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Greg DeVillers / Forum News Service, Published March 16 2013

West Fargo drops ND Class A state girls basketball title game

BISMARCK – The rematch didn’t go as West Fargo had hoped.

Meeting for the North Dakota Class A girls basketball tournament title for the second straight year, Bismarck Century repeated as champions after rolling to a 73-39 win Saturday at the Bismarck Civic Center.

Century edged West Fargo 63-60 a year ago in the title game. But Saturday, the Patriots started fast and were never slowed down, jumping out to an 18-3 lead.

“We were looking for a little bit of revenge,” said Lexi Lennon, one of three returning starters from last year’s Packers team. “But we weren’t able to hit our shots.”

Which is easier to handle, losing by three or by 34 in a state final?

“It doesn’t matter. It’s still the same (result),” Lennon said.

Century established itself quickly Saturday.

The Patriots, after missing their first three field-goal attempts, hit their next seven attempts to jump to their 18-3 lead. Hannah Larson ignited the start. The senior scored eight of the 18 points, including two of the team’s four 3-point field goals in the run.

“As a coach, the three-point losses are tougher to take than this,” West Fargo coach Barb Metcalf said. “When you’re so close to winning it, it stings. Not that this one doesn’t sting. But sometimes a team comes out on fire like they did. There really was no answer. We tried to make defensive stops. When that isn’t happening, the kids start to rush their shots.

“We’ve been able to dig out of some 10, 12-point (deficits). But we weren’t stopping them or shooting well ourselves. They stole the momentum from the get go. We didn’t have an answer.”

Century never did slow down. Late in the first half, the Patriots expanded a

26-12 lead by scoring on their final eight possessions of the half, a 15-2 run that gave Century a 41-14 halftime lead.

Century coach Ron Metz said the early run was the key to the entire game.

“That was huge,” said Metz, who was named Class A coach of the year. “West Fargo has done that to other teams. But our defense didn’t allow it to happen. And for us to score like that on their defense, that was something we probably didn’t expect.”

Century continued to build on its lead, its biggest advantage being 34 points

(73-39). The closest West Fargo came to the Patriots in the final 18 minutes was 22 points.

Larson, who was named Class A senior player of the year, had a strong finish to her career. She paced the Patriots in points (22), rebounds (16) and assists (5). Macy Lynch added 16 points and Jordyn Jossart.

Lennon’s 10 points led West Fargo, followed by Amanda Levin with eight.

WEST FARGO (21-4): Levin 2 4-6 8, Woodbury 2 0-0 4, Baltezore 0 0-0 0, Suppa 0 0-0 0, Metcalf 0 0-0 0, Uetz 0 0-0 0, Wentz 0 0-0 0, Enno 0 0-0 0, Warner 0 0-0 0, Thorson 2 2-2 7, Langerud 1 0-0 2, Lennon 4 3-6 10, Gustafson 2 0-0 4, Stedman 0 0-0 0, Nelson 2 0-0 4. Totals: 14-56 9-18 39.

CENTURY (21-3): Fitterer 0 0-0 0, Wilhelm 0 0-0 0, Hopkins 2 0-0 4, Bohrer 4 0-1 7, Schuette 0 0-0 0, Kolb 0 1-2 1, Jossart 6 2-2 12, Lynch 8 1-2 16, Benz 3 0-0 5, Furcht 3 0-0 6, Larson 11 3-4 22, Alme 0 0-0 0, Doll 0 0-0 0, Chase 0 0-0 0. Totals: 29-59 7-14 73.

Halftime: Century 41, West Fargo 14. 3-point goals: West Fargo 2-14 (Thorson 1, Lennon 1), Century 8-18 (Bohrer 1, Jossart 2, Lynch 1, Benz 1, Larson 3). Total fouls: West Fargo 16, Century 17. Rebounds: West Fargo 32 (Levin 6, Thorson 6), Century 49 (Larson 16). Assists: West Fargo 6 (Woodbury 2, Thorson 2), Century 16 (Bohrer 4).


Greg DeVillers is a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald