FARGO — If anyone thought Mandan would feel sorry for themselves playing for third instead of first on Saturday, the Braves put up 104 reasons to prove otherwise.
Mandan capped a banner season with a monster performance at the SHAC, beating West Fargo 104-79 in the third-place game of the Class A state tournament. The Braves’ 104 points were a new single-game tournament record.
“We lost a tough one yesterday and coach (Brandon Schafer) said this one was about pride,” said Trae Stecker of the Braves’ semifinal loss to Century on Friday. “For us seven seniors this was our last game. We’ve been playing together since the third or fourth grade and today it was about who wanted it more. We came out and punched them in the mouth and finished it off the right way.”
Mandan, which tied a school-record with its 22nd win, scored 52 points in each half and had just three turnovers.
Trae Steckler capped his dazzling career with 33 points, 15 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block and 1 assist.
“Just a great way to go out,” the UND football recruit said. “I’m so proud of what we accomplished this season.”
Elijah Klein added 20 points for the Braves. Camren Steckler wrapped up his senior season with another strong game, totaling 19 points and seven rebounds.
“Obviously, our goal was to win a state championship, but we fought hard all the way to the end,” Camren Steckler said. “Great team, great friends and we’d do anything for each other. You couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Trey Wiest knocked down 4 of 6 3-point tries for the Braves, who shot a whopping 58 percent in the game. Wiest and senior Easton Miller passed out six assists each. It was also the final game for Ryan Wojtalewicz, Lathan Lowman and Chad Fenster, who made one of Mandan’s 11 3-pointers.
“This was the first time Mandan’s been to state in a long time and we can feel good about what we accomplished,” Camren Steckler said.
Including a record-breaking performance in their swan song.
“Yeah, 104, that’s a pretty nice number,” Camren Steckler said. “We’re a really explosive offensive team. We can score from the 3-point line and inside.
“When we get it going, we’re pretty tough to stop.”
Fargo Shanley 88, St. Mary’s 64
Cam Saville and Jake Cava combined for 51 points to power Fargo Shanley to an 88-64 win over St. Mary’s in the consolation championship game.
Saville finished with 31 points, hitting 13 of 20 shots from the field, and Cava contributed 20 points for the Deacons. Tom Erie added 12 for Shanley.
Cole Gendreau led three Saints in double figures with 22 points. John Nordberg added 12 and Ben Schmidt 11.