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Eric Peterson, Published March 08 2012

Big first half propels Century past Davies girls

FARGO – Bismarck Century couldn’t have anticipated a much better start than the one it enjoyed Thursday at the Bison Sports Arena.

The Patriots exploded for 52 points in the first half to a fuel an 84-44 victory against Fargo Davies in the first round of the North Dakota Class A state girls basketball tournament.

“It’s the state tournament and we’re all really excited to be playing, so coming out strong is what we expected to do,” said Patriots junior Hannah Larson, who scored all 19 of her team-high points in the first half. “A lot of games we haven’t started out well, so starting out well in this game was important.”

The Eagles (11-12) were playing in their first state tournament game in their second year as a varsity program.

“I’m sure that has something to do with it,” said Davies head coach Tonah Safranski. “It’s the first time these kids are going through this, most of them. … Until you go through it and learn how to handle each game, it’s a learning process.”

The Patriots (20-3) seized control at the outset. Century raced to a 20-point lead, scoring 22 of the game’s first 24 points. Larson scored 11 points during the opening surge that included a string of 20 consecutive Century points.

The Patriots built a 22-2 lead after senior guard Tessa Delzer scored a transition layup with 10 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the first half.

“They came out and forced some turnovers on us and ran the floor on us and before we knew it, we were down by 20 points,” Safranski said. “I don’t think we played very good defense and they did some things that forced us out of rhythm on offense. They are a good team. They created a lot of that.”

The Patriots led by as many as 36 points in the first half, shooting 67 percent (20 of 30) from the floor in the opening 18 minutes.

Larson made 7 of 10 shots from the floor and was 5-for-5 from the foul line. The 6-foot forward attempted just one shot from the field after halftime.

“I think it was a team effort and my teammates found me,” Larson said. “I just happened to be open. It could have been anyone.”

Paige Weston paced the Eagles with 13 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field. The 6-2 senior center also added four rebounds and two blocked shots. Davies was without sophomore center Brook Hildre, who missed the game due to illness. Hildre was averaging 7.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.

“You can’t get down and think you are going to come back against a good team like that,” Safranski said. “It wasn’t our day.”

DAVIES (11-12): Weston 6 1-3 13, Bolstad 2 5-7 9, Moffett 2 2-3 6, Hage 2 0-2 5, Papachek 1 2-2 5, Larson 1 1-4 3, Woodbridge 1 0-0 3, Klabo 0 0-0 0, Syverson 0 0-0 0, McCullough 0 0-0 0, Kelly 0 0-0 0. Totals 15-49 11-21 44.

CENTURY (20-3): Larson 7 5-5 19, Glatt 6 1-2 13, Jacobs 4 3-4 12, Jeske 3 0-0 8, Bohrer 3 1-2 7, Delzer 2 0-0 4, Govig 2 0-0 4, Ziegler 1 2-4 4, Jossart 1 1-2 4, Lynch 1 0-2 2, Schatz 1 0-0 2, Hopkins 0-1 2-2 2, Chase 0 2-4 2, Ely 0 0-1 0, Beck 0 0-0 0. Totals 31-58 17-28 84.

Half: BC 52, FD 18. 3-point goals: Hage, Papachek, Woodbridge, Jacobs, Jeske 2, Delzer, Jossart. Total fouls: FD 20, BC 20. Rebounds: FD 20 (Klabo 6), BC 35 (Jacobs 5, Govig 5). Assists: FD 6 (Papachek 3), BC 15 (five players with 2). Turnovers: FD 29, BC 17.

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Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com