Shanley, West Fargo boys advance to Class A state tournament

FARGO-No players on the Fargo Shanley roster have advanced to the North Dakota Class A state boys basketball tournament. That changed Saturday, March 4, at the Scheels Center at Sanford Health Athletic Complex.Senior guard Jake Reinholz scored a ...


FARGO-No players on the Fargo Shanley roster have advanced to the North Dakota Class A state boys basketball tournament. That changed Saturday, March 4, at the Scheels Center at Sanford Health Athletic Complex.

Senior guard Jake Reinholz scored a game-high 26 points to lead the Deacons to a 76-69 victory against Grand Forks Red River in an East Region state-qualifying game.

"We talked about none of the guys on the team had been to one and kind of what that means and not taking it for granted," said Shanley first-year head coach Andrew Burns. "It's an opportunity to play some more basketball."

The Deacons (15-10) built a 17-point lead near the midway point of the first half and never trailed over the final 33-plus minutes.

"You dig, you dig and you dig," Red River head coach Kirby Krefting said of chasing the lead. "We did enough digging ... it just didn't work out for us."


The Deacons used a 20-2 run in the first half to surge into the lead for good. Reinholz scored eight points during that momentum-changing stretch. Shanley junior Jake Kava capped the rally with an inside basket that gave his team a 24-7 lead with 9 minutes, 35 seconds to play in the first half.

"We moved the ball, shared it, and played together," Burns said. "That start helped propel us."

Red River rallied in the second half, cutting the Deacons lead to six points three times in the final three minutes, but Shanley had the answer each time.

"It was never comfortable," Burns said. "We knew Red River was coming back at us."

The 6-foot-4 Reinholz helped hold off the Roughriders in the final minute. He scored on a cut to the basket that gave the Deacons a 72-64 lead with 59 seconds to play.

"They were making shots. They were making tough shots," Reinholz said of Red River's late rally. "As long as we were trading baskets, we were able to stay ahead."

Kava added 20 points, sinking 10 of 15 free throws, to join Reinholz in double-digit scoring. The Deacons shot 54 percent (28 of 52) from the field.

"It means a lot to us," Reinholz said of getting to the state tournament. "It's good to get back again."


RR: Toe 20, Polynice 15, Benefield 11, Robertson 11, Enerson 9, Eken 3.

SH: Reinholz 26, Kava 20, McKeever 7, Yaggie 6, Christmann 5, DeKeyser 5, Mehlisch 4, Thimjon 3.

Half: SH 34, RR 27.

West Fargo 66, Devils Lake 60

After losing to rival West Fargo Sheyenne in the region semifinals, West Fargo head coach Josh Downey could feel the Packers were ready to bounce back.

Fueled by Abdi Sufi's 20 points, No. 2-seeded West Fargo rebounded from a one-point, last-second loss in the semifinals to beat No. 4-seeded Devils Lake 66-60 in a state-qualifying game.

"I was really proud of the guys," Downey said. "I told them before the game and last night that disappointment a lot of the time can end up winning state titles. It's really how you respond that those late season losses can be really good for you."

Devils Lake scored seven unanswered points to start, but the Packers replied with a 10-2 run, including five points from Sufi, in the next five minutes to take their first lead. West Fargo built its lead up to five, but the Firebirds responded and both teams exchanged leads up until halftime. Devils Lake outrebounded the Packers 17-9 in the first half, including six offensive boards.


Devils Lake took a brief lead early in the second half before the Packers put together a 10-0 run within three minutes. The Firebirds immediately responded with an 11-3 run to tie it back up.

West Fargo fought back with a 12-4 streak that included two 3-pointers from Sufi to take an eight-point lead and Devils Lake would never come back.

"I haven't coached a greater group of guys," Devils Lake head coach Derek Gathman said. "It sucks we couldn't keep going together."

Sufi ended with a game-high 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting and 5 of-8 on 3-pointers to go with a team-high eight rebounds. The Packers shot 13-for-25 in the second half and ended 24-for-48 (50 percent) from the field and 9 of 19 (47 percent) from 3-point range. The Firebirds finished 19 of 54 (35 percent) and 9 of 24 (37 percent) from 3-point range.

"It feels great," Sufi said. "It gives us a new start. Now we're going to go out and play like it's the beginning of the season and go from there."

DL: Mertens 19, Bracken 10, Dahlen 9, Miller 6, Reierson 6, Desai 6, Fee 4.

WF: Sufi 20, Simon 14, Pistorius 14, Yeanay 7, Lennon 5, Morton 2, Forrest 2, Schatz 2.

Half: DL 30, WF 29.

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