Davies’ Kretchman too much for Magicians

The Minot High boys basketball team chose the wrong opponent to get into a shootout with.

The Magicians scored in the 80s for the sixth time this year, but the high-scoring effort was wasted thanks to Fargo Davies guard Tanner Kretchman.

The Mr. Basketball finalist torched No. 5 Minot for 45 points to lead the second-ranked Eagles to a 91-82 victory in the Class A state tournament quarterfinals Thursday at the Minot State Dome.

The 5-foot-11 Kretchman’s point total is a quarterfinal record and just two off the tournament record of 47. He scored 28 after halftime to break the previous mark of 40 points held by Reed Monson of Grand Forks Red River (against Minot in 1969) and Jeff Boschee of Valley City (against Minot in 1998).

“It is just an honor to be here,” said Kretchman, who will play at Minnesota State-Moorhead next year. “We were going up against a great team in Minot, so we had to be focused right from the start.”

His perimeter counterpart Andrew Kozlowski elaborated: “Tanner was unbelievable tonight, like always. He’s our go-to guy. He makes big plays down the stretch.”

Kretchman, who leads the state in scoring at 29.4 per game, made 15 of 20 shots. He went 5-for-8 from downtown and 10-for-13 at the charity stripe.

“He made plays when he had to,” Minot coach Dean Winczewski said. “There’s a reason he averages what he averages. He made tough shots. We gave him some looks early and he got going.”

Amazingly, Kretchman wasn’t Davies’ top player in the first half.

Kozlowski, a 6-foot-2 senior, drilled 9 of 13 shots, including 3 of 5 from 3-point land. He recorded 13 of his team’s first 18 points and had 23 of his 27 before halftime, when Davies had a 48-37 lead. The Eagles, which average 84.9 points per game, have scored 90 or more 11 times this year.

“They’re such a great combo,” Davies coach Bart Manson said. “Sometimes they’re both on at the same time, but what’s been great about them all season is if one’s off, it seems that one is really going. They did that tonight. Andrew really carried us in the first half and Tanner carried us in the second half.”

Davies built its lead out to 12 on multiple occasions in the second half. The Eagles (12-2) led 82-70 with 4:50 to play before Minot rattled off a 10-1 run to cut the lead to 83-80 with 55.7 seconds remaining.

“We had opportunities,” Winczewski said. “We had it (the lead) to three (points) three or four times in the second half and we couldn’t get a stop when we needed it.”

The Magicians (16-7) never trimmed the lead any closer.

Minot wasted a brilliant effort from junior reserve guard Nick Soltis, who tallied a career-high 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting (7-10 from deep). Junior Dakota Halvorson scored 21, with 13 coming in the first half, and classmate Noah Bosh added 10.

The Magicians play Bismarck at 2 p.m. today at the Minot Municipal Auditorium, while Davies meets city rival Fargo South in a 8:30 p.m. semifinal at the Dome.

“We had opportunities and we didn’t take them,” Winczewski said. “In a game like that, you have to. In a state tournament, you have to. The tough part is, now we get ready for an afternoon game.”

Bruins knock off No. 5 Bismarck

Led by a trio of seniors, Fargo South made the lone upset on the first day of the Class A state tournament.

The Bruins knocked off the fifth-ranked Bruins 57-54 on Thursday evening at the Minot State Dome. They will face Fargo Davies at 8:30 p.m. tonight in the semifinals at the Dome.

Forward Zach Kellen posted a double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds to pace South (15-8). Guards Colton Lloyd and Noah Poss added 17 and 11 points for the East Region No. 3-seeded Bruins, who led 27-23 at the half.

Jon Theraldsen led the Demons (16-7) with 16 points and 11 rebounds. James Iron Eyes poured in 15 points and Taylor Schafer tallied 10. Bismarck plays Minot High at 2 p.m. today at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.

Ryan Holmgren covers Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @ryanholmgren.