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Tom Mix, Published July 23 2013

Class A girls top Class B in Lions All-Star series opener

FARGO – Height has always been something Far-go Shanley’s Jessica Anderson uses to her ad-vantage on the basketball court.

Anderson’s height came in handy Tuesday when the 6-foot-1-inch post swatted a key block in the final minute of regulation to help Class A defeat Class B 69-64 during the 37th annual North Dakota Lions All-Star girls basketball series at the Fargo Civic Center.

“At halftime we talked about stepping up and making stops on defense,” said Anderson, who finished with four blocks, four points and seven rebounds. “We needed a stop down the stretch and we got it.”

The Class B all-stars trailed 66-64 when Central Cass standout Hannah Breske lofted a pass to Grafton’s Cassie Thompson on the baseline.

It appeared as though Thompson’s path was clear for a layup, but Anderson, who will play college basketball at Northern State of Aberdeen, S.D., closed in and got a piece of Thompson’s attempt.

Miss Basketball and Bismarck Century stand-out Hannah Larson connected for two layups on Class A’s next possessions to extend its lead, but Anderson’s block proved to be pivotal.

“We got beat off the dribble several times during the game, so it was nice to have that defense down low in the post and Jessica (Anderson) was certainly a part of that,” said Class A coach Ron Metz of Century. “Having that ability to rotate and get protection was big for us, but it would have been nice to capitalize more on the blocks we got because they got a lot of them back. That is something we’ll have to improve on for (today).”

The second game of the series is set for 6 p.m. today at the Bismarck Civic Center.

Both teams struggled on offense. Class A shot 32 percent from the field while Class B shot 30 percent.

Class A led by as many as seven points when West Fargo’s Lexi Lennon connected for a 3-pointer to make it 60-53 with 6:32 remaining.

Bismarck’s Naomi Rust paced Class A with 15 points and 7 rebounds. Larson added 5 points and 11 rebounds.

“Some of those outside shots started to fall for us in the second half, which helped out a lot,” Metz said.

Thompson led the Class B all-stars with 17 points, 4 rebounds and four steals. Breske, who is set to play basketball at North Dakota State, added 11 points and three rebounds for Class B.

Class A All-State first teamers Kyra Dewald of Jamestown and Ellie Ripplinger of Grand Forks Red River each finished with 11 and seven points respectively. Fargo South’s Made-line Strandemo finished with eight points and four rebounds.

CLASS B: Haugeberg 1 2-2 4, Schwanke 3 0-0 6, Henningsgard 0 5-6 5, Weigel 1 0-2 2, Thompson 8 0-2 17, Keller 2 1-3 6, Eberle 1 0-0 2, S. Dewald 0 1-2 1, Newman 1 0-0 2, Frejie 1 0-0 3, Breske 4 2-4 11, Forness 1 3-4 5. Totals: 23-71 14-25 64.

CLASS A: Lennon 1 0-0 3, Strandemo 4 0-0 8, K. Dewald 3 5-11 11, Ripplinger 2 3-3 7, Weir 1 0-0 2, Goetz 2 0-2 5, Rust 4 7-12 15, Wallette 1 0-0 2, Larson 1 3-4 5, Goldade 2 0-0 4, Hammer 1 1-1 3, Anderson 1 2-2 4. Totals: 23-77 21-35 69.

Halftime: Class A 34, Class B 32. 3-pointers: Breske, Frejie, Thompson, Keller, Goetz, Lennon. Total fouls: A 20, B 20. Fouled out: Haugeberg. Rebounds: A 64 (Larson 11), B 52 (Thompson, Weigel, Henningsgard, Newman 4). Assists: A 10 (K. Dewald 4), B 18 (Henningsgard 5). Turnovers: A 21, B 13.

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Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562