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Greg DeVillers / Forum News Service, Published March 15 2013

Bismarck Century defeats Fargo Shanley in Class A girls state semifinals

BISMARCK – For a pass-first point guard, Alex Hopkins turned out to be a great long-range finisher Friday.

The senior guard was 5-of-6 on 3-point shots. That included the game-winning trey with 19 seconds remaining as Bismarck Century rallied to edge Fargo Shanley 54-51 in the semifinals of the North Dakota Class A girls basketball tournament.

Hopkins finished 6-for-8 overall from the field, scoring a team-high 17 points. The senior entered the tournament with a 6.4 scoring average.

“My role is bringing up the ball, passing and playing defense,” Hopkins said. “I usually only shoot about five times a game, and they’re not all threes. This was really exciting. I feel like I haven’t shot as well as I could. I finally was on.”

Shanley appeared to have taken command early in the second half. The Deacons scored 10 unanswered points, including treys from Jacobson and Kelly Weir, to go up 43-34 with 10:46 remaining.

Shanley led 49-41 after Sarah Jacobson converted an offensive rebound with 5:34 remaining to cap a 6-2 run – with all the Deacons’ points in the spurt coming from the freshman guard.

“At that point, I thought we were in a real good position,” Shanley coach Tim Jacobson said. “Normally, when we get a lead like that, we execute well and keep it. We had a run. They had a run. Their run went one basket farther.”

The Patriots scored 10 straight points to take a 51-49 lead with 1:59 left when Jordyn Jossart hit a trey from the right wing.

Hopkins’ success was a bit of a surprise to the Deacons, who concentrated their defense on the Patriots’ more vaunted inside game.

“We gave up the long ball because they hadn’t been shooting that well,” Jacobson said. “She (Hopkins) killed us.”

Jessica Anderson and Haley Brenner each hit a free throw in the final 50 seconds to pull Shanley even. That set up Hopkins’ game-winner. Shanley got off a shot as time expired that was off the rim.

Jacobson dominated Shanley’s offense with 24 points, with Weir adding nine. In addition to Hopkins, Century got double-figure scoring games from Macy Lynch (11) and Jossart (10).

“We know Alex has that ability,” said Century coach Ron Metz. “But she came in at the start of the year, took over at point guard and she hasn’t shot a lot because she’s always looking to dish the ball. But we preach to the kids that you can’t pass up open shots. That was a career game for her.”

BC (21-3): Hopkins 6 0-0 17, Jossart 4 0-0 10, Lynch 4 3-4 11, Benz 1 4-5 6, Furcht 0 2-2 2, Larson 2 4-4 8. Totals: 17-44 13-15 54.

FS (21-3): Fraase 2 1-2 5, Jacobson 8 4-4 24, Brenner 2 1-2 5, Weir 4 0-0 9, Bucholz 1 0-0 2, Anderson 1 4-8 6. Totals: 18-49 10-16 51.

Halftime: FS 28, BC 26. Total fouls: BC 14, FS 13. Rebounds: BC 35 (Larson 8), FS 29 (Fraase 8, Anderson 8). 3-point goals: BC 7-15 (Hopkins 5, Jossart 2), FS 5-10 (Jacobson 4, Weir 1). Assists: 8 (Lynch 3), FS 10 (Anderson 4).

Greg DeVillers is a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald