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Tom Mix, Published February 07 2014

No. 2 West Fargo tops Grand Forks Red River in girls basketball

WEST FARGO – It has not come without a little adversity, but the West Fargo girls basketball team remains the only undefeated team in North Dakota Class A.

The No. 2-ranked Packers kept their record unblemished with a 62-47 Eastern Dakota Conference win over Grand Forks Red River on Friday at West Fargo High School.

West Fargo was playing its fourth game without freshman forward Akealy Moton, who suffered a knee injury in practice three weeks ago.

Packers head coach Barb Metcalf said the severity of the injury is not known, but Moton is the third player to go down with an injury joining senior captain Amanda Levin – out the entire season with an ACL injury – and Shelby Larsen, who started the year on the sidelines.

West Fargo has endured, winning 14 straight games to the start the year.

“The kids respond and someone just steps up,” Metcalf said. “That is what our team does and I’m proud of the kids for that.”

“It is definitely different,” senior guard Cassidy Thorson said of being without Moton. “She is such a strong girl and I’m going to miss her good passes. It is a loss, but we have to keep going strong.”

Stepping into Moton’s spot in the starting lineup has been junior guard Alison Enno, who led all scorers Friday pouring in 20 points for the Packers (14-0, 13-0 EDC).

“She has always been a spark for us from the get go,” Metcalf said of Enno. “I was wondering what it was going be like having her as a starter, because we enjoyed having her as a spark (off the bench), but she has been a spark for us as a starter. She had nice ballgame.”

Enno connected for two 3-pointers in the first half and helped West Fargo grab a 31-21 lead at halftime. She also was 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.

“Nothing has changed,” Enno said of being a starter. “The leaders on the team have motivated me and I’m comfortable taking that position now. At first, I was a little nervous because it was different, but we have so much chemistry on the team and everyone just builds you up.”

The Roughriders (3-10, 2-10) tied the game 19-19 with under four minutes left in the first half, but the Packers closed with a 12-2 run.

“We got a few of our players in foul trouble early and that was the start off it,” Red River head coach Kent Ripplinger said. “We had a couple of good looks and if a few fall then we are in better shape. We just have had a hard time putting the ball in the basket.”

RED RIVER (3-10): Trader 1 0-0 2, Carlson 3 3-4 10, Hillebrand 2 2-2 8, Arason 1 4-7 6, Burr 2 3-4 7, Bohm 1 1-2 3, Egeland 1 0-0 2, Rustebakke 1 0-0 2, Dvorak 0 2-2 2, Burian 2 1-1 5. Totals: 14 16-22 47.

WEST FARGO (14-0): Thorson 3 2-2 8, Enno 5 8-8 20, Gustafson 4 3-4 11, Nelson 6 4-5 16, Langerud 2 0-0 5, Sand 1 0-0 2. Totals: 21 17-19 62.

Halftime: WF 31, RR 21. 3-pointers: Hillebrand 2, Carlson, Enno 2, Langerud. Total fouls: RR 19, WF 19. Rebounds: RR 24 (Burr 5), WF 28 (Thorson 9). Turnovers: RR 25, WF 18.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562