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March Mania

Defending champion Bismarck Century boys roll past West Fargo

Bismarck Century's Treyton Mattern, left, drives by West Fargo's Connor Buresh during Thursday's North Dakota Class A boys state basketball tournament at the Bismarck Event Center. Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune

BISMARCK — West Fargo viewed itself as a serious contender entering the North Dakota Class A boys state basketball tournament.

The defending champions had other ideas.

Treyton Mattern scored 20 of his 35 points in the first half, and Bismarck Century led by as many as 28 points in a 78-61 win over the Packers in the opening round at the Bismarck Event Center Thursday.

The Packer offense failed to convert two open second-chance looks on their opening possession. Things didn't get easier from there. West Fargo missed its first 12 shots and hit just 6-of-25 from the field in a first half when just one player scored more than two points.

"We've never played a game here and it was a new facility for some of our guys," Packer coach Adam Palczewski said. "We got the shots we wanted, we just didn't make them. There's no excuses. You've got to make shots, that's the name of the game."

Century, in particular Mattern, had no such struggles early. The Century guard, a 22.9 per-game scorer coming in, nearly equaled that total in a first half when he scored four more points than the Packers as team.

Mattern put a cap on his dominant half, when he spun away from a West Fargo defender and sunk a 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer, giving the Patriots a 32-16 lead at the break.

"They did a good job, they got (him) isolated and we broke down defensively, didn't do our principals," Palczewski said. "He's a good player."

Any hopes of a comeback dwindled early in the second half, as two Cade Feeney 3-pointers kick-started a run that saw the Patriot lead stretch as large as 26 points. Feeney finished with 23 points.

Matt Miller led West Fargo with 14 points. The Packers made just one 3-pointer all night.

With their state championship hopes dashed, Palczewski said he had a simple message for his players as they to enter the consolation round.

"Come out and play hard tomorrow," he said.

Half: BC 32, WF 16

BC: Auck 4, Peterson 2, Mattern 35, Kraljic 11, Feeney 23, Coleman 1, Leiingang 2.

WF: Bruer 11, Miller 14, Aden 1, Hegerle 10, Birrenkott 11, Moton 5, Lennon 9.