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Tom Mix, Published March 15 2013

Fargo Shanley tops Fargo Davies in ND Class A state basketball

BISMARCK – The Fargo Shanley boys basketball team will get a second crack at a state championship.

The Deacons earned a trip to their second consecutive title game by posting an 86-60 win over Fargo Davies in the semifinals of the North Dakota Class A state boys basketball tournament Friday at the Bismarck Civic Center.

“It’s a great feeling to get back,” Shanley forward A.J. Jacobson said. “We are excited to be playing in another state championship game. We have that unfinished business from last year losing to Grand Forks Red River.”

The No. 3-ranked Deacons (20-4) advance to play Bismarck in the state championship game at 8 p.m. today. Shanley lost to Grand Forks Red River 78-74 in last year’s state title game.

Jacobson led all scorers with 37 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds in the victory.

“He is driven for the right reasons,” Shanley head coach Shane Alderman said of Jacobson’s efforts. “He wants this team to be as successful as it can be. I can’t say enough about his leadership and also his willingness to do what it takes to help this team.”

Jacobson is also approaching the Class A all-time scoring record held by former Valley City standout Jeff Boschee. After Friday, Jacobson sits at 1,975 career points and needs 21 points to tie and 22 points to break Boschee’s record of 1,996 points.

Shanley cruised early and held a 37-23 lead at halftime.

The Deacons also didn’t give up much to the Eagles, a major difference in Shanley’s loss to Davies in the East Region tournament last week.

“We came out and were ready to play defense,” Jacobson said. “Defense was the game changer between this game and the East Region semifinals game. We played good defense. Davies is a great team and they know how to score the ball.”

Davies got as close as 48-36 with 12:43 left in the game. Shanley answered with six unanswered points – the start of a 30-12 run that saw the Deacons break open a 78-48 lead.

“Shanley is a great basketball team and they have played great all year,” Davies head coach Bart Manson said. “You can’t come to play like we did tonight and expect to be in the game. You got to make shots with them and stay in the game with them. We didn’t do that and by not doing that we played ourselves out of it early again.”

Fargo Davies (17-7) plays Bismarck Century in the third-place game at 3 p.m. today.

When Jacobson left the game with 2:57 left, Shanley was comfortably ahead 80-54. Shanley junior guard Patrick Strom added 16 points and Dylan Alderman scored 15 points to go with a game-high six assists.

Andrew Kozlowski scored 21 points and Tanner Kretchman 18 to pace Davies.

Jacobson said the title game with Bismarck will be interesting.

“They are a solid team,” Jacobson said. “They are tough and they are defensive minded. We are going to have to match their defensive intensity. Hopefully we can put the ball in the basket and it will be a good game.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562