Second-half heroics: Spuds complete 18-point comeback
West Fargo coach Greg Limke called his team's double-digit second-half lead against Moorhead "fools gold." But this Spuds comeback was pure gold. Michael White scored 13 points in the second half to help Moorhead erase an 18-point deficit and cap...
West Fargo coach Greg Limke called his team's double-digit second-half lead against Moorhead "fools gold."
But this Spuds comeback was pure gold.
Michael White scored 13 points in the second half to help Moorhead erase an 18-point deficit and capture a 63-62 win against the Packers before a stunned crowd at West Fargo High School.
"We just tried to chip away at the lead and come back," White said. "It ended up coming down to the last-second shot."
After White's second-half heroics - he was nearly unstoppable in the paint before he fouled out 32 seconds remaining - West Fargo had a last opportunity for the win.
Senior guard Tyler Gronbeck's driving layup between a pair of defenders fell short at the buzzer to secure victory for Moorhead.
It was a fitting last defensive stand for the Spuds, who clawed for every loose ball and forced 16 West Fargo turnovers.
The intense defensive pressure, and White's offensive output sparked the comeback from 42-24 deficit with 17 minutes to play.
"We just didn't play smart," Limke said. "They ran the same play (to White) over and over again. We just didn't handle it. They did a good job of executing."
Both teams started slow on offense, trading missed jumpers in the opening minutes.
However, West Fargo didn't take long to find its shooting touch.
The Packers used a 5-0 run to take an 18-10 advantage with 7 minutes, 34 seconds remaining in the first half.
Another six-point run minutes later put West Fargo ahead 28-15.
Benson sparked the Packers' offense with 11 first-half points. The senior used his speed to basket to do much of his damage, racing past Moorhead defenders for twisting layups.
Benson was 4 of 9 from the field in the first half. A late scoring barrage gave Tyler Gronbeck nine points at halftime.
Swamped by West Fargo's defense, Moorhead shot 8 of 31 in the first half. The Spuds were 8 of 13 from the free throw line.
The Packers held a 37-24 halftime advantage.
"We've lost a lot of close games that have come down to the end," said White, whose team improved to 3-6. "We showed our composure in this one. It kind of brings the life back to this team. The confidence is coming back."
MOORHEAD: Stetz 4 1-2 10, Petry 2 0-0 5, Slette 1 0-0 2, Emery 1 0-0 2, Sederquist 1 0-0 2, Vesldahl 0 2-2 2, Backlund 1 0-1 2, Anderson 2 5-5 9, White 9 5-12 23, Wheeler 2 0-1 4, Lien 1 0-0 2. Totals: 24 13-23 63.
WEST FARGO: Farkas 0 1-2 1, Gronbeck 5 3-4 13, Benson 7 3-7 19, Mapes 2 1-2 5, Driscoll 2 2-4 7, Moch 6 3-5 15, Nelson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 23 13-24 62.
Halftime: WF 37. M 24. 3-pointers: Stetz, Petry, Benson 2, Driscoll. Total fouls: M 21, WF 20. Fouled out: White. Technical fouls: M, bench. Rebounds: M 39 (White 10), WF 47 (Benson 11). Assists: M 4 (4 tied with 4), WF 8 (Benson 3). Steals: M 8 (Stetz, Sederquist 3), WF 4 (4 tied with 4).
Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562. Hotzler's blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com