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Tom Mix, Published January 22 2013

No. 3 Packers top No. 2 Deacons in girls hoops

WEST FARGO – Time was running out on two clocks when Christine Baltezore had the ball in her hands on Tuesday.

The 5-foot-6 senior guard knew hesitating would mean a turnover, so just before the 30-second shot clock showed double zeroes, Baltezore shot a 3-pointer.

The shot fell with 1 minute, 4 seconds remaining and held up as the game-winning basket in West Fargo’s 61-58 win over Fargo Shanley in Eastern Dakota Conference girls basketball on Tuesday.

“It was one of those times where you just had to shoot it, and my shot just happened to be on,” said Baltezore who finished with 14 points and four 3-pointers. “It was all thanks to Kaitlin (Langerud) that I was able to get such a good pass. It was a solid team effort all around.”

West Fargo converted from beyond the arc the entire game. The North Dakota Class A, No. 3-ranked Packers (8-1, 8-1 EDC) connected for 11 3-pointers.

“They shot really well,” Fargo Shanley head coach Tim Jacobson said. “I think they were close to 50 percent for the 3-point line, and when you are shooting like that, it was a good thing for West Fargo.”

The loss is the first of the year for the Deacons (7-1, 6-1 EDC).

The Packers’ perimeter shooting kept the No. 2-ranked Deacons playing from behind most of the game. The Packers led 29-26 at halftime.

Shanley’s Sarah Jacobson tied the game 58-58 by connecting for a 3-pointer with 2:42 left to play. Shanley never led in the second half.

“Our style of basketball is we got to get shots,” West Fargo head coach Barb Metcalf said. “Normally when we shoot the ball 60 or more times like we did tonight, we win. When we are shooting 40 times like we did at Shanley, we don’t fare as well.”

One area where the Packers were lacking was free-throw shooting. West Fargo was 2-for-6 from the charity stripe and missed three in in the final minute, giving Shanley multiple opportunities to get the equalizer.

“Two-for-six,” Metcalf said. “Normally we are a 70 percent free-throw shooting team, but I attribute that to being a little tired and being mentally drained.”

Cassidy Thorson paced West Fargo with 16 points and seven rebounds. Sarah Jacobson finished with 16 points for the Deacons.

“It was important that we got back into the game,” Tim Jacobson said. “It was a battle right down to the buzzer and that was a positive for us.”

SHANLEY (7-1): Jacobson 5 3-4 16, Fraase 4 3-4 11, Weir 4 2-4 12, Brenner 3 0-0 6, Anderson 5 3-4 13. Totals: 21 11-16 58.

WEST FARGO (8-1): Baltezore 5 0-1 14, Thorson 6 0-0 16, Lennon 6 0-0 13, Gustafson 2 0-2 4, Woodbury 1 0-0 2, Nelson 1 2-3 4, Langerud 3 0-0 8. Totals: 24 2-6 61.

Halftime: 3-pointers: Baltezore 4, Thorson 4, Lennon, Langerud 2, Jacobson 3, Weir 2. Total Fouls: S 12, WF 14. Rebounds: S 30 (Fraase 10), WF 21 (Thorson 7). Turnovers: S 19, WF 15.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562