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Tom Mix, Published December 20 2012

Bruins hang on for boys basketball victory against Spartans

FARGO – The Fargo South boys basketball team started the second half strong on Thursday.

But it was how the Bruins finished the second that almost cost them the game.

South hung on to defeat Fargo North 60-57 in an Eastern Dakota Conference contest at the Spartandome.

The Bruins (2-1, 2-1) executed a 12-3 run after halftime, taking a 53-37 lead with 13 minutes, 20 seconds to play.

But North did not go gently into the night.

The Spartans gradually trimmed the Bruins’ lead, but never got closer than three points.

“Anytime you get North and South together, you never know what is going to happen,” South head coach Mike Hendrickson said. “That is the fun part about this game. We got big things going to start the second half, but all of sudden we just quit playing. We can’t play that way.”

South’s largest lead was 16 points.

Junior guard Colton Lloyd fueled the Bruins’ second-half surge, scoring 17 of his game-high 25 points in the final 18 minutes.

Lloyd connected for four 3-pointers in the game.

“Colton is a great shooter,” Hendrickson said. “In the first half, he didn’t sit at all, and his legs were a little tired. We talked to him at halftime about what to do. We just got on his shoulders again.”

Paxton Lloyd added 12 points for the Bruins.

North struggled during South’s big burst, often being forced to heave poor shots at the end of each possession. One of those desperation shots actually found the mark when Austen Strom hit an NBA-and-beyond 3-pointer to beat the shot clock with 11:50 to play.

“They put the pressure on, and we were scrambling at times,” North head coach Dan Shultis said. “There was a stretch of about five minutes there where we couldn’t do anything. They really got into us. Colton and Paxton (Lloyd) did a nice job of controlling the tempo.”

Senior Grant Fisher finished with 19 points and nine rebounds for the Spartans (1-3, 1-2).

Strom and Issac Rerick added nine points apiece for North.

“Our guys fought back,” Shultis said. “They could have easily walked away from that, but they didn’t. That is the effort we need to see. If we get that, we will be in games like this.”

FS (2-1): C. Lloyd 10 1-2 25, P. Lloyd 5 2-4 12, Green 0 0-2 0, Kellen 4 1-2 9, Askew 1 0-0 3, Gardner 1 0-0 2, Geu 2 0-4 2, Fahrman 2 3-6 7. Totals: 24 7-20 60.

FN (1-3): Roman 0 4-6 4, Strom 3 1-2 9, Espel 0 4-4 4, Fisher 6 6-7 19, Rerick 3 1-2 9, A. Thompson 1 3-4 5, D. Thompson 3 1-2 7, Cardwell 0 0-2 0. Totals: 16 20-29 57.

Halftime: FS 23, FN 21. 3-pointers: C. Lloyd 4, Askew, Strom 2, Fisher, Rerick 2. Total Fouls: FS 21, FN 14. Fouled out: Green, Schweitzer. Rebounds: FS 24 (Fahrman 7), FN 30 (Fisher 9). Turnovers: FS 13, FN 14.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562