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Tom Mix, Published March 09 2012

Fargo Shanley tops Wahpeton at ND Class A state boys basketball

FARGO – A.J. Jacobson sprained his right knee in the quarterfinals on Thursday, but the injury didn’t prevent the Fargo Shanley junior from contributing in the semifinals.

Jacobson scored 16 points and added 10 rebounds in the Deacons’ 73-41 win over Wahpeton at the North Dakota Class A state boys basketball tournament on Friday at the Fargodome.

The sprain did affect what the 6-foot-5 junior could do on offense. He shot 4 of 16 from the field, but drove to the hoop frequently, drawing fouls.

“I thought that was the best way I could help my team, and that’s what I decided to do,” Jacobson said. “It felt pretty good doing that other than jumping off of it.”

The Deacons (19-5) advance to play Grand Forks Red River in the state championship game at 8:30 p.m. today.

It’s Shanley’s first appearance in a title game since 1998 when it won the Class A championship. The Deacons won back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1998.

Jacobson will play in the championship game.

The Deacons opened the game with a 13-2 run and capitalized scoring off offensive rebounds and early turnovers by the Huskies. Fargo Shanley led 36-20 at halftime and shot 43 percent from the field in the first half.

“We executed on both ends,” Shanley head coach Leon Knodel said. “Defensively, we did a good job of containing (Wahpeton standout Jeremy) Bontjes and their other shooters and giving them really only one look. Offensively, we did a great job of running when it was there, and when it wasn’t there we executed well in the half court.”

Wahpeton, who pulled off a thrilling comeback against Bismarck in the quarterfinals, couldn’t replicate it on Friday.

Shanley held Bontjes in check the entire game. He scored five points in the first half and finished with 11 to lead the Huskies (17-7).

“Once they got ahead, we had no answer at all,” Wahpeton head coach Jeff Ralph said. “The defensive intensity they had caused us so many troubles initially in the game. It got us out of what we were trying to do on offense.”

Wahpeton plays Mandan in the third-place game at 3:30 p.m. today at the Fargodome.

Thomas Strandemo and Dylan Alderman scored 15 and 11 points, respectively, for the Deacons. Patrick Strom and Grady Meyer each added 10 points for Shanley.

Jacobson said his shot is a little short.

“I need to get a little more oomph on it from out there,” Jacobson said. “Hopefully, I can make the adjustments and shoot a better percentage (today).”

SHANLEY (19-5): Jacobson 4 8-8 16, Strandemo 4 4-4 15, Alderman 3 5-9 10, Strom 4 1-2 10, Meyer 2 5-6 10, Glogoza 2 0-0 4, Voss 1 0-0 2, Nelson 1 0-0 2, Traynor 1 0-0 2, Wolbaum 0 1-2 1. Totals 22-58 24-31 73.

WAHPETON (17-7): Bontjes 4 0-0 11, Lunneborg 4 0-0 8, Medhaug 3 1-2 7, Irwin 2 1-2 5, Christensen 2 0-0 4, Sirek 1 1-1 3, Kramer 1 0-1 2, Kath 0 1-2 1. Totals 17-54 4-8 41.

Halftime: S 36, W 20.

3-pointers: Strandemo 3, Strom, Meyer, Bontjes 3. Total fouls: S 12, W 24. Fouled out: Christensen. Rebounds: S 32 (Jacobson 10), W 28 (Christensen 6). Assists: S 13 (Jacobson 4). W, 4 (four with one). Turnovers: S 6, W 15.

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

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