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Eric Peterson, Published March 09 2013

Shanley girls win East Region tournament championship

FARGO – Fargo Shanley quenched its region tournament title drought that lasted nearly two decades.

Senior forward Jessica Anderson scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds Saturday night at the Bison Sports Arena. That effort helped lift the top-seeded Deacons to a 51-41 victory against West Fargo for the East Region girls basketball tournament championship.

Shanley (20-2) hadn’t won the region tournament since 1996.

“It’s a big thing for Shanley High School,” Deacons head coach Tim Jacobson said. “It’s a small school and to be able to compete night in and night out is a great thing.”

The Deacons earned the top seed from the East for the North Dakota Class A state tournament, which starts Thursday in Bismarck. Shanley and West Fargo played for the region title last season and the Packers earned a 10-point win in that matchup.

“We really wanted to come out and play hard,” Anderson said. “West Fargo is a great team. It’s always fun to play them.”

West Fargo (19-3) had its seven-game winning streak snapped and earned the No. 2 seed from the East for the state tournament.

“We just didn’t hit our shots when we needed to,” said Packers head coach Barb Metcalf, whose team shot 30 percent (16 of 54) from the field. “We would make a good stop on defense and then we would come down and we didn’t convert.”

West Fargo went scoreless for more than four minutes during one stretch during the first half. Shanley scored 15 consecutive points during that span to surge into the lead for good. Freshman guard Sarah Jacobson and Anderson each scored five points during that stretch. Sophomore forward Alivia Fraase capped the rally with a layup that gave the Deacons a 22-12 lead with 6 minutes, 6 seconds to play in the first half.

“We made some adjustments defensively and that’s where I thought it happened,” Tim Jacobson said. “Then we slowed them down and we got into the flow of the game.”

The Deacons held a 28-24 lead at halftime. They scored the first six points of the second half to quickly push their edge to double digits. Senior guard Haley Brenner hit a short jumper that gave Shanley a 34-24 lead with 16:23 to play in the second half. West Fargo got no closer than four points of the lead in the second half.

“Our defense just really stepped up,” Anderson said. “If we are doing well on defense, the offense just comes.”

The Deacons had six players finish with six or more points. Sarah Jacobson scored 12 points to join Anderson in double figures.

“We just played together and we played hard,” Tim Jacobson said. “We had a goal in mind and we stuck to it the whole way.”

Lexi Lennon paced the Packers with 11 points. The senior guard was the only West Fargo player to score in double digits.

“They really make you work offensively,” Metcalf said of Shanley’s defense. “I just think we rushed some shots tonight.”

SHANLEY (20-2): Anderson 4 4-5 12, Jacobson 3 5-8 12, Weir 3 0-1 7, Mickelson 3 1-2 7, Brenner 3 1-2 7, Fraase 3 0-0 6, Day 0 0-0 0, Bucholz 0 0-0 0. Totals 19-41 11-18 51.

WEST FARGO (19-3): Lennon 5 0-0 11, Thorson 2 3-4 8, Baltezore 3 0-1 7, Nelson 2 2-5 6, Levin 2 0-0 4, Woodbury 1 1-2 3, Gustafson 1 0-0 2, Langerud 0 0-0 0. Totals 16-54 6-12 41.

Half: SH 28, WF 24. 3-point goals: Jacoboson, Weir, Lennon, Thorson, Baltezore. Total fouls: SH 17, WF 20. Fouled out: Levin. Rebounds: SH 33 (Fraase 9), WF 24 (Lennon 5, Langerud 5). Turnovers: SH 18, WF 13.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com