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Davies freshman Mason Klabo explodes for 45 points as Eagles hold off late North comeback

Klabo, a 6-foot freshman guard, poured in 45 points to lift Davies to the conference victory

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Fargo Davies' Mason Klabo goes up for two against Fargo North during their boys basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, at North.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

FARGO — After seeing a double-digit lead vanish in the second half, Fargo Davies needed someone to make some shots. Like he had done all game, freshman Mason Klabo delivered. This time, when it mattered most.

Klabo netted 12 points down the stretch to close the door on Fargo North’s comeback attempt. With the freshman’s heroics, the Eagles held off the Spartans and picked up a 99-90 win on Tuesday in an Eastern Dakota Conference boys basketball matchup.

Klabo, a 6-foot freshman guard, poured in 45 points to lift Davies to the conference victory. He also had eight rebounds and dished out four assists.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I’ve coached a lot of good kids in my life. And that ranks up as one of the best performances that I’ve seen,” Davies head coach Bart Manson said. “That was pretty special to watch tonight.”

Klabo shot from all over on Tuesday and drained seven 3s as the Eagles improved to 6-1 on the year. Davies senior Ian Motschenbacher tallied 18 points to go along with eight rebounds.

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Fargo Davies' Ian Motschenbacher goes up for two against Fargo North during their boys basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, at North.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

“In the beginning of the season, I didn't think I shot 3s very well,” Klabo said. “So during the Christmas break, me and Manson came in and shot 500 shots every morning at about 8 a.m. before practice. I think that helped a lot.”

The shooting work certainly made a difference on Tuesday, which featured the conference’s top two scorers in Klabo and North sophomore Jeremiah Sem, who also had a big performance. Sem led the Spartans (5-4, 4-4 EDC) with 26 points.

The game was fast-paced from the tipoff. Davies jumped out to an 11-5 lead on buckets from three players, while North turned the ball over in two of its first four possessions. The Spartans got their biggest boost early from the free-throw line. North went to the charity stripe three times in the first five minutes and sank all five buckets.

The Spartans were stingy in the defensive glass, and converted that into offense. Thanks to production from its sophomore tandem of Sem and Carter Zeller, a 6-foot-5 center, North tied it up at 13-all. The teams stayed within three points of each other until late in the frame.

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Fargo North's Jeremiah Sem shoots over Fargo Davies' Kaden Braaflat during their boys basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, at North.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

Davies turned 12 first-half steals into turnovers and rattled off 10 straight points to grab a 39-30 lead they wouldn’t relinquish until the second half.

The Eagles carried that momentum over to the second half and pushed their lead to 66-47 on a 10-2 run. Klabo had nine points in the stretch.

“I think our defensive pressure was really good,” Klabo said. “We put a lot of pressure on (Sem). They outsized us, but we had a big heart tonight and we pulled through.”

Davies compiled a 19-point lead twice in the second half, but North came storming back with a 24-4 run to grab a narrow 79-78 lead with 4:55 remaining. A Carson Hannestad 3-pointer capped the run, as the crowd went wild inside the Spartandome.

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Zeller posted a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds. Matthew Sem, Jeremiah's freshman brother, racked up 15 points Tuesday, all of which came in the second half.

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Fargo North's Carter Zeller goes up for two against Fargo Davies during their boys basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, at North.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

“We got in the huddle and said it’s not over. We’ve got a lot of energy,” Klabo recalled. “The defense had to step it up, and we did. We made some shots and followed through.”

The Eagles regrouped after a timeout and responded with a 10-3 run on buckets from three different players to grab the upper hand for good. Klabo scored 12 of the team's final 21 points.

Davies didn’t let North get closer than five points in the final minutes.

Manson was pleased with how his team responded and battled back after relinquishing a double-digit lead.

“Our composure was so good in that second half down the stretch. We didn’t panic,” he said. “Sometimes you get some teams where they start to force shots and things like that. And our guys didn’t. We got the ball to the right guys and they made some plays.”

Half: Fargo Davies 44, Fargo North 35

FD: Klabo 45, Motschenbacher 17, Brown 11, Braaflat 7, Barta 4, Froslie 4, Van Dam 4, Yorke 4, Proctor 3.

FN: J Sem 26, Zeller 24, M Sem 15, Hannestad 12, Cody 9, Kallod 2, May 1, Sagvold 1.

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Fargo North's Luke Loberg, left, reaches for a rebound with Fargo Davies' Evan Van Dam during their boys basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, at North.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

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