over Rogers out the window.

“We know during the regular season they had a low spell when we played them, but now they’re starting to play well,” Bye said. “We’re looking at this like a new game. We’re trying to look forward and not look back.”

Bye may have taken the spotlight, but senior Cody Dorow took the ball in crunch time of his final game at Moorhead. The Spuds coasted to a 38-18 lead at halftime thanks to a 20-5 opening run to start the game. It was 40-18 thanks to a Bye layup, but St. Cloud Tech used a 14-3 run to cut the lead to 11.

Dorow answered with two drives to the net that got him four free throws to stretch the lead back to 15 at 47-32. St. Cloud Tech (12-15) had one more run left in the tank, cutting the lead to 58-45 midway through the second half, but Dorow answered with a 3-pointer to spark a 10-3 run.

Dorow scored seven of his 22 points during the run, as he took his final bow at Moorhead.

“It’s a weird feeling,” Dorow said. “I think I’ve played over 50 games on that court. It’s nice to go out with a ‘W’. I don’t think this was the best game we could have played, but I’m glad we came out on top.”

The Spuds await their date with Rogers, two wins away from a section title and a trip to the Class 4A state tournament.

ADVERTISEMENT

“They have Cole Murray, who is a big man that is going to (Minnesota State Moorhead) and Gunnar Bloom, who is a really solid point guard, who is going someplace to play football,” Moorhead coach Corey Zimmerman said. “It’s going to be a dogfight.”

Half: M 38, SCT 18

SCT: Jake Mussman 9, Spann-Ford 9, Martig 14, Chuol 15, Kaczor 2, Washington 5, Koenig 2, Jack Mussman 1.

M: Dorow 22, Steckler 7, Tonsfeldt 6, Bye 28, Wiesmann 4, Engen 6.

Related Topics: MOORHEADBOYS BASKETBALL
Murphy has covered sports in Chicago, Minnesota and North Dakota since 2009, working for The Forum since 2012. Contact: cmurphy@forumcomm.com or 701-241-5548
What To Read Next
Area recreation scores and schedules.
Regional and local scores and schedules.
Olivia Dronen had five points, including her 100th varsity point, and nine other Moorhead players found the scoresheet as the Spuds advanced to Saturday's section semifinals.
WDAY Sports+ is live this Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m., with our Game of the Week between the Red River Roughriders and the Davies Eagles.