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Kevin Schnepf, Published March 08 2014

Shanley girls roll past West Fargo to win second straight East Region title

FARGO – The shots did not fall at the Fargo Civic Center on Friday night. But they did Saturday night in the Bison Sports Arena for Sarah Jacobson and the Fargo Shanley girls basketball team.

As a result, Shanley avenged its only two losses of the season with a dominating 69-47 win over West Fargo in the East Region tournament championship game. As a result, Shanley heads to the state tournament as the region champion for the second straight year.

“It feels great, but we are not satisfied,” said Jacobson, a sophomore guard who, after making only 4 of 19 shots in Friday’s semifinal win over Fargo Davies, made 8 of 19 and scored 23 points Saturday night.

For Jacobson and junior center Alivia Fraase, the only two returning starters, last year’s devastating state semifinal loss to eventual champion Bismarck Century still sticks in their minds.

That was a game in which Century went on a late 10-0 run to claim a 54-51 win.

“We learned a game is not over until it’s over,” Jacobson said.

Saturday night’s game against West Fargo was pretty much over five minutes into the second half – when Shanley expanded its 36-19 halftime lead to 43-23.

After shooting only 26 percent Friday night, the Deacons shot 41 percent Saturday night. The Deacons made 9 of 20 3-pointers. What was the difference?

“We picked it up on defense,” said Jacobson, who led the Eastern Dakota Conference in scoring and assists this season. “We let that get us in a flow and we just took the open shots. Tonight, the ball bounced our way.”

Fraase, Jackie Day and Lauren Rotunda combined for 30 points. Behind Fraase’s 11 rebounds, Shanley outboarded West Fargo 38-14 – nabbing 16 on the offensive end.

The Deacons, who lost six seniors from last year’s region championship team, opened the season with a 66-61 loss at West Fargo. Ever since then, according to Shanley head coach Tim Jacobson, the young Deacons – with only two seniors – have slowly been improving.

“We’ve been a maturing group all year long,” Tim Jacobson said.

That group, now with a 20-2 record, will play Jamestown in Thursday’s 5 p.m. state tournament opener at the Minot Civic Auditorium.

West Fargo, which has finished second to Century in the last two state tournaments, will take its 20-2 record against Minot in a 3 p.m. opener.

SHANLEY (20-2): Saville 1 0-2 2, Fraase 3 1-3 8, Dietz 2 2-2 6, Rotunda 5 2-2 14, Buchholz 0 2-3 2, Carew 0 1-2 1, Swenson 0-1 0-0 0, Jacobson 8 2-2 23, Erie 2 0-1 5, Day 2 4-6 8. Totals: 23-55 (FG), 14-23 (FT).

WEST FARGO (20-2): DuBois 1 0-0 2, Krueger 0 0-0 0, Thorson 3 0-2 9, Langerud 1 0-0 3, Sand 5 0-1 11, Nelson 3 4-4 10, Wentz 1 1-1 3, Gustafson 2 0-0 4, Metcalf 0 0-0 0, Enno 0 2-2 2, Schatz 1 0-0 3, Heinen 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-53 (FG), 7-10 (FT).

Halftime: Shanley 36, West Fargo 19.

3-point goals: Fraase, Rotunda 2, Jacobson 5, Erie, Thorson 3, Langerud, Sand, Schatz. Total fouls: FS 14, WF 20. Rebounds: FS 38 (Fraase 11, Rotunda 6, Erie 5), WF 24 (Nelson 6). Turnovers: FS 15, WF 20.

All-Eastern Dakota Conference

Madison Walford, Devils Lake

Katelyn Olson, Fargo Davies

Emily Stroup, Fargo South

Hannah Arason, Grand Forks Red River

Dierra Diegel, Valley City

Tylee Irwin, Wahpeton

Alivia Fraase, Fargo Shanley

Lauren Rotunda, Fargo Shanley

(Unanimous selections)

Alexis Klabo, Fargo Davies

Kate Astrup, Fargo North

Maddie Erickson, Fargo South

Lachelle Bumgarner, Wahpeton

Cassidy Thorson, West Fargo

Shelby Gustafson, West Fargo

Sarah Jacobson, Fargo Shanley

East Region senior athlete of the year

Cassidy Thorson, West Fargo

East Region coach of the year

Barb Metcalf, West Fargo

Readers can reach Forum Sports Editor Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549

Schnepf’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com