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Tom Mix, Published January 29 2013

No. 5 ranked North tops South in girls hoops

FARGO – If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

That motto worked wonders for Fargo North junior forward Emma Bergeron on Tuesday at Fargo South High School.

Bergeron missed a close-range shot inside of two minutes remaining, but got the offensive rebound and her putback attempt fell.

It was the game-winning shot in North’s 60-54 win over Fargo South in Eastern Dakota Conference girls basketball.

Bergeron was fouled on the putback attempt and successfully completed the three-point play at the free-throw line, giving the North Dakota Class A, No. 5-ranked Spartans a 58-54 lead with 1 minute, 29 seconds left to play.

“When I missed the first one, I knew I really had to make the second one to get our lead back up,” Bergeron said. “I knew I could do it. It was just a matter of believing in myself.”

Bergeron scored a team-high 16 points for the Spartans (9-2, 7-2 EDC).

South’s Allyson Friedt connected for a shot with 1:50 remaining, which cut North’s lead to 55-54. North led the entire game.

“I’m just proud of the kids for finding a way to win the game,” Fargo North head coach Derek Ouren said. “So many times last season we would play a game like this and we would have caved.”

North senior Kira Larson finished with a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

The Spartans started the game with a 6-0 run, but the Bruins (6-6, 4-6 EDC) tied it with three-point plays from Bria Taber and Maddie Erickson.

North broke the tie and rattled off a 14-0 run. South got no closer than three points the rest of the opening half.

North closed the final 4:30 of the first half on a 10-2 run and took a 34-23 lead into halftime.

South’s shooters started to heat up in the second half.

Senior guard Madeline Strandemo scored 15 of her game-high 25 points in the final 18 minutes. She hit a total of five 3-pointers in the game.

Ultimately, the Bruins wound up one possession away from having a chance to take its first lead of the game.

“We felt like we dug ourselves into a big hole,” Fargo South head coach Jason Smedshammer said. “We were fighting back the whole game. We got to within one, but we missed a defensive rebound where we could have maybe had a shot to take the lead.

“To their credit, they got a huge offensive rebound and three-point play out of it. That definitely took the wind out of our sails.”

NORTH (9-2): Ross 0 1-2 1, Astrup 1 2-2 4, Bergeron 6 3-7 16, Muellenberg 3 0-0 7, Larson 5 2-6 12, Schmiess 3 0-0 9, Dehne 1 4-4 6, Johnson 1 2-3 5. Totals: 20 14-24 60.

SOUTH (6-6): Erickson 1 1-1 3, Strandemo 10 0-0 25, Taber 5 4-7 15, May 1 0-0 3, Friedt 1 0-0 2, Stroup 2 1-4 6. Totals: 20 6-12 54.

Halftime: FN 34, FS 23. 3-pointers: Bergeron, Muellenberg, Schmiess 3, Johnson, Strandemo 5, Taber, May, Stroup. Fouls: FN 10, FS 19. Fouled out: Stroup. Rebounds: FN 35 (Larson 12), FS 32 (Taber 9). Turnovers: FN 14, FS 10.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562