Davies boys take down Legacy in state opener

BISMARCK — The Fargo Davies boys basketball redemption tour didn’t end Thursday.

Braeton Motschenbacher led a balanced scoring effort with 20 points and the East Region’s top-seeded Eagles were in control from the start in a 91-61 win over Bismarck Legacy in the opening round of the North Dakota Class A state tournament at the Bismarck Event Center.

The Eagles wasted little time establishing dominance on a Saber squad playing in its first-ever state tournament game.

After Troy Hilz gave Legacy a brief 3-2 lead with a 3-pointer, Davies proceeded to go on a 15-1 run. Fresh off a 27-point performance against West Fargo in the East Region Tournament championship game, Cole Hage scored six points during the early run. The Eagles, who had eight different players score in the first half, took a 53-26 halftime lead and maintained a comfortable lead the rest of the way.

“We just wanted to set the tone right away,” said Hage, who finished with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. “When we come out and play hard, we’re tough to beat. And we played hard today.”

Holding a major size advantage against a Saber team with no player taller than 6-foot-3, Davies had 41-21 rebounding advantage. Cameron Van Dam, who finished with 16 points, added a game-high 10 rebounds.

Davies was just as dominant from the perimeter, hitting 8-of-16 3-point attempts in the first half and and went 11-of-27 from deep for the game. Ty Satter hit three triples in the first half and finished with 11 points.

After failing to qualify for state last year, Eagle players say they are still working their way through that disappointment.

“We’re playing with a chip on our shoulder,” Motschenbacher said. “We’re going all the way.”

Though more measured with his response, Hage shares his teammates intensity.

“There’s a huge sense of urgency,” Hage said. “We really want this and we’re going to give it our all every single time and if we do, hopefully things work out the way we want them to.”