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Packers cruise past Mustangs in first round of EDC tournament

WEST FARGO-The West Fargo Packers beat their crosstown rival Sheyenne in convincing manner 75-51 Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the Eastern Dakota Conference boys basketball tournament.The No. 8 seed Mustangs kept the No. 1 seed Packers within s...

Joe Pistorius of West Fargo stretches to grab a rebound past Carter Bonnema of West Fargo Sheyenne during the North Dakota East Region basketball quarterfinals Tuesday, March 1, 2016, at West Fargo. Dave Wallis / The Forum
Joe Pistorius of West Fargo stretches to grab a rebound past Carter Bonnema of West Fargo Sheyenne during the North Dakota East Region basketball quarterfinals Tuesday, March 1, 2016, at West Fargo. Dave Wallis / The Forum

WEST FARGO-The West Fargo Packers beat their crosstown rival Sheyenne in convincing manner 75-51 Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the Eastern Dakota Conference boys basketball tournament.

The No. 8 seed Mustangs kept the No. 1 seed Packers within striking distance in the first half, holding the Packers to 24 points. The Mustangs were down 24-23 at halftime, largely because they were able to contain Packers senior Ahmed Aden and hold him to five points in the first half.

Aden lit up in the second half, though, and scored 24 of his 29 points in the half. His breakout included four 3-pointers.

"The first half I was not open at all, everyone was face guarding me, Joe (Pistorius) too, they did the same to Joe," Aden said. "But Creighton (Pfau), once he got into the paint he drew like three defenders, and once Creighton sees me open, he'll pass it to me. If Tyson (Jelinek) sees me open, he'll pass it to me."

Pfau was 7-for-14 from the field and had 17 points, and was effective the first half of the game, so he garnered a lot of attention from the Mustangs in the second half. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, this gave Aden and sophomore Joe Pistorius more opportunities to shoot more mid- and long-range shots.

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"West Fargo is a great team, and we lost track of Ahmed, and he got four 3s in the second half. He's having a heck of a year," said Mustangs head coach Tom Kirchoffner. "We just lost track of where he was at."

West Fargo head coach Josh Downey stressed to his team before the game that the Mustangs were not a typical No. 8 seed. In addition to being the Packers' biggest rival, the Mustangs played the Packers close the last time the two team met in January but lost in overtime 95-90.

"I told them that they're not an eight seed. They've lost eight of their twelve games by single digits," Downey said. "It doesn't matter what your seed is. Every coach in the state is saying the words '0-0, a new season right now,' and that's exactly what it was."

The Mustangs did manage to pull off a rare feat and out-rebound the Packers 45-31, but the Packers made up for it in the points-off-turnovers category, scoring 23 points. The win for the Packers is the sixth in-a-row against the Mustangs, and a repeat of last season's EDC quarterfinal matchup that pitted the two against each other. The Packers won that game 64-50.

HALF: WF 24, WFS 23

WF, Aden 29, Pfau 17, Pistorius 12, Simon 8, Jelinek 4, Yeanay 2, Johnson 3.

WFS, Erickson 14, Ringdahl 13, Moeller 11, Bonnema 6, Evenson 5, Trottier 2.

Related Topics: WEST FARGOBASKETBALL
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