Davies boys race past Red River to reach Class A title game

BISMARCK — With five minutes remaining in the first half, Grand Forks Red River had to feel good about its chances to upset Fargo Davies Friday, March 8.

Five minutes into the second, Red River was more than ready to wave the white flag.

Braeton Motschenbacher led a balanced offensive effort with 21 points and Davies blitzed Red River with a 36-5 run that stretched between the first and second halves to claim a 73-54 semifinal win at the North Dakota Class A boys state tournament at the Bismarck Event Center. The win clinched a spot in Saturday’s championship game.

The first half featured numerous major swings of momentum. After the Eagles jumped out to an 8-3 lead, the teams traded runs of 7-0, 10-2 and 9-0 before the Eagles closed the half on a 10-1 run that gave them a 28-22 halftime lead.

The dominance only intensified from there.

Jaden Klabo backed his way into the lane for an easy basket on the opening possession, and the Eagles proceeded to score the first eight points in the second half. In less than 10 minutes of game time, they had pushed their advantage to 30 points.

“We hope to really put them in the ground and keep pounding (with) the pressure,” Motschenbacher said. “It makes them kind of die off and quit.”

Motschenbacher had plenty of help offensively, as Ty Satter (14), Cameron Van Dam (12), Klabo (11) and Cole Hage (11) all scored in double figures. Van Dam added a game-high 12 rebounds while Satter led all players with six assists.

Davies coach Bart Manson felt a big reason for the dominant turn of events was his team’s effort, praising the Eagles for recovering after getting beaten to several loose balls early.

“We gave up nine offensive rebounds and about nine other 50-50 plays we didn’t win in the first half,” Manson said. “We had to get that stuff cleaned up. And once we did, we started limiting Red River to one shot and out. And really their offense kind of fell apart.”

The Eagles now need just one more victory to secure the second state championship in program history, an opportunity their coach is very eager to pursue.

“This is what you want to be doing,” he said. “You start the regular season and everybody wants to be playing (in the championship game). And we have a chance to do it.”

The Class A championship game is set to tip at approximately 8 p.m. at the Bismarck Event Center Saturday, March 9.