Class A state tournaments: Century girls edge Shanley in semifinalsBISMARCK — For a pass-first point guard, Alex Hopkins turned out to be a great long-range finisher Friday.
By: Greg DeVillers, Forum News Service
BISMARCK — For a pass-first point guard, Alex Hopkins turned out to be a great long-range finisher Friday.
The senior guard was 5-of-6 on 3-point shots. That included the game-winning 3-pointer with 19 seconds remaining as Bismarck Century rallied to edge Fargo Shanley 54-51 in the semifinals of the North Dakota Class A state girls basketball tournament at the Bismarck Civic Center.
Hopkins finished 6-for-8 overall from the field, scoring a team-high 17 points. The senior entered the tournament with a 6.4 scoring average.
“My role is bringing up the ball, passing and playing defense,” Hopkins said. “I usually only shoot about five times a game, and they’re not all threes.
“This was really exciting. I feel like I haven’t shot as well as I could. I finally was on.”
Century was down 49-41 after Sarah Jacobson converted an offensive rebound with 5:34 remaining to cap a 6-2 run, with all the Deacons’ points in the spurt by the freshman guard who scored a game-high 24 points.
But the Patriots answered with 10 straight points. Jordyn Jossart hit a trey from the right wing with 1:59 left to give the Patriots a 51-49 lead. Jessica Anderson and Haley Brenner each hit a free throw in the final 50 seconds to pull Shanley even. That set up Hopkins’ game-winner. Shanley got off a shot as time expired that was off the rim.
When she got the ball in the right corner, “I realized I was wide open,” Hopkins said. “I knew I could do it since I’d already made four of them.”
Said Century coach Ron Metz: “We know Alex has that ability. But she came in at the start of the year, took over at point guard and she hasn’t shot a lot because she’s always looking to dish the ball. But we preach to the kids that you can’t pass up open shots.
“That was a career game for her.”
Shanley appeared to have taken command early in the second half. The Deacons scored 10 unanswered points, including treys from Jacobson and Kelly Weir, to go up 43-34 with 10:46 remaining.
“At that point, I thought we were in a real good position,” Shanley coach Tim Jacobson said. “Normally, when we get a lead like that, we execute well and keep it.
“We had a run. They had a run. Their run went one basket farther.”
Hopkins’ success was a bit of a surprise to the Deacons, who concentrated their defense on the Patriots’ more vaunted inside game.
“We gave up the long ball because they hadn’t been shooting that well,” Jacobson said. But, he added, “She (Hopkins) killed us.”
C: Alex Hopkins 6 0-0 17, Jordyn Jossart 4 0-0 10, Macy Lynch 4 3-4 11, Jen Benz 1 4-5 6, Alaina Furcht 0 2-2 2, Hannah Larson 2 4-4 8. Totals 17-44 13-15 54.
S: Alivia Fraase 2 1-2 5, Sarah Jacobson 8 4-4 24, Haley Brenner 2 1-2 5, Kelly Weir 4 0-0 9, Somer Bucholz 1 0-0 2, Jessica Anderson 1 4-8 6. Totals 18-49 10-16 51.
Halftime: S 28-26. 3-pointers: C 7-15 (Hopkins 5, Jossart 2), S 5-10 (Jacobson 4, Weir 1). Total fouls: C 14, S 13. Rebounds: C 35 (Larson 8), S 29 (Fraase 8, Anderson 8). Assists: C 8 (Lynch 3), S 10 (Anderson 4).