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Eric Peterson, Published March 03 2012

Davies earns first trip to Class A state girls basketball tournament

FARGO – Fargo Davies has its first state tournament girls basketball team.

Sophomore Lexi Bolstad scored a game-high 18 points to help spark the Eagles to a 55-38 victory against Grand Forks Red River in an East Region tournament state-qualifying game.

The Eagles (11-11) earned a berth to the North Dakota Class A state tournament – which starts Thursday in Fargo – in the second year of the program.

“It’s a huge step for our program and for these girls and for the future as well,” said Davies head coach Tonah Safranski. “The girls have worked so hard to get better every day. They just hung with it. They keep learning and working hard.”

The No. 2-seeded Roughriders (16-6) were held in the 30s for a second consecutive game. The Roughriders shot 24 percent (14 of 58) against Davies after shooting 25 percent (13 of 52) in Friday’s 54-36 semifinal loss against Fargo Shanley.

“It’s hard because we’ve been a good team all year,” said Red River head coach Kent Ripplinger. “We’ve been a very good team all year. We played together all year.”

Davies built a 17-point lead in the first 15 minutes against Red River. Bolstad scored 11 points during that strong opening run, including two 3-pointers. The 6-foot-1 forward drained a 3-point shot that gave Davies a 24-7 lead with 3 minutes, 5 seconds remaining in the opening half.

“We came out ready to win, ready to go to state and that’s what we did,” said Bolstad, who made 6 of 13 shots from the field. “This is just amazing for us.”

The Eagles led by as many as 19 points in the second half. Red River cut the Davies lead to 10 points four times after halftime, but the Roughriders were never able to slice the lead into single digits over the final 22 minutes of the game.

“We played really good defense,” Bolstad said. “We pressured them. We got them frustrated and it helped us on the offensive end.”

Red River shot 14 percent (3 of 21) from 3-point range. Ripplinger said the Davies defense made it hard for his team to get clean looks at the basket.

“Davies makes it tough,” Ripplinger said. “They’re long, they’re tall. They cover a lot of ground and a lot of space.”

DAVIES (11-11): Bolstad 6 4-7 18, Klabo 4 2-2 12, Weston 4 1-2 9, Larson 2 4-4 8, Moffett 2 4-4 8, Hildre 0 0-0 0, Papachek 0 0-0 0, Woodbridge 0 0-0 0, Hage 0 0-0 0, McCullough 0 0-0 0, Syverson 0 0-0 0, Kelly 0 0-0 0, Kotchian 0 0-0 0. Totals 18-47 15-19 55.

RED RIVER (16-6): Ripplinger 6 4-4 17, LaDouceur 3 3-4 9, Bommersbach 2 0-0 6, Knecht 2 0-0 4, Salquist 1 0-0 2, Trader 0 0-2 0, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Wheeler 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, Carlson 0 0-0 0, Lange 0 0-0 0, Bush 0 0-0 0. Totals 14-58 7-10 38.

Half: FD 27, RR 11. 3-point goals: Bolstad 2, Klabo 2, Ripplinger, Bommersbach 2. Total fouls: FD 12, RR 18. Rebounds: FD 30 (Moffett 7), RR 21 (LaDouceur 6). Assists: FD 4 (Moffett 2), RR 7 (Wheeler 4). Turnovers: FD 22, RR 16.

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Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

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