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Tom Miller / Forum Communications Co., Published January 19 2011

Farroh has huge night as GF Central tops Fargo Shanley in girls basketball

GRAND FORKS – Grand Forks Central rose to the No. 2 ranking in North Dakota Class A girls basketball by succeeding as road warriors. Of the Knights’ first seven games, only one had been at home.

Playing in town for the first time in a month on Tuesday, the Knights showed they can get it done on their home court, too.

The Knights bolted to a 34-18 halftime lead and rode 27 points and 21 rebounds from Caitlin Farroh to a

64-50 victory over No. 4 Fargo Shanley in the Central gymnasium.

“We came out with great intensity,” Central coach Brent Hintz said. “Perhaps it was the band or the home-court energy, but we came out strong.”

The Knights, who improved to 7-1, were coming off their first loss of the season, a 65-58 setback to unranked Devils Lake on Saturday.

But the season’s first blemish didn’t seem to bother Central early on against the Deacons, who dropped to 6-2.

“We got the shots we wanted,” Shanley coach Tim Jacobson said. “We just didn’t put them in. That’s got to change. We’ve got to hit those shots.”

The Knights led the entire way, garnering breathing room behind an 8-0 run in the first half that pushed Central’s lead from 17-13 with 5 minutes, 57 seconds left in the half to 25-13 with 3:13 left. The run was punctuated by Taylor Hammer’s steal and basket.

Hammer joined Farroh in double figures with 14. Senior guard Rebecca Fee chipped in with 11.

After Central stretched the lead to 20 points early in the second half, Shanley came charging back.

The Deacons went on a quick 8-0 run that was the beginning of a larger 20-8 stretch. When Sadie Rivard knocked down a free throw with 9:14 to go in the second half, Central’s lead was at single digits at 46-38.

The Deacons, however, would only get one basket in the next three minutes. The Knights, meanwhile, scored nine points – two buckets underneath by Farroh, a back-breaking 3-pointer by Courtney Hammer and two free throws from Fee.

Shanley couldn’t cut the lead to single digits again. The Deacons were led by Sarah Storandt’s 13 points, followed by Nicole Carew with 11 and Sophie Kenney with eight.

“We did a lot of things right in the second half,” Jacobson said. “We played with a little more fire than the first half. We were taking advantage of the turnovers we created.”

Central had a distinct advantage on the glass, outrebounding Shanley 43-26.

Farroh, who had nearly half of Central’s total, came into the game averaging more than 16 boards per game.

“Farroh is a very good player,” Jacobson said. “We got in foul trouble. We gambled too much, and she capitalized on that. That led to easy scoring opportunities.”

The 6-foot-1 senior Farroh is now 12 rebounds shy of 1,000 for her career.

“(Farroh) was huge,” Hintz said. “Offensively, she was able to get us points in the paint. She also contested a lot of shots defensively. I thought, for the most part, we did a good job preventing dribble penetration. But when they did get in there, Farroh contested and blocked shots.”

Half: GFC 34, FS 18.

FS: Kenney 8, Rivard 5, Saville 2, Carlson 5, Carew 11, Weir 4, Storandt 13, Anderson 2.

GFC: Farroh 27, Hammer 14, Fee 11, Hammer 7, Fennell 5.

Miller writes for the Grand Forks Herald