Tom Fraase was for the most part quiet in the first half of the Lions All-Star boys basketball game on Tuesday night.
However, the Century graduate made lots of noise in the second half. So did the rest of the Class A all-stars, for that matter.
Fraase, a 6-foot-3 guard-forward, scored 13 of his team-high 16 points in the final 20 minutes - 10 in a pivotal 21-7 run - as the Class A crew rolled to a decisive 105-72 victory over the Class B all-stars at the Bismarck Civic Center.
Beulah’s Casey Duppong drives to the hoop Tuesday during the Class A all-stars’ win over the Class B all-stars at the Bismarck Civic Center. The Lions All-Star Series continues tonight in Fargo. Photo courtesy of Mike McCleary/Bismarck Tribune.
Fraase came to life after Class B rallied from a 19-point deficit and closed within four, 49-45, with 17:05 remaining in the second half. He started a 21-7 run with back-to-back baskets and later finished it off with a 3-pointer with 10:35 left. Along the way he netted a 3-pointer with 12:30 left, giving Class A a 64-52 advantage.
"I had some good shots in the first half that just weren't falling for me, but I stayed confident," Fraase said. "My confidence grew after I got a couple to go in. My teammates did a great job getting me the ball for good looks. It was a team effort."
Class A cruised from there, opening up an 85-61 advantage after Class B got within 72-57. Fraase had a three-point play in that 13-4 run.
Class A outscored Class B 61-37 in the second half, shooting 55 percent (23-for-42) from the floor. It sank nine of its 15 3-pointers after the intermission.
"Things really clicked for us after halftime," Fraase said. "I like the team chemistry we have. We've only been together a short time, but we had some great practices. These are all-stars who are very competitive and want to win. We went after it tonight."
Five other Class A players scored in double figures - Andre Maund of Mandan 15, Landon Poss of Fargo South 14, Mack Arvidson of Grand Forks Red River 13, Sean Norton of Grand Forks Central 12, and Jeremy Bontjes of Wahpeton 10. Dexter Werner of Bismarck added nine points and Devin Coyle of Mandan eight.
"Good teamwork usually means balanced scoring," Fraase said. "We have a lot of weapons and we did our best to get everybody involved."
Class A appeared to be on its way to having the issue settled by halftime. A 29-8 run put Class A up 37-18 with 4:50 remaining. Class B didn't go away, however. Justin McCloud of Bottineau and Daniel Yale of Berthold scored seven and six points, respectively, in a half-ending 17-7 run that made it 44-35 Class A.
After a three-point play by Poss put Class A up by 11, 49-38, early in the second half, Class B reeled off seven unanswered to close within 49-45.
Then Fraase and the Class A all-stars took command.
"The Class B team has good players, good athletes, and we knew they were going to make a run," Fraase said. "But we stayed calm and stuck with the game plan."
Yale finished with a game-high 18 points. Mr. Basketball Melvin Langstaff of Warwick added 16 points, and McCloud contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Game 2 of the series is tonight at the Fargo Civic Center.