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Greg DeVillers / Forum News Service, Published March 14 2013

Jacobson carries Shanley to OT win in ND state boys basketball quarterfinals

BISMARCK – Sometimes A.J. Jacobson has to be reminded to take charge in a game.

On Thursday, the Fargo Shanley senior didn’t need a reminder. He just did it.

Jacobson had seven points, four rebounds and an assist in overtime as Shanley beat Bismarck St. Mary’s 100-95 in a record-setting game in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class A state boys basketball tournament.

Shanley became the first team in the history of the tournament to score 100 points in a game. And the teams’ combined total of 195 points also was a record for a state tournament game.

“I tell A.J. so often that there are times to be patient, and there are times you have to put us on your back,’’ Shanley coach Shane Alderman said. “I didn’t tell him that today. But he knows. He was huge. He put us on his back.’’

In a game that was full of drama, including a big late comeback by Shanley in regulation and a buzzer-beating trey by Darius Sparks of St. Mary’s to force overtime, it was the 6-foot-6 Jacobson who dominated the overtime.

His 3-pointer from the top of the key gave Shanley a permanent lead at 94-91 with 1:54 left. After two free throws by Scott Nagel pulled the Saints back to within one, Jacobson scored on a running jumper for a three-point edge again. Then, in the final 30 seconds, Patrick Strom hit four straight free throws for an insurmountable 99-93 lead.

“I like the ball in big spots,’’ said Jacobson, a Mr. Basketball finalist. “I like the big moments.’’

Shanley needed a big comeback.

St. Mary’s finished the first half on a 14-2 run to take a 46-37 lead. The Saints maintained leads ranging from five to 16 points for the first 15:50 of the second half. When Ben Weisbeck hit a jumper from the top of the key with 2:26 left in regulation, the Saints were ahead 83-72.

“We weren’t being aggressive enough,’’ Alderman said. “And it was frustrating for us, that they were so hot and we were getting beat off the dribble.’’

But Shanley answered with an 11-0 run, pulling even at 83-83 on a Connor Dun reverse layup with 1:11 left. After Trent Bohan snapped the run with a free throw for a one-point St. Mary’s lead, Jacobson hit two free throws with 10 seconds left, then blocked a shot to get back a possession that resulted in two more free throws by Strom and an 87-84 lead with 2 seconds remaining.

“Coach tells us if there’s still time on the clock, we can win,’’ Jacobson said. “We like to get the tempo up. We’re known for our streaks. It worked out for us tonight.’’

The late run included five points produced on possessions off forced turnovers. Said Alderman: “We’ve worked on creating pressure the last few weeks. I knew we could make a game of it, to have a chance. With our pressure, we try to create havoc.’’

There remained drama, however. Bohan made a long inbounds pass to Weisbeck, who quickly flipped to Darius Sparks on a right wing where he hit a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the score and force overtime.

Jacobson finished with 27 points, 13 rebounds, four blocks and three assists. Strom led Shanley with 28 points, with Ben Glogoza adding 16 points.

Bohan scored 28 points and Weisbeck 26, to go along with 11 rebounds, for St. Mary’s. Sparks added 16 points.

Half: BSM 46, FS 37

End of regulation: BSM 87, FS 87

FS: Strom 7 10-12 28, Alderman 5 7-11 17, Dunn 2 3-4 7, Arnold 1 0-1 2, Jacobson 9 7-9 27, Meyer 1 0-0 3, Glogoza 8 0-2 16. Totals 33 27-39 100.

BSM: Kopp 1 1-2 3, Nagel 4 2-4 11, Obritsch 4 2-2 11, Sparks 6 2-2 16, Bohan 10 2-6 28, Weisbeck 10 5-6 26. Totals 35 14-22 95.

3-pointers: Strom 4, Jacobson 2, Meyer 1, Bohan 6, Sparks 2, Nagel 1, Obritsch 1, Weisbeck 1. Fouls: FS 21, BSM 28. Rebounds: Shanley 53 (Jacobson 13), St. Mary’s 36 (Nagel, Weisbeck 11). Assists: Shanley 9 (three tied with 3), St. Mary’s 19 (Weisbeck 6).


DeVillers writes for the Grand Forks Herald