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Published December 28 2010

Fargo South squeaks by Fargo North in boys basketball

The rivalry between Fargo South and Fargo North has another classic boys basketball game to add to the series’ history.

Fargo South, which has endured a few lean years, held off No. 5 Fargo North for a 53-52 Eastern Dakota Conference victory Tuesday night at the Spartandome.

“It is huge,” South coach Mike Hendrickson said. “I don’t know when we last won at North. It was big. It was good for our kids.”

The Bruins (3-3, 4-1) held a 53-52 lead when North began its final possession with 15.6 seconds remaining.

Spartans senior guard Brady Bergeron dribbled into the corner, somehow wiggled out of a three-man South trap and flipped the ball to the rim.

When it didn’t go in, the final few seconds turned into a mass of bodies tipping and clawing to secure the ball.

The buzzer sounded with players still fighting for possession.

“What can we ask for?” North coach Dan Shultis said. “We had the ball in our hands in the end to potentially win the ball game. It didn’t go our way, but for our team this was a huge improvement from a week before from an effort level.”

South was solid on both ends of the court, shooting 40 percent en route to a 32-25 halftime lead.

Bergeron put the Spartans ahead 37-36 with 12:43 remaining.

North used the combination of Nick Schultz and John Mullen in the paint to get back into the game.

The duo combined for 29 points and 14 rebounds. Schultz finished with 17 points and 12 boards.

But South’s balance and resolve turned away the Spartans’ charge.

“Everybody is doing their part,” Hendrickson said. “That’s in practice, that’s in games. And it’s neat to see. … But we said in the locker room that this is just one more game in that stepladder of where we want to get to.”

SOUTH: Charles 2 0-0 4, Parker 3 0-0 7, Poss 5 0-1 10, Kazane 2 3-3 8, Ernst 4 0-0 8, Deng 4 1-2 9, Okland 3 1-2 7. Totals: 23 5-8 53.

NORTH: Schnabel 1 2-2 5, Bergeron 3 2-4 9, Syverson 2 0-0 5, Schultz 5 7-8 17, Boe 1 0-0 2, Ross 1 0-0 2, Mullen 5 2-2 12. Totals: 18 13-17 52.

Halftime: FS 32, FN 25. 3-pointers: Parker, Kazane, Schnabel, Bergeron, Syverson. Total fouls: FS 20, FN 13. Fouled out: Kazane. Rebounds: FS 32 (Ernst 11), FN 33 (Schultz 12).

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

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