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Published December 22 2010

Girls basketball: No. 1-ranked girls also turn away North

The Fargo Shanley girls basketball team’s first week as the No. 1 team in North Dakota Class A was up and down.

This was the “up.”

Five days removed from a loss to West Fargo, Sophie Kenney, Rachel Weir and Nicole Carew combined for 51 points to help the top-ranked Deacons to a 61-52 win against No. 5 Fargo North on Tuesday at the Spartandome.

“Last game we were rushing huge,” Carew said. “This game we wanted to come out and prove that we have something to show, and that we’ve worked hard and we really want it.”

Shanley (4-1, 2-1) used its defense to set the tone.

The Deacons clawed, scrapped and rebounded its way to a 47-37 lead with 9:53 remaining.

North (2-2, 1-2) helped Shanley’s cause by struggling at the free-throw line.

Shooting 46 percent entering the game, the Spartans finished 10 of 25 on Tuesday.

Carew and Kenney teamed up for 18 points in the second half to pace the Deacons.

The rest of the team combined for three field goals and 11 points.

The Spartans never found a good rhythm on offense.

However, North guard Alyssa Dehne provided several highlights en route to a game-high 24 points.

“Right now we are having a lot of missed free throws and a lot of missed layups,” North coach Derek Ouren said. “The things that we can fix are pretty controllable. We just have to come out and execute.”

The Deacons relied on its balance to build a 23-19 lead.

Hannah Saville led the Shanley charge with eight first-half points.

Sophie Kenney had seven, and Rachel Weir six.

It was solid mix of inside and outside play for the Deacons.

Kenney and Saville hit from outside; Weir and 6-foot-1 center Jessica Anderson took care of the inside.

Dehne provided the spark for the Spartans, using her quickness to get to the basket and her shooting touch to hit a pair of 3-pointers.

Dehne had 14 in the first half.

Shanley held a 32-27 halftime lead.

“Our coach really stresses defense a lot,” Carew said. “That’s what we work on mostly in practice. Our goal is always to be crazy on defense, and I think that is what we did tonight.”

SHANLEY: Kenney 4 6-7 15, Carew 5 4-5 14, Weir 4 4-4 12, Storandt 0 2-4 2, Anderson 3 0-4 6, Saville 4 0-0 8, Rivard 0 1-2 1, Carlson 1 0-0 3. Totals: 21 17-24 61.

NORTH: Dehne 8 5-6 24, Larson 3 1-6, 5, Voulgarakis 0 0-2 0, Lopez 3 2-4 8, Carlson 1 0-0 2, Skunberg 2 0-3 5, Nordsletten 1 2-4 4, Johnson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 19 10-25 52.

Halftime: S 32, FN 27. 3-pointers: . Total fouls: S 22, FN 17. Rebounds: S 24 (Anderson 7), FN 31 (Larson 9).

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.

Hotzler’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com