PREP BASKETBALL: Shanley, West Fargo win titles
FARGO -- Fargo Shanley quenched its region tournament title drought that lasted nearly two decades. Senior forward Jessica Anderson scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds Saturday night at the Bison Sports Arena. That effort helped lift the ...
FARGO -- Fargo Shanley quenched its region tournament title drought that lasted nearly two decades.
Senior forward Jessica Anderson scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds Saturday night at the Bison Sports Arena. That effort helped lift the top-seeded Deacons to a 51-41 victory against West Fargo for the East Region girls basketball tournament championship.
Shanley (20-2) hadn't won the region tournament since 1996.
"It's a big thing for Shanley High School," Deacons head coach Tim Jacobson said. "It's a small school and to be able to compete night in and night out is a great thing."
The Deacons earned the top seed from the East for the North Dakota Class A state tournament, which starts Thursday in Bismarck. Shanley and West Fargo played for the region title last season and the Packers earned a 10-point win in that matchup.
"We really wanted to come out and play hard," Anderson said. "West Fargo is a great team. It's always fun to play them."
West Fargo (19-3) had its seven-game winning streak snapped and earned the No. 2 seed from the East for the state tournament.
"We just didn't hit our shots when we needed to," said Packers head coach Barb Metcalf, whose team shot 30 percent (16 of 54) from the field. "We would make a good stop on defense and then we would come down and we didn't convert."
West Fargo went scoreless for more than four minutes during one stretch during the first half. Shanley scored 15 consecutive points during that span to surge into the lead for good. Freshman guard Sarah Jacobson and Anderson each scored five points during that stretch. Sophomore forward Alivia Fraase capped the rally with a layup that gave the Deacons a 22-12 lead with 6 minutes, 6 seconds to play in the first half.
"We made some adjustments defensively and that's where I thought it happened," Tim Jacobson said. "Then we slowed them down and we got into the flow of the game."
The Deacons held a 28-24 lead at halftime. They scored the first six points of the second half to quickly push their edge to double digits. Senior guard Haley Brenner hit a short jumper that gave Shanley a 34-24 lead with 16:23 to play in the second half. West Fargo got no closer than four points of the lead in the second half.
"Our defense just really stepped up," Anderson said. "If we are doing well on defense, the offense just comes."
The Deacons had six players finish with six or more points. Sarah Jacobson scored 12 points to join Anderson in double figures.
"We just played together and we played hard," Tim Jacobson said. "We had a goal in mind and we stuck to it the whole way."
Lexi Lennon paced the Packers with 11 points. The senior guard was the only West Fargo player to score in double digits.
"They really make you work offensively," Metcalf said of Shanley's defense. "I just think we rushed some shots tonight."
Boys title game
n West Fargo 65, Fargo Davies 58: West Fargo senior forward Justin Heisler knew the shots would eventually fall on Saturday night for the Packers.
The shots did fall late in the game and at a rapid rate for West Fargo during its win over Fargo Davies in the championship game of the North Dakota Class A, East Region boys basketball tournament.
Heisler connected for a 3-pointer with 1 minute, 47 seconds left in regulation to give West Fargo a 58-55 lead and from there it never looked back. Heisler's big shot also marked the first time West Fargo - which trailed by as much as 14 points early in the first half - seized the lead.
"I knew we couldn't miss shots all game," Heisler said. "We got the misses out of the way and there were a lot of big shots that got us going."
West Fargo (15-7) ended the final 2:19 of regulation on a 13-3 run to clinch its first East Region crown since 2010.
"It came down to some tight possessions at the end of the game," Fargo Davies head coach Bart Manson said. "We didn't take care of the ball at the end of the game. We also got killed on the glass rebounding the ball tonight and that was the deciding factor."
n Wahpeton 54, Fargo North 49: The Wahpeton Huskies earned the victory of a lifetime Saturday at the Bison Sports Arena.
Senior Allie Albrecht scored a team-high 16 points, including two key foul shots, to help lift the Huskies over Fargo North in a state-qualifying game at the East Region girls basketball tournament.
The Huskies (10-12) advanced to the North Dakota Class A state tournament for the first time since 1986.
"It's crazy to have made it," said Albrecht, who was born in 1994. "It's the first time Wahpeton has made it to state in our lifetime and even farther back."
North (15-7) rallied to tie the game in the final 90 seconds before the Huskies countered with the final five points.
"Credit Wahpeton, they played a great game," North coach Derek Ouren said. "There were a lot of shots that I swear I've seen go in all year long that just didn't go in. That's part of tournament time."
n Fargo Shanley 79, Fargo South 62: The Fargo Shanley boys basketball team bounced back in a big way.
Fresh off a loss to Fargo Davies in the semifinals of North Dakota Class A, East Region tournament on Friday night, the Deacons recovered to post a big win over Fargo South in a state-qualifying game at the Bison Sports Arena.
Shanley senior forward A.J. Jacobson led all scorers with 25 points and dodged an abrupt end to his standout prep career.
The victory secured the No. 3-ranked Deacons a berth in the state tournament, which begins Thursday in Bismarck.
Shanley is making its fourth straight trip to state and the 24th appearance in program history. The Deacons (18-4) lost to Grand Forks Red River in the state championship game a year ago.
"There was a sense of urgency," said Jacobson, who also grabbed 13 rebounds. "We have a sour taste in our mouth from last year at state losing the championship game. We knew that we had unfinished business at the state tournament."
The Deacons will be the No. 4 seed from the East. Shanley plays the West Region's No. 1 seed Bismarck in the quarterfinals at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Bismarck Civic Center.