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Tom Mix, Published January 24 2014

No. 2-ranked West Fargo posts EDC girls hoops win over No. 5 Davies

WEST FARGO – Being down at halftime didn’t cause the West Fargo girls basketball team to panic.

The Packers entered the game undefeated and ranked No. 2 in North Dakota Class A, meaning they had a lot to lose if their composure faltered in the second half.

West Fargo regrouped to post a 71-62 Eastern Dakota Conference victory over No. 5-ranked Fargo Davies on Friday at West Fargo High School.

Leading the comeback was junior center Cassidy Nelson and senior guard Cassidy Thorson. The combo combined to score 29 points in the final 18 minutes.

“We knew we could come back,” said Nelson, who finished with a team-high 19 points for the Packers (10-0, 9-0 EDC). “We have been down at halftime before this season.”

Thorson scored all of her 14 points in the second half.

While Thorson produced from the perimeter, Nelson operated in the paint, collecting seven field goals and 15 points during the second half.

“I was in the zone,” Nelson said. “My teammates saw that and did a good job of passing me the ball inside.”

The Eagles (8-3, 7-3 EDC) had 14 turnovers in the first half, but kept pace with the Packers by connecting from 3-point range. Freshman forward Kylee Bergantine connected for four 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 14 points in the game.

Davies led 34-28 at halftime.

Thorson tied the game at 47-47 with a 3-pointer with 9 minutes, 12 seconds left to play. The lead changed several times following Thorson’s 3-pointer, but the Packers pulled away in the final five minutes.

“There was one stretch in the game where we went cold,” Davies head coach Tonah Safranski said. “Nelson really took it to us down low and defensively, we broke down against her.”

Junior forward Alexis Klabo led all scorers with 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Eagles. Davies senior forward Katelyn Olson added 12 points and five rebounds.

With the win, West Fargo remains the only undefeated team in Class A.

DAVIES (8-3): Klabo 8 9-14 26, Olson 6 0-0 12, Kelly 2 0-0 6, Hildre 1 0-1 2, Bergantine 5 0-0 14, Kottsick 1 0-0 2. Totals: 23 9-15 62.

WEST FARGO (10-0): Thorson 4 5-6 14, Moton 4 0-0 8, Langerud 3 3-4 9, Gustafson 4 0-0 8, Nelson 2 4-5 9, Sand 2 0-0 4. Totals: 28 13-17 71.

Halftime: D 34, WF 28. 3-pointers: Klabo, Kelly 2, Bergantine 4, Thorson, Enno. Total fouls: D 17, WF 19. Fouled out: Gustafson, Moton. Rebounds: D 26 (Klabo 10), WF 21 (Gustafson 6). Turnovers: D 23, WF 14.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562