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Class A State Girls Basketball Roundup: Fargo Shanley, Bismarck Century set up title game meeting

BISMARCK -- Friday was the hardest basketball game Hannah Arason never played.Arason, the starting point guard and playmaker as well as leading rebounder for Grand Forks Red River, was on the bench, unable to play after suffering concussion-like ...

BISMARCK - Friday was the hardest basketball game Hannah Arason never played.
Arason, the starting point guard and playmaker as well as leading rebounder for Grand Forks Red River, was on the bench, unable to play after suffering concussion-like symptoms in a game Thursday.
Minus Arason, the Roughriders dropped a 55-41 decision to Bismarck Century in the semifinals of the North Dakota Class A girls high school basketball tournament.
“I’ve never experienced that, being on a team where I had a role all year and then not being able to play,’’ said Arason, who sat next to Riders coach Kent Ripplinger throughout the game. “You feel so helpless. You want to get subbed in. But all you can do is sit and cheer, make some tips, get some Kleenex for kids when they came to the bench.’’
The Riders started fast. Behind a layup and a pair of 3-point baskets by Allie Hillebrand, Red River jumped to a 10-2 lead. The Riders still led 17-9 after a Lexi Robson basket from the top of the key with 9 minutes, 24 seconds left in the first.
Century spurted back into the lead, going on a pair of 9-0 runs, the latter giving the Patriots a 29-24 lead. Red River pulled even at 29 on a Hillebrand trey and two Robson free throws, only to see Century close the first half with a pair of Regan Dennis free throws and a Lexi Brown 3-pointer for a 34-29 advantage.
Century never relinquished the lead in the second half as the Patriots’ defense clamped down on Red River. The Riders had a scoreless dry spell of 6:40. Then, after scoring five points, the Riders went another 4:58 without a point.
“We made some adjustments in the second half,’’ Century coach Ron Metz said. “We had to get out on their 3-point shooters, to stay on them and make it a little harder for them to get the ball. We knew they had shooters. But (Hillebrand) was still putting them down.’’
Metz said Brown and Josie Anderson split time in the second half guarding Hillebrand, who scored 14 of her team-leading 18 points in the opening 18 minutes.
Red River was still within 42-37 with 10:22 left. But Century scored seven unanswered points to break open a 49-37 lead with 5:56 remaining.
Dennis paced the Patriots with 18 points, with Holtz adding 13.
Red River dropped to 21-5, while Century improved to 25-1.
Fargo Shanley defeats Wahpeton in semifinals
BISMARCK - Fargo Shanley’s girls basketball team didn’t allow Wahpeton the same satisfaction the Huskies gained a week ago, taking the Deacons the distance in the East Region tournament on Friday at the Bismarck Event Center.
The Deacons powered their way to a 64-31 victory over the Huskies in the North Dakota Class A semifinals.
A week ago, Wahpeton led Shanley at halftime, but later fell 53-45 to the No. 1-ranked Deacons. Friday’s rematch wasn’t as dramatic.
Shanley (26-0) closed the first half on a 17-1 run and led 38-15 at halftime.
Shanley was led by senior Miss Basketball finalist Lauren Rotunda, who scored 20 points and added 8 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Junior center Emily Dietz added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Deacons, who have now won 69 straight games - a modern day state record since the sport was sanctioned by the North Dakota High School Activities Association in the 1970s.
Shanley plays No. 2-ranked Bismarck Century in the championship game set for 5 p.m. Saturday. It is a rematch of last year’s state title game.
Wahpeton (16-10) plays Grand Forks Red River in the third-place game at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
Junior forward Tylee Irwin finished with 14 points to pace the Huskies.
Mandan tops Minot in consolation round
BISMARCK - Mandan freshman Kennedy Harris scored 17 points Friday to lead the Braves to a consolation round victory over Mandan 60-57.
Each team scored 25 points in the second half, so Mandan’s 35-32 edge at halftime proved to be the difference.
Senior Alicia Weiand scored 13 points for the Braves, and four other players scored at least seven points.
Cassie Askvig scored 20 points to lead Minot, and Annika Arnold backed her up with 18.
West Fargo jumps out early against Legacy
BISMARCK - West Fargo turned in a dominating first half Friday, leading to a 72-52 victory over Bismarck Legacy.
West Fargo led 40-22 at the break, and the Sabers weren’t able to recover.
Akealy Moton led the Packers with 25 points, and Kennedi Sand and Elizabeth Krueger each added 12.
Whitney Thomas scored 11 points and was the only Legacy player in double-figures.

Related Topics: PREP SPORTS
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