Fargo Davies too much for Firebirds in EDC semi-final matchup

by Jared Marshall, for the Devils Lake Journal
The jump! The Devils Lake Firebirds traveled to the Scheels Center in Fargo last Friday to take on the Fargo Davies Eagles in the a semi-final for the EDC.

On Thursday night, March 2, the Devils Lake Firebirds girls basketball team played in the semi-finals of the EDC tournament with a chance to move on to the EDC Championship game. The Firebirds came into the game sporting a 17-5 record and coming off a big 69-56 win over West Fargo Sheyenne to advance. Their opponent, the Fargo Davies Eagles were 19-3 overall, and defeated West Fargo 77-48 to advance.

From the beginning of the game, you could hear Firebird head coach Justin Klein urging, begging his team to be the aggressors. “Attack!” he yelled trying to get the girls to fast break.“Get up!” to put the press on after made buckets. These were common phrases uttered throughout the game.

Midway through the first half, the score tied at 10, Devils Lake had succeeded in being the aggressors at the start. Stingy defense by the Eagles, 11 turnovers and eight offensive rebounds yielded by Devils Lake in the first slowed down their aggressiveness.

Davies would took a timeout with eight minutes to go, the score tied 16-16. It did not stay that way very long as the Eagles came out of the timeout and went on a 10-0 run to take a 26-16 lead over Devils Lake. The Firebirds would be unable to stop the run, and the Eagles closed out the last 8 minutes of the half on a 22-3 run. Davies led 38-19.

The start of the second half was back and forth for both teams. Any time the Firebirds would try to get something going, the Eagles would answer with offense of their own. Davies owned a 50-26 lead with 12 minutes to go in the second half. With just under eight minutes to go in the game, Devils Lake cut the lead to 54-37. It did not get any closer from that point on until the last minute of the game. The final score Fargo Davies 64, Devils Lake 49.

Mattea Vetsch led the Firebirds in scoring with 17 points and three rebounds, and Abby Johnson chipped in nine points and have four steals

After the game head coach Justin Klein said, “We were just inconsistent tonight and that hurt us. Inconsistent with our energy. Inconsistent with our offense.We were not intense enough. I thought our pressure defense was good for us. We created many turnovers, which I liked. We just did not always take advantage of them.”

With the loss, the Devils Lake Firebirds drop to 17-6 on the season. Their hopes for a birth in the State A Tournament were still alive before press time as they played on Saturday March 3, 2:30 p.m., vs. Fargo North, a team they have defeated twice during the regular season. The winner of the game will punch their ticket to state.

{Editor’s Note:The Firebirds did indeed beat the Fargo North Spartans, on Saturday, March 3.The score was 67-50, and now the Firebirds take on the Mandan Braves, this Thursday, March 8, 7 p.m., at the Fargodome.)