The Devils Lake Firebirds live to fight another day … err, better make that dribble a ball for another game.
Nathan Mertens pumped in a triple-double effort on Saturday afternoon and helped the Firebirds claim an 82-65 win over the Valley City Hi-Liners in an Eastern Dakota Conference Tournament play-in game at the Devils Lake Sports Center.
With the win, the Firebirds grabbed the No. 7 seed in the EDC tournament, which begins on Tuesday. Devils Lake will face off against No. 2 seed Shanley in Fargo.
The Firebirds, who had three players eclipse the 10-point plateau in scoring, got off to a fast start against the Hi-Liners. Devils Lake outscored Valley City by a staggering 43-28 clip in the first half.
They never looked back from there.
DL closed out the contest with a 39-37 run in the second half.
Mertens finished the game as the Firebirds’ top scorer with 31 points. Chase Johnson and Spencer Halvorson added 17 and 13, respectively.
Briar LeBeau and Hunter Cichos also played well, finishing with eight and six points, respectively.
Mason Denholm paced Valley City with 25.
With the win over the Hi-Liners, Devils Lake improved to 8-12 for the season, and to 6-12 in EDC play. Valley City finished its season at 5-16 and 2-16.
Devils Lake 82, Valley City 65
Valley City 28 37 — 65
Devils Lake 43 39 — 82
Valley City — Jared Nelson 3, Mason Denholm 25, Austin Svenningsen 4, Jared Lentz 7, Chase Carpenter 10, Taylor Lentz 16
Devils Lake — Briar LeBeau 8, Hunter Cichos 6, Timothy Gleason 2, Spencer Halvorson 13, Chase Johnson 17, Nathan Mertens 31, Brett Peterson 5
North at Red River (No. 1), 7:45 p.m.
Fargo South (No. 5) at West Fargo (No. 4), 7 p.m.
Devils Lakes at Fargo Shanley (No. 2), 7:45 p.m.
Wahpeton (No. 6) at Fargo Davies (No. 3), 7 p.m.