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N.D. CLASS A GIRLS BASKETBALL: Slow-starting Shanley wins state

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MINOT — For more than 11 scoreless minutes of Saturday’s first half, Fargo Shanley’s resolve was put to the test.

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When the Deacons finally woke from their slumber, Minot had run out of gas.

Sarah Jacobson scored 28 points, and Shanley’s offense exploded late in the first half en route to a 53-29 rout and a Class A state championship Saturday at the Minot State Dome.

“We came out and the shots weren’t falling,” said Jacobson, who watched her brother A.J. lead Shanley’s boys to a title last season. “We played great defense, got our points back and got it done.”

It’s the Deacons’ seventh girls title and the program’s first since going back to back in 1996-97, but it appeared to be in doubt during the early going. Minot held Shanley to four points until 5 minutes, 21 seconds remained in the first half.

“When were down, I was getting a little nervous,” said sophomore Lauren Rotunda, who added 10 points. “I knew we’d come back. We always do, so I was ready for it.”

Down 15-6, Shanley struck for 13 consecutive points, keyed by two 3-pointers from Alivia Fraase and another from Rotunda. When the Deacons were done, they led 19-15, and then 21-20 at halftime.

“(We) rushed shots because of Minot’s defense — they really put the heat on us,” Shanley coach Tim Jacobson said. “We didn’t adjust to the physicality that was going on out there until the second half. Then the kids understood.

“It’s amazing how you loosen up when you hit a couple shots.”

Shanley buried four 3-pointers — two from Jacobson — within the first 4 minutes after halftime to build a 10-point lead in what became a 24-3 run that sunk the Majettes. Minot was held to five points in the first 15 minutes of the second half.

“They hit a couple big shots, got them going and that’s all it took,” Minot coach Todd Magnuson said. “(Shanley) played a nice matchup zone and took our kids out of things. We died by the 3-pointer.”

Minot made only five of 30 attempts from long range, settling for quick shots that created more opportunities for the Deacons. Brooke Suko led the Majettes with eight points.

“Our rotation was so much quicker,” Tim Jacobson said. “We were frustrated playing defense and not scoring in the first half. Then all of a sudden — boom. It started going.”

Next season could bring a similar matchup, with five starters returning for Shanley and four for Minot.

“We’re young, and we’re gonna keep working hard,” Sarah Jacobson said. “Keep practicing and keep having fun.”

Third place

Bismarck 75, Fargo Davies 70: Keisha Engelhardt finished with 25 points including 15-of-18 from the free-throw line as No. 1-ranked Bismarck downed Fargo Davies for third place.

The Demons, who led 37-31 at halftime, also received 11 points from Ashlee Hilzendeger.

Davies junior Alexis Klabo tallied 25 points and 10 rebounds.

Fifth place

Century 55, West Fargo 51: Bismarck Century rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to lay claim to fifth-place honors.

Macy Lynch and Katie Scherr each had 11 points for the Patriots, who held West Fargo to 17-percent shooting in the second half.

Alison Enno had a game-high 16 points for West Fargo in the loss.

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Chris Aarhus
Aarhus has been a sports writer for the Jamestown Sun since May of 2012. Before that, he was the sports editor at the Minot Daily News and the Daily Republic in Mitchell, S.D. He also worked as a sports writer at The Dickinson Press.
(701) 952-8462
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