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Tom Mix, Published March 03 2012

Fargo Shanley tops GF Red River in East Region boys BB title game.

FARGO – Fargo Shanley took care of business, clinching a berth in the North Dakota Class A boys basketball tournament on Friday.

The No. 5-ranked Deacons used Saturday’s East Region championship game to put together one of their better performances of the season against top-ranked Grand Forks Red River.

Patrick Strom scored 20 points to lead Shanley to a 71-58 win over the Roughriders at the Bison Sports Arena.

“That game right there was the best we played so far,” Shanley head coach Leon Knodel said. “Offensively, we took care of the ball. Defensively, we did a good job making sure their guys had to shoot tough shots … Hopefully, we can build off that.”

The loss is just the second of the season for Red River (20-2). The Roughriders lost to Wahpeton on Feb. 21.

Both teams will play in the state tournament set for March 8-10 at the Fargodome.

The Deacons (17-5) were able to pull off the upset even with standout A.J. Jacobson sitting on the bench for extended periods of time after getting into foul trouble early.

“Everyone stepped up, and it was really great,” Jacobson said. “Thomas (Strandemo), Dylan (Alderman) and Grady (Meyer) all played well. It was a fun game to watch from the bench even.”

Jacobson and Alderman each finished with 12 points.

Strandemo connected for two 3-pointers in the second half and ended the game with 16 points. The Deacons’ timely shooting kept the Roughriders from getting close.

“Our bench players really stepped up,” Strom said. “They didn’t just coast for us. They took us to a higher level, increased the lead and got stops on defense. That fired us up and let us know that we are in this for the rest of the game.”

Shanley’s dominance started in the first half when it shot 51.6 percent (16 of 31) from the field and led 44-29 at halftime.

“It was nice to get going early,” Knodel said. “We played with some confidence, played with some enthusiasm and played more physical.”

The offense didn’t go stale after the break either. Shanley scored the first four points of the second half off a putback from Brandon Nelson and a fast-break layup by Strom.

Shanley’s lead was as large as 19 points at two different times in the second half.

“They got in a good rhythm,” Red River head coach Jason Gregory said. “They got the shots wherever they wanted them, when they wanted them and they made them. Give them a ton of credit they came out ready to play.”

Mack Arvidson scored 18 points to lead Red River. Chad Bartosh added 12 points for the Roughriders.

“We just wanted to go out there and have fun,” Jacobson said. “We knew they were good. We knew we’d have to play a lot better defense than we had all year and we showed up and played well.”

SHANLEY (17-5): Strom 6 6-8 20, Strandemo 6 1-2 16, Jacobson 4 4-4 12, Alderman 4 4-5 12, Nelson 3 0-0 6, Meyer 1 0-0 2, Dunn 1 0-0 2, Wolbaum 0 0-0 0, Nygaard 0 0-0 0, Traynor 0 0-0 0, Glogoza 0 0-0 0, Voss 0 0-0 0, Storandt 0 0-0 0. Totals 25-59 15-19 71.

RED RIVER (20-2): Arvidson 8 0-1 18, Bartosh 4 3-4 12, Kroeplin 2 3-6 7, Farroh 2 2-2 6, Burris 3 0-0 6, Kemnitz 1 1-2 3, Ma. Anderson 1 0-0 2, Hoplin 1 0-0 2, Leach 1 0-0 2, Mi. Anderson 0 0-0 0, Ripplinger 0 0-0 0, Page 0 0-0 0, Robson 0 0-0 0. Totals 23-63 9-15 58.

Half: SH 44, RR 29. 3-point goals: Strom 2, Strandemo 3, Meyer, Arvidson 2, Bartosh. Total fouls: SH 14, RR 18. Rebounds: SH 33 (Nelson 10), RR 30 (Kroeplin 9). Assists: SH 8 (three players with 2), RR 2 (Kroeplin, Kemnitz). Turnovers: SH 12, RR 11.

All-Eastern Dakota Conference team

Nathan Mertens, Devils Lake; Brady Syverson, Fargo North; Andrew Kozlowski, Fargo Davies; Brady Jordahl, Fargo Davies; Landon Poss, Fargo South; Todd Nicklaus, Fargo South; Sean Norton, Grand Forks Central; David Olson, Grand Forks Central; Chase Carpenter, Valley City; Jeremy Bontjes, Wahpeton; Brady Rotert, West Fargo; Mack Arvidson, Grand Forks Red River; Mac Kroeplin, Grand Forks Red River; A.J. Jacobson, Fargo Shanley; Patrick Strom, Fargo Shanley.

EDC senior athlete of the year

Mack Arvidson, Grand Forks Red River

EDC coach of the year

Jeff Ralph, Wahpeton

EDC athletic director of the year Ed Lockwood, Fargo Public Schools

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 451-5651