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Published January 26 2011

Kenney catches fire as Shanley girls basketball team gets key EDC win against West Fargo

Fargo Shanley’s Sophie Kenney was struggling so much this season she was starting to feel sorry for herself.

In her mind, she was supposed to be dominating in her senior season, scoring 20 points a game and leading the nightly television sports highlight reel. The reality was a shooting percentage hovering around 25 percent.

She finally got back to basics Tuesday night. And it led to the dominant performance she’s been waiting for.

Kenney scored 17 of her 23 points in the second half to lift the No. 4-ranked Deacons to a convincing 63-44 Eastern Dakota Conference road victory against No. 2 West Fargo.

“They beat us at home (earlier in the year) and we knew we were the better team, we knew we were better than them,” Kenney said. “I think we just showed everyone in the league who is the team to beat. We want to get that No. 1 spot back.”

Shanley (9-2, 7-2) used just about everything in its arsenal to control the tempo in the first half.

Nicole Carew, Sarah Storandt and Jessica Anderson did their damage in the paint, while senior sharpshooter Kaitlyn Carlson took care of the outside with a pair of 3-pointers.

The Deacons raced to a

15-5 lead before West Fargo knew what hit it.

West Fargo (8-3, 9-2) clawed back with grit.

Despite a sluggish shooting start, the Packers trailed just 31-23 at halftime.

Each team hit eight field goals in the first half. However, Shanley’s ability to get to the free-throw line gave it the edge.

The Deacons were 13 of 16 from the foul line in the first half.

“They came at us very strong,” West Fargo coach Barb Metcalf said. “And that’s what we do. I think our kids panicked a little. When our defense doesn’t show up, it goes into our offense. But there is a lot of time left (in the season).”

Shanley stretched the lead early in the second half thanks to Kenney’s offensive explosion.

Kenney, who entered the game averaging 7.2 points a game, scored eight points in the opening five minutes of the half to give the Deacons a 43-34 lead.

Kenney was at her best when driving to the lane. She had spent much of the season attempting to beat teams from the outside.

“The whole kind of slowed down at that point,” Kenney said. “For awhile there it felt like I could go anywhere I wanted on them. I can’t say how important this win was. We needed this so badly.”

SHANLEY: Kenney 7 9-9 23, Carew 3 5-6 11, Weir 2 0-0 4, Storandt 3 3-5 10, Anderson 2 0-2 4, Carlson 3 0-0 9, Rivard 0 0-2 0, Saville 1 0-0 2. Totals: 20 18-25 63.

WEST FARGO: Holland 3 4-4 12, Baltezore 0 2-2 2, Lennon 2 0-0 4, Nelson 1 1-2 3, Thorson 2 0-0 4, Miller 0 7-7 7, Krogh 2 0-0 4, Schnepf 2 1-2 5, Hummel 1 1-2 3. Totals: 13 16-19 44.

Halftime: S 31, WF 23. 3-pointers: Carlson 3, Holland 2. Total fouls: S 16, WF 18. Fouled out: Nelson. Rebounds: S 33 (Anderson 9), WF 26 (Holland 6).

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

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