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Tom Mix, Published March 20 2012

Minot's Bison-bound Johnson a ‘competitor’

FARGO – Minot’s Holly Johnson had a standout season for the Majettes averaging 17.5 points and eight rebounds per game.

The 5-foot-11 senior forward, who is committed to play basketball at North Dakota State, earned a spot on the North Dakota Class A all-state girls basketball first team, which is selected by members of the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

Johnson is joined on the first team by Fargo Shanley senior Rachel Weir, Grand Forks Red River junior Ellie Ripplinger, Fargo North junior Kira Larson and Williston senior Dani Clarke.

Johnson was ND Miss Basketball, North Dakota Class A Senior Athlete of the Year, ND Gatorade Player of the Year and Western Dakota Association Senior Athlete of the Year.

But what might be most remarkable about Johnson is that she played her senior season on a broken foot.

“Holly is a competitor,” Minot head coach Todd Magnuson said. “She loves the game of basketball and there was no way she was going to sit out her senior year. She just wants to play every game and she was one of the players we really needed on the team this year.”

Johnson broke the fourth metatarsal bone in her right foot during the state volleyball tournament and missed the first three games of the basketball season.

She helped the Majettes to a fifth-place finish at state and was named to the all-state tournament team. Johnson, who finished her career with 1,260 points, was an all-WDA team selection and was named to the all-West Region tournament team.

Weir, a 5-foot-11 senior guard, averaged 18 ppg, 4.4 rpg and 3.2 steals per game for the Deacons who finished the season 19-6.

Weir also was a runner up for ND Miss Basketball and is committed to playing basketball at the University of Mary.

“Rachel is a very capable player with a good feel for the game,” Shanley head coach Tim Jacobson said. “She did a great job of keeping everything locked down on defense and she got us some big baskets on offense. It was fun to watch her play night in and night out.”

Weir was the East Region’s Senior Athlete of the Year and was both an all-Eastern Dakota Conference and all-state tournament team selection.

Weir had to wear a sleeve to protect the knuckle on her left ring finger which had destroyed ligaments the entire season. The injury caused her some limitations, but now has regained full motion in her left hand for the first time since August.

Larson averaged 15.7 ppg and 12.3 rpg for the Spartans. The 6-foot-3 junior center is committed to play NCAA Division I volleyball at Nebraska and was named to the all-EDC team.

“She was extremely important for us this year,” said North head coach Derek Ouren of Larson who is the Spartans’ all-time career leader in rebounds with 537.

“Athletically she is faster than anyone on the court. She really controlled the boards at the end of the year.”

Ripplinger, an all-EDC, 5-foot-5 junior guard, paced the Roughriders by averaging 16.5 ppg.

“Ellie got a better feel for what it takes to be a varsity player this year,” Grand Forks Red River head coach Kent Ripplinger said of his daughter. “She was very consistent for us this year and we could always count on her to be there offensively for us.”

Clarke, an all-WDA, 5-foot-9 senior who is committed to play basketball at the University of Mary, averaged 19.5 ppg and 8.6 rpg for the Coyotes this season.

“Dani has great passion for the game,” Williston coach Jill Haagenson said. “She was a leader on the team this year. She was a great defensive player and a great passer.”

Second team

Erin Krogh and Lexi Lennon of West Fargo, A.J. Jacobs and Hannah Larson of Bismarck Century, Sarah Schafer of Devils Lake, Naomi Rust of Bismarck and Mic Longtin of Mandan each received second-team honors.

Krogh, a 5-foot-11 senior, averaged 9.8 ppg and shot 46.3 percent from the field including 48.6 percent from beyond the arc. She was named to the all-EDC and all-state tournament teams.

Lennon, an all-EDC 5-foot-8 junior guard, averaged 12.2 ppg and 4.4 rpg for the Packers. She averaged 18 ppg during the state tournament and was an all-state tournament team selection.

Jacobs, a 5-foot-11 senior, averaged 13.5 ppg and 7.5 rpg for the Patriots who finished the season 22-3. She hit two key 3-pointers in the final two minutes of Century’s 63-60 win over West Fargo in the state championship game. Jacobs was an all-state tournament team selection.

Hannah Larson, a 6-foot junior forward, averaged 12 ppg and 9 rpg for Century. She averaged 17.7 ppg during the state tournament and received tournament most valuable player honors.

Rust, a 6-foot senior forward, led the Demons to a 17-8 season averaging 16 ppg and 10 rpg. She was an all-state tournament team selection.

Longtin, a 5-foot-2 senior guard, was all-state tournament team selection and averaged 14 ppg for the Braves.

Schafer, a 5-foot-9 senior forward, averaged 16.5 ppg for Devils Lake and was an All-EDC team selection.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562