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BOYS BASKETBALL: Deacons churn out season-high point total to upset Red River

Jeffery Landowski (right) of Grand Forks Red River elbows his way past Fargo Shanely's Tre Fort (14) as he bring the ball up court under pressure in EDC basketball tournament action Tuesday night in Grand Forks.JOHN STENNES/GRAND FORKS HERALD1 / 3
Red River's Tyler Straus (4) drives to the basket against Fargo Shanley defenders Garang Garang (30) and Luke Rotunda (35) in Eastern Dakota Conference tournament action Tuesday night in Grand Forks.JJOHN STENNES/ GRAND FORKS HERALD2 / 3
Grand Forks Red River's Braedan Hanson (15) out leaps three Fargo Shanley defender for a tip-in basket in EDC basketball tournament action Tuesday night in Grand Forks.JOHN STENNES/GRAND FORKS HERALD3 / 3

Grand Forks Red River probably could have withstood the offensive barrage from Shanley senior guard Patrick Strom. The second leading scorer in the East Region finished with 43 points.

The complementary play of Shanley junior Spencer Jacobson was a different story.

Jacobson chipped in a season-high 20 points in sparking Shanley to a season-high point total. The No. 6 seed Deacons beat the No. 3 Roughriders 96-80 on Friday in the region quarterfinals at the Red River gym.

Jacobson, a 29 percent 3-point shooter on the season, was 4-for-5 from long range against the Riders.

“Spencer stepped up and that’s what we’ve been waiting for,” Shanley coach Shane Alderman said. “He’s a kid who has scored 43 or 45 points in a JV game, so he can fill it up. This year, he’s been looking for his niche and finding his stroke. Tonight, he had it.”

The Deacons advance to the semifinals against Wahpeton at 8:15 p.m. Friday at the Bison Sports Arena in Fargo. Red River will play No. 7 Grand Forks Central in a loser-out game at 4:45 p.m. Friday at the BSA.

“We’ve got to extend our season now,” Red River coach Jason Gregory said. “Sometimes you’ve got to learn a lesson and move on.”

Shanley, which improved to 7-13, was red hot from the field. The Deacons were 37-for-64 (57.8 percent) overall and 15-for-27 (55.5 percent) from 3-point range.

“The key was finding the open guy and playing as a team,” Jacobson said.

Red River had appeared to grab momentum near halftime. The Riders turned a 37-27 deficit with three minutes to go into a 41-40 halftime lead when senior Chad Bartosh hit a spinning lay-in with three seconds to intermission.

Bartosh finished with a team-high 30 points.

But Strom and Jacobson came out firing to start the second half. Jacobson’s final three, to give the Deacons a 73-62 lead with 9:35 remaining, was enough separation to cruise the rest of the way.

“If they’re going to make shots, you’ve got to go guard them whether they’re a 17 percent shooter or an 80 percent shooter,” Gregory said. “You can’t give up 96 in a game. We didn’t defend well.”

Bartosh was joined in double figures by junior guard Shayden Keplin (16 points) and sophomore forward Braeden Hanson (12 points).

The Riders struggled with Shanley’s fullcourt pressure, which was applied throughout.

“Right away, we started with a ton of energy,” Jacobson said. “That set us up for good shots. And yes, we hit almost every shot.”

Strom and Jacobson were aided by Chase Montplaisir (13 points) and Kelvin Caga (eight points).

Strom had seven rebounds and two assists as he reached the 40-point mark for the third time this year.

“He’s the best shooter in the state, and I’m glad to be his teammate,” Jacobson said. “That kid is crazy. I’ve been on his team for three years now and there are no words to describe him.”

Tom Miller

Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 13 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate. 

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