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Greg DeVillers / Forum News Service, Published January 28 2014

Jacobson gives Shanley a jolt in win over Grand Forks Red River

GRAND FORKS – There are a couple of things the Fargo Shanley and Grand Forks Red River girls basketball teams have in common. Both are young and relatively inexperienced.

One big difference between the two is that Shanley has all-state guard Sarah Jacobson. The sophomore was clutch Tuesday as the Deacons held off Red River 59-48 at the Red River gymnasium.

Red River, down 47-29 with 8 minutes, 15 seconds remaining, rallied to pull within 47-37 when Hannah Arason drove for a layup with 4:36 remaining. Red River got no closer than eight the rest of the way as Jacobson scored 11 of the Deacons’ final 12 points.

“Sarah does a great job controlling the offense,” Shanley coach Tim Jacobson said. “She wants the ball in those situations. Good things usually happen when she has it.”

With more than 3:30 remaining, Red River twice cut the deficit to 10, only to see Jacobson hit a 3 from the top of the key the first time and drive the lane for a layup the second time. Then, with 1:02 left, Red River got within eight on a Callie Carlson 3-pointer; again, Jacobson answered, turning a steal into a layup.

“They know where to go with the ball in those situations,” Red River coach Kent Ripplinger said. “She was knocking down the shots.”

If Jacobson was the finisher, Red River’s own ballhandling skills gave Shanley the early advantage.

The Deacons had 6-0, 11-0 and 8-0 runs in building a 33-20 halftime lead. Red River had 10 turnovers in the first 18 minutes. Shanley converted the miscues into 18 points.

“That’s pretty much the game,” said Ripplinger. “This is by far the youngest, most inexperienced team we’ve had in my 17 years with the program. And it shows on offense. We sometimes are our own worst enemy on offense with our turnovers and shooting.”

Both Red River and Shanley have only two seniors on their roster. Both play freshmen and sophomores extensively.

Jacobson finished with a game-high 19 points, with sophomore Lauren Rotunda adding 14 for the 8-2 Deacons. All 59 Shanley points were scored by non-seniors. “We have young kids who are still learning the system,” Tim Jacobson said. “And it is coming along for them.”

Red River, which dropped to 3-7, was paced by sophomore Arason with 17 points and freshman Alexis Robson with 11. Non-seniors accounted for 37 of the Rider points.

Half: Shanley 33, Red River 20

S: Jacobson 19, Rotunda 14, Day 8, Erie 8, Saville 3, Bucholz 3, Fraase 2, Dietz 2.

RR: Arason 17, Robson 11, Carlson 9, Burr 6, Trader 2, Bohm 2, Rustebakke 1.


Greg DeVillers is a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald