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Tom Mix, Published December 30 2013

Packers roll past Spartans in girls hoops

FARGO – West Fargo seized control early and never let go of it Monday.

The Packers cruised to a 76-42 Eastern Dakota Conference girls basketball victory over Fargo North at the Spartandome.

Six players – Cassidy Thorson, Kaitlin Langerud, Akealy Moton, Cassidy Nelson, Shelby Gustafson, and Alison Enno – scored in double figures for West Fargo (5-0, 4-0 EDC).

Monday’s win becomes the latest portion of a body of work that has propelled the North Dakota Class A, No. 3 ranked Packers to the top of the conference standings.

“We are playing as a team,” West Fargo head coach Barb Metcalf said. “Scoring-wise, we have four or five players scoring in double figures every night. That’s really helpful because there isn’t one player feeling the pressure to put in 20 or 30 every game. They are all unselfish players.”

West Fargo jumped out to an early 19-1 lead before North

(1-3, 1-2) scored its first field goal of the game with 11 minutes, 35 seconds remaining in the first half.

The Packers went 16 of 19 from the free-throw line in the first half and led 45-24 at halftime.

“In the past, we were a team that tried to be the aggressor on defense,” Metcalf said. “We still do some of that, but we are becoming more of a nice mixture of a half-court team and a transition team.”

“We know everyone can score points and contribute on offense,” added Gustafson.

Moton – a 5-foot-10 freshman – led the way for West Fargo scoring 16 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

“We have chemistry,” Moton said. “We all know where everyone is going to be and we pass the ball a lot. That moves the defense around and helps us find the open shooter.”

Moton is averaging 18.8 points per game and has burst onto the scene after playing eighth-grade ball last season.

“Akealy was with us this summer and we definitely knew about her,” Metcalf said. “The secret is definitely out of the bag now. She is a physically strong player and has matured a lot. She is a gem to have on the team because she makes other players better.”

Nelson and Gustafson each scored 13 points and Thorson and Langerud each added 11. Thorson also finished with 11 rebounds.

Senior Kelsie Schmeiss scored 15 points to lead the Spartans.

WEST FARGO (5-0): Thorson 4 2-3 11, Langerud 3 5-6 11, Moton 6 1-4 16, Nelson 4 5-5 13, Gustafson 4 5-6 13, Enno 3 3-4 10, Wentz 0 2-2 2. Totals: 24 23-30 76.

NORTH (1-3): Muellenberg 0 0-2 0, Schmiess 6 1-3 15, Astrup 2 1-2 7, Dehne 1 0-0 2, Bergeron 1 1-2 3, Kjar 0 1-6 1, Vangerud 1 2-2 4, Ross 0 1-2 1, Reinholz 2 2-3 7, Baarstad 1 0-0 2. Totals: 14 9-22 42.

Halftime: WF 45, FN 24. 3-pointers: Thorson, Moton 3, Enno, Schmiess 2, Astrup 2, Reinholz. Total fouls: WF 19, FN 19. Rebounds: WF 38 (Moton 13), FN 28 (Kjar 5). Turnovers: WF 11, FN 24.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562