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Eric Peterson, Published March 08 2012

Shanley powers past Mandan at ND Class A girls tourney

FARGO – In a game where points were at a premium, Fargo Shanley had two shot makers emerge when it most mattered Thursday at the Bison Sports Arena.

Rachel Weir and Haley Brenner both hits clutch shots down the stretch to help lift the Deacons to a 45-35 victory against Mandan in the first round of the North Dakota Class A state girls basketball tournament.

“We had to stick it out on defense because our shots would eventually come,” said Weir, who finished with a game-high 17 points. “We knew that.”

Shanley (19-4) advanced to today’s state semifinals against Bismarck Century. Mandan (17-6) plays Fargo Davies in the consolation semifinals.

“We talk about playing within ourselves and we had some kids today that were trying to do things they are not capable of,” Mandan head coach Len Stanley said.

A Mic Longtin steal and layup staked the Braves to a 33-31 lead with 7 minutes, 45 seconds remaining in the second half. Weir and Brenner took charge from that point, combining to score Shanley’s final 14 points. The Deacons ended the game on a 14-2 run.

Weir sparked a string of eight consecutive Shanley points with a 3-pointer that gave the Deacons a 38-33 lead with 5:50 remaining. She made the lead 39-33 after sinking a foul shot with 5:02 to play.

“She hits some big shots. She hit this 3 that was really big for us,” Jacobson said. “She is such a threat, because she can get to the rim or she can just pull up over you.”

Mandan cut the Shanley lead to 39-35 after center Alexis Goldade scored an inside basket with 4:50 to play. That was the Braves’ only points in the game’s final seven-plus minutes.

Brenner took the Deacons home from that point. The 5-foot-7 junior scored the final six points of the game, including two jump shots from the right wing and two free throws. Brenner finished with 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the floor.

“Hayley Brenner was a real good spark for us. She was hitting those shots that were key and it was nice,” said Weir, who was named Eastern Dakota Conference senior player of the year last weekend.

The Deacons limited Mandan to 25 percent (13 of 51) shooting from the floor. The Braves also committed 20 turnovers.

“We were out of sorts offensively,” Stanley said.

MANDAN (17-6): Goldade 4 2-2 10, Longtin 4 1-2 9, Schmidt 2 2-2 6, Howling Wolf 2 0-0 6, Meyer 1 0-0 2, Russell 0 2-2 2, Goetz 0 0-0 0, Burt 0 0-0 0, Olsen 0 0-0 0. Totals 13-51 7-8 35.

SHANLEY (19-4): R. Weir 5 4-8 17, Brenner 4 2-2 10, Anderson 3 1-3 7, K. Weir 3 0-0 7, Fraase 1 2-2 4, Saville 0 0-1 0, Jacobson 0 0-0 0, Greving 0 0-0 0, Hanson 0 0-0 0. Totals 16-48 9-16 45.

Half: SH 20, Mandan 16. 3-point goals: Howling Wolf 2, R. Weir 3, K. Weir. Total fouls: Mandan 17, SH 10. Rebounds: Mandan 29 (Goldade 8), SH 28 (Anderson 10). Assists: Mandan 7 (Goldade 3), SH 7 (R. Weir 4). Turnovers: Mandan 20, SH 19.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com